The tee times and groupings are set, The Champions Dinner has been had, and The Par 3 contest has been played. After three grueling days of anticipation, the 87th Masters is just hours away.
Is Scottie Scheffler set to become just the fourth player in Masters history to win back-to-back times at Augusta National? Perhaps it will be Rory McIlroy who finally achieves the lifelong dream of winning the ‘Career Grand Slam’? Or will it be Spaniard Jon Rahm who triumphs at Augusta on the 40th anniversary of Seve Ballesteros’s 1983 Masters victory?
The world is a mere four days away from finding out who will be putting on the legendary Green Jacket in 2023. The year’s first major champion is about to be crowned.
It is all set up to be an enthralling week of action, so without further ado, here is who our staff is selecting to don the Green Jacket come Easter Sunday.
Expert Picks and Predictions for the 87th Masters Tournament
The world number one will aim to become the first player to successfully defend the Green Jacket this week since Tiger Woods did it back in 2002. A couple of our experts like Scheffler’s chances of accomplishing that feat this week.
Mike Randleman: “It’s tough to go back-to-back at Augusta National, but his current form and healthy mindset on the golf course has him in a great head space to get it done.”
Derek Helm: “I’m picking Scottie Scheffler to repeat as Masters Champion. There is nobody I have more confidence in to get out of the trouble that Augusta provides. Scottie is top five in strokes gained off the tee and approach over the last 24 rounds.”
Hans Geevers: “Since the beginning of January, Tony Finau has played eight tournaments on the PGA Tour. In those eight events just noted, Finau has accumulated seven top 20 finishes, including a ninth-place result at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open. It should also be noted that Tony Finau finished fifth at the 2019 Masters Tournament.”
Is it ninth time lucky for Rory? After eight attempts, Rory will get another shot at completing the coveted ‘Career Grand Slam’ this week at the Masters. Three of our experts believe this could finally be his year.
Kathlene Bissell: “It’s a hope as much as anything else that he will complete the grand slam. But he’s also a good mudder, and it’s supposed to be wet and rainy. I’m remembering Congressional.”
Josh Chandler: “Rory finished inside of the top 10 at every major championship in 2022 and came so incredibly close to ending his major drought at last year’s 150th Open Championship (3rd).
He really seems to be in a great place heading into this year’s Masters and after taking down Patrick Reed at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic (won) earlier this year; my gut is telling me we see the best out of McIlroy this week with the added ‘LIV’ motivation factor. A nearly decade-long drought in major championships will end this week in spectacular fashion at Augusta National.”
Bill Felber: “First things first. The LIV Tour guys will not contend, and probably will for the most part put in merely perfunctory appearances. I do not believe the LIV Tour is at present a good prep place for major competition, and as a result, I don’t think they will be honed to the Masters pressure.
As to who will win, the Masters tends to produce idiosyncratic winners…but not always. This is one of the ‘not always’ years. Nobody’s hotter than Scheffler, but I’m not feeling Scottie. I am feeling very Rory, so I’ll take McIlroy.”
A win this week for the two-time major champion would see Morikawa one major shy of his own career grand slam. Two of our experts like Morikawa to add a third major to his impressive resume this week at the Masters.
Alana Bannan: “Strong iron play is key at the Masters and no one’s irons are hotter than his, currently. Morikawa ranks sixth in greens in regulation, an important stat when ten of the last eleven Masters winners ranked seventh or better here. He’ll secure a green jacket and his third major this weekend.”
Brendan Carberry: “Going with Collin Morikawa this week. He is near the top of most tee-to-green categories on tour, one hot-putting week is all it’s going to take for him to deliver the spark he showed at the Sentry.”