These Dark Horses are worth monitoring at the 87th Masters

Keith Mitchell, 2023 ATT Pebble Beach Pro-Am,(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Keith Mitchell, 2023 ATT Pebble Beach Pro-Am,(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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Examining potential dark horses to keep an eye on at the 2023 Masters at Augusta National.

After over eight months of anticipation, it is once again time for major championship golf.

The 2023 Masters Tournament is upon us and the grand event that has so often signaled the unofficial beginning of the springtime season will be played for the 87th time this week in Augusta, Georgia.

Unfortunately, the weather for the week may quite literally put a dampening on this picturesque venue that has so often glistened in the warmth of the spring sunshine. The resulting forecast could make this year’s Masters truly unpredictable, despite the recent emergence of a quote-on-quote ‘big three’ in the game.

The ‘big three’ consisting of Scottie Scheffler (+700), Rory McIlroy (+750), and Jon Rahm (+950) are the deserved favorites to win this year at Augusta National coming into the week. The trio’s results in 2023 alone make them worthy favorites to win the Masters, or in Scheffler’s case, win again.

Last year’s Masters Champion has finished 12th or better in seven starts in 2023, this includes two wins at both the WM Phoenix Open, where Scottie successfully defended his title (won in 2022 and 2023), and the PLAYERS Championship last month.

Since winning the Tour Championship last August, Rory McIlroy has recorded eight top 5 finishes in his last eleven starts, including wins at both the CJ Cup in South Carolina last autumn and the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January.

Meanwhile, Jon Rahm has cooled down a bit of late after a scintillating start to 2023 that included wins at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, The American Express, and the Genesis Invitational, alongside an additional two top 10 finishes in eight starts this year.

With all of that being said, however, this prestigious tournament has a history of throwing up some longshot winners over the past decade-plus. Here are just a few past Masters champions who came into the week prior to their win carrying odds beyond +4000.

  • 2021: Hideki Matsuyama (+4600 )
  • 2018: Patrick Reed (+5000)
  • 2016: Danny Willett (+5000)
  • 2011: Charl Schwartzel (+10000)

Is it probable that this year’s Masters winner comes from the group of Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, or one of several other favorites this week? Of course.

Nonetheless, the added element of potentially unpredictable weather and a recent history of some long shots finding success on these hallowed grounds provides us with an opportunity to correctly identify some potential long-shot winners this week.

In keeping with recent Masters trends, these potential longshot winners all come from beyond the +4000 range in the odds market this week.

Note: All Odds listed are courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change. For more betting content and picks be sure to check out Betsided.

2023 Masters: Potential Dark Horse Winners

Masters, Augusta National, 2023 Masters, 87th Masters
Corey Conners, 2023 Valero Texas Open, TPC San Antonio, (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) /

Corey Conners (+4800)

Corey Conners checks two boxes you love to see when identifying a player who could be on the verge of a major breakthrough.

First is performance in the lead-up to the first major of the year. The Canadian certainly checks that box after winning the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio for the second time last weekend.

Conners, who has ascended to 28th in the world following his win in Texas, also finished 17th at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after narrowly missing out on winning the same group that eventual Match Play finalist Cameron Young was a part of. Prior to that, Corey had added a top 25 finish at this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational after a slow start to the year.

While recent form may not be everything at Augusta National, it’s still encouraging to see a player playing well heading into a major championship. Speaking of Augusta, Conners emphatically checks that box as well with three consecutive top 10 finishes at the Masters in his last three starts.

There isn’t much more you could ask out of a potential longshot winner coming into the Masters.