Skip to content

Lucky Loader’s 2024 Masters Preview: Experience Is Everything At Augusta

It’s that time of year again when the Masters takes centre stage in the sporting world, and even non-golf fans will still tune in to watch the picturesque golf course that is Augusta National.

The Masters - Golf

From a betting perspective, it’s always an intriguing puzzle to solve, as I think current form can go out of the window and golfers that perform at Augusta year in and year out come to the fore. That is because it’s the only major to be played at the same venue every year, and it’s a hard course to master due to its unique slopes and lightning-quick greens.

The favourite going into this year’s event is World Number One, Scottie Scheffler. He’s already proven it at Augusta, winning the famous green jacket in 2022. Furthermore, he arrives here in great form, having won two tournaments on the PGA Tour this year.

Scheffler doesn’t have too many weaknesses in his armoury and is strong in all departments of his game. At the time of writing, he’s currently 7/2 with Rhino, which looks a little skinny to get involved with, especially in an event of this nature. I don’t think he’ll be far away, but there are a few golfers that represent better value at the prices.

First on my shortlist is Rory McIlroy. Like many golf fans, I would love to see Rory complete the Grand Slam, as the green jacket is the only major that still eludes him. It’s fair to say he has played some great golf at Augusta in the past, but there has always been one round that has cost him, most famously in 2011, when he collapsed on the back nine after having a comfortable lead. Since then, he has managed to finish second at The Masters in 2022, but that is the closest he has come to winning at Augusta.

This year, Rory comes to the Masters in reasonable form after his win at the Dubai International in January, and he posted a respectable third at the Texas Open last weekend. Moreover, his record in the majors has been solid over the last 12 months, with three Top 10 finishes. If Rory can build on those performances, there is no reason why he can’t go close and break his duck at the Masters.

Next on my radar is the defending champion, Jon Rahm. He hasn’t won since landing the Masters last year, but he’s come close several times, including on the LIV tour with a fourth-place finish in Miami last week. 

Rahm likes playing at the Masters, and he is yet to miss a cut since his first appearance in 2017. It is hard to defend your crown at Augusta, with only Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods winning the Masters back-to-back. On the other hand Rahm has a fantastic record at the course, I can see no reason why he wouldn’t put up a good defence at 10/1.

The one golfer that pulls me in every time when it comes to the Majors is Tommy Fleetwood. He is such a consistent player and has gone close on several occasions to clinching his first major, with two runner-up finishes at The Open and US Open. When it comes to his record at the Masters, he’s not missed a cut since 2017, but the downside is that he hasn’t managed to get a Top 10 finish at Augusta.

This year, his form has been a bit mixed, missing a couple of cuts as well as winning in Dubai back in January. However, for me, I think these days he is gearing his game around the Majors, as he is desperate to win one, and he should be familiar with Augusta with his good record of making the cut in recent years. I believe we could see a career-best performance from him this week.

Elsewhere, I wouldn’t rule out at a big-price is three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who is currently 110/1 with Rhino. He hasn’t pulled up any trees on the LIV Tour this year, and some may say he’s past it, but when you look at his record at the Masters, he seems to come alive at Augusta. Last year, he came into the Masters in similar form, and he managed to put up a great effort to finish runner-up behind Jon Rahm.

Since he first played at The Masters in 1991, he has only missed the cut on three occasions. With all his experience and knowledge of Augusta, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Phil put up another bold effort at the Masters and be up their in the mix on Sunday.

Overall the Masters is a great sporting spectacle and there is always plenty of drama!

I hope you enjoy watching the action this week and remember to gamble responsibly if you decide to have a bet.

Masters Shortlist

Rory McIlroy (9/1) Each Way

Jon Rahm (11/1) Each Way

Tommy Fleetwood (33/1) Each Way

Phil Mickelson (110/1) Each Way

Read also...