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US Masters 2023: Top 4 picks for Augusta

The 2023 Masters Tournament will undoubtedly dominate many of the sporting headlines when it is staged at Augusta National during early April.

The first major of the year is always fiercely contested and this year’s event will likely have a slightly more tempestuous edge to it.

The decision to allow players from the breakaway LIV Tour has not met with universal approval, and will add a new dynamic to the prestigious event.

With that in mind, we look at four golfers who should be in contention on the final day, starting with one who nearly won the event last year.

Rory McIlroy

The four-time major winner finished a gallant second in 2022 and is top of the odds for The Masters for this year’s tournament.

McIlroy played steadily during the first three days before making a final day charge that threatened to fire him to a first Masters success.

His round of 64 was not quite enough to overall Scottie Scheffler, with the American hanging on to secure a three-shot victory.

McIlroy ended 2022 in fine form and has started the new year reasonably well, sparking hopes that he will be ready to peak at the Masters.

Scottie Scheffler

Scheffler was ultimately a deserving winner of last year’s Masters and is expected to make a bold bid to defend the title this time around.

The American was the world number one for 30 weeks in 2022 before being overhauled by McIlroy and the pair have since been surpassed by Jon Rahm.

However, his recent victory at the Phoenix Open demonstrated his Masters credentials and it would be no surprise to see him in contention again this year.

Scheffler finished 12th at the recent Genesis Open and has the ability to win another major title if everything falls into place.

Jon Rahm

It is impossible to consider potential Masters winners without throwing Rahm into the mix and the 2021 US Open champion could be tough to beat.

Since finishing second at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last September, the Spaniard has not been lower than eighth place in nine tournaments worldwide.

He has won five events during that time, drawing comparisons with the period of dominance enjoyed by Tiger Woods during his pomp.

Rahm’s best finish at the Masters was fourth place in 2018 – it would be no surprise if he finishes any lower than that this year.

Dustin Johnson

A victory for a LIV Golf player would spark plenty of controversy in golfing circles, but Johnson will not care about that when he tees off on the opening day.

Johnson has an excellent recent record in the Masters, winning the tournament in 2020 and recording another two top five finishes in the last seven years.

The 38-year-old has been the star of the show in LIV Golf, and will be eager to make a statement when he locks horns again with PGA players.

While he may find it difficult to match Rahm and the other fancied players, Johnson could be the value bet to finish inside the top six.