The world’s most famous golf event has some added spice for 2023, and now that we know who will be participating, we can take an honest look at the odds for the 2023 Masters tournament.
And what better time than when we’re frigid temperatures descend upon New York to close our eyes and dream of springtime in Georgia?
Scottie Scheffler is the defending champion, but Rory McIlroy is the favorite to win his first green jacket and snap a eight-year major win drought in the process.
LIV Golf Pros Will Be Eligible After Controversy
Ever since PGA Tour pros like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, and Cameron Smith moved over to the rival LIV Golf, there were questions as to whether they would be eligible for the majors.
Once those players put tees in the ground for an event that the PGA Tour did not give them an exemption for, the Tour indefinitely suspended those players. They also have yet to earn Official World Golf Ranking points, which is part of the eligibility process for the majors.
It’s important to note that the PGA Tour doesn’t run any of the four majors–they are managed by independent organizations. The PGA Championship, for example, is operated by the PGA of America and not the PGA Tour. The most prestigious PGA Tour event is The Players Championship, which has been called the unofficial fifth major.
After months of speculation, the Masters broke their silence and ruled that any LIV golfers who were previously eligible for the tournament would be able to play.
Who Is Eligible for Odds in the 2023 Masters?
Eligible golfers include former Masters champions Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel. In addition, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau qualify since they won another major within the past five years.
The following golfers qualified for either finishing in the top 30 of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings last year or reside within the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings. Unless something were to change (or one of these golfers win a major in 2023), they will not be eligible for the Masters in 2024:
- Joaquin Niemann
- Talor Gooch
- Abraham Ancer
- Harold Varner III
- Jason Kokrak
- Kevin Na
- Louis Oosthuizen
Who Is Favored in PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf Showdown at Augusta?
Looking at the odds at FanDuel, Dustin Johnson (2020 Masters winner) and Cameron Smith (2022 Players Championship, Open Championship, and LIV Golf Chicago winner) have the best odds of being paired with a PGA Tour stalwart on the weekend at Augusta.
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Smith had the most consistent 2022 against top competition. He outdueled Jon Rahm at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, came from behind to beat McIlroy at St. Andrew’s by shooting a 64, and even won on the LIV and DP World Tours (Australian PGA Championship).
Johnson has done nothing but win on the LIV circuit, racking up $35 million in prize money for winning that tour’s individual season title and team championship. Smith’s best finish at the Masters is third in 2022, whereas Johnson won a green jacket in 2020 while he was ranked the No. 1 golfer in the world.
Is Now a Good Time to Bet on Current 2023 Masters Odds?
A lot can happen between now and March. Last year, Scottie Scheffler came into Augusta on the hottest of hot streaks, having won three of the previous five events before the Masters, and he won the tournament with relative ease.
For LIV golfers, they may not be as tested as the PGA Tour pros. As of now, there are only two events on LIV’s 2023 schedule prior to the Masters in early April.
Last year, Rahm closed as the favorite at +1000 with eventual champion Scheffler at +1800.
That would indicate that odds probably won’t change too much for the favorites, so if you want to make a bet on a favorite, now would be a good time to do so. If you’re looking for value based on how a player is competing closer to the tournament, then you should wait until the week or two before the event.