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The Masters Golf Preview 2024

The Masters Golf Preview 2024. March Madness is over, and the UConn Huskies took it all again. Now, with signs of spring popping up everywhere, all eyes turn to golf. The Masters will tee off on Thursday from Augusta National Golf Club.

The Masters Golf Preview 2024

What Constitutes a Winner

If you want to pick the winner at The Masters, you have to know the characteristics of past winners. Here are a few stats to consider when choosing your top player this year.

  • Age Range: The average age of winners over the last ten years is just under 31. The previous three winners were under 30.
  • Debutants are rare: Only three players have won the Masters in their first attempt since it started 89 years ago. The last time it happened was 45 years ago.
  • Leading up to: Since 2014, each winner of the Masters also won on the PGA Tour or DP World Tour in the 12 months leading up to the Masters.
  • Strokes gained per round: In the last ten years, all Masters champions averaged +0.67 strokes gained per round in the calendar year leading up to the tournament. The ones with the highest averages in the year they won were Spieth (+2.38), Watson (+3.02), and Johnson (+3.91).
  • Strokes gained per tee: The best golfers tend to be the best drivers. The last ten winners averaged at least +0.60 strokes gained off the tee per round over the course of 12 months before their victory.
  • Strokes gained around the green: The run-off areas are treacherous, making players scramble around the greens. Players that win generally have a great short game, able to get up and down from the rough spots.
  • Strokes gained putting: The greens at Augusta National are considered the fastest in the country. Effectively dealing with the speed is a big part of the Masters.

Favorites and Odds

Scottie Scheffler stands out as the favorite to win. After that, the field is mixed depending on who you talk to.

  • Scottie Scheffler +325
  • Rory McIlroy +1000
  • Brooks Koepka +1100
  • Jon Rahm +1200
  • Wyndham Clark +1500
  • Xander Schauffele +1800
  • Hideki Matsuyama +2000

The Top Players

Hideki Matsuyama

He won in 2021 and has been having a great year, with a T12 at Bay Hill and a T6 at the Players. He’s appeared in the Masters 12 times and only missed the top 20 once in his last nine starts. He’s got the experience, and this year, he should have a solid finish.

Rory McIlroy

With 15 appearances at the Masters, the 34-year-old could finally win his first in Augusta. His best finish was second place in 2022. McIlroy has done just about everything else in golf but hasn’t won a major in almost a decade. He’s been working hard to improve his game, playing a ton of golf early. His putting was ranked 129th, so he’s been working on that as well. He wants to win this one, but he still has a ways to go.

Xander Schauffele

The 30-year-old could be considered the best golfer without a major. In Data Golf’s rankings, he’s second only to Scottie Scheffler. He has three top-five finishes in his last four starts but hasn’t yet reached the winner’s circle. Can he get there this time?

Jon Rahm

The reigning champion became an LIV Golfer in the offseason, and it doesn’t look like it’s affected his game. He’s been one of the top five golfers in the world over the last few years, and it seems like the 29-year-old is just getting started. He’s consistently hit the top 10 in the previous few Masters and should be able to do that again this year.

Scottie Scheffler

With only four Masters appearances, he’s the least experienced in the group, but he stands out as the favorite by far. He won in 2022, and last season, he gained 2.615 shots on his opponents tee-to-green, and he’s improved on that mark this year to 2.798. His weak spot has been his putting, which he’s been working on with coach Phil Kenyon. If he putts a little above average, he’ll be too far ahead of the pack to catch.

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