2024 Masters picks to win: Here’s who our staff is betting on at Augusta National

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy last month at the Players Championship.

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Rory McIlroy is joking about the Masters. While the subject can be considered somber to him, his mood is light. 

Earlier this year, on the “Stick to Football” podcast, a show hosted by longtime stars of football (or soccer, if you prefer), co-host Ian Wright wanted to tell McIlroy about the “blokes” with the green jackets, otherwise known as members of the Masters’ host club (Augusta National), or past winners of the tournament. They were what he didn’t like about the event. They could get access to some spots on the grounds. And he couldn’t.  

But Wright was quickly consoled. 

“How do you think I feel?” McIlroy laughed. 

“That’s the same.”

Indeed. From there, though, things got a little deeper. More revelatory. 

They usually do when the talk is McIlroy and the Masters. He’s won golf’s other three majors — but never its first of the year. He’s been close on occasion — and he’s been done after two rounds during others, including last year. The podcast hosts started to dig.   

What exactly is it about the Masters, they wondered. McIlroy called Augusta a cathedral. He said the greats have won there. He said the event’s more hyped up. The hosts expanded on that. Wright asked about pressure management — and McIlroy had a story.  

He’d shot even-par during last year’s first round. He was OK. But on the first hole of the second round, he looked at a leaderboard. 

And he believed he was sunk. 

“I saw Brooks Koepka was coming up the 8th and there’s a big white scoreboard there, by the 8th green,” McIlroy said on the podcast, “and I saw that he had already got to 10 under and I’m even par, so I’m — but it’s only 19 holes into the tournament, but I’m there thinking, jeez, I’m 10 behind already, like I have to start pressing, when actually what’s worked best for me is I can’t control what he does, I can’t control the leaderboard and the worst thing I did that day was look at the leaderboard because if I hadn’t have known — the winning score ended up being 10 under, I think. 

“So I thought I needed to get to 10 under in the space of like 18 or 27 holes when I actually could have said, OK, chill out, it’s fine, you know, go and play your normal game, see where you’re at. But I think whenever I’ve gotten into trouble, especially at that tournament, is when I start looking around and I’m like, oh, he’s doing this and I should be there and you start putting the pressure on yourself.”

Co-host Jamie Carragher complimented the openness. McIlroy continued.   

“Yeah, I think at Augusta, too, for me, I sometimes do things that I wouldn’t normally do because of what it is and the pressure and all this sort of stuff,” he said on the podcast. “And I’m completely open about that. That — I think I need to embrace that, instead of shutting away from it. 

“And every time you go back, you learn something different. You know, I’ve had my chances at Augusta before and every year, it’s like, OK, I’ll take that little bit and try to put it into the next year, but after 14 or 15 years of it, you’re like, OK, it’s time to get this done.”

Do you think he can starting Thursday? At the least, McIlroy’s identified some issues — but you’ve also heard some of this before. 

What do we think? You’ve clicked on the right story. 

Below, members of our staff have each made a to-win selection to assist you with your own weekly picks, whether those are for a low-stakes office fantasy league, or (legal!) big-bucks bets with a sportsbook. It’s an enjoyable endeavor for us. Deploy it as you wish. 

On to our analysis. 

2024 Masters picks to win 

Ryan Barath

To-win: Brooks Koepka, +2,000. If history has shown us anything, it’s that Brooks Koepka knows how to show up to majors and win. He’s plenty long, strikes his irons well and has gotten very close at Augusta before. A sixth major would put him in the same category as Mickelson, Faldo and Trevino. [Whispers] But with all that said, I really hope Rory wins it.

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Josh Berhow 

To-win: Scottie Scheffler, +400. How do you bet against the guy? I mean, you can, but I won’t. Only bummer is it’s tough to get excited over a +400 payday. All he has to do is putt slightly above average and he’ll be ridiculously difficult to beat. (That said, if I were to bet against him, I like Koepka and Niemann.)

Adam Christensen 

To-win: Brooks Koepka, +2,000. Rory and Xander ahead of him, at +1,800? Speith with him at +2,000? How are we still disrespecting Koepka? In an era where nothing matters more than the four majors, I’ll take the guy who has shown he can not only handle the extra pressure, but thrive under it. After last year’s loss, I think this is the major trophy he wants the most. The one that consumes his competitive drive. His elite ball compression and spin control allow him to hit those high, soft-landing shots that play so well around Augusta. Do yourself a favor — take Brooks, and there’s a strong chance you’ll have a ticket in the mix come Sunday.

James Colgan 

To-win: Scottie Scheffler, +400. B-b–b-but James … Scottie’s odds are TOO good to pick! It’s not FUN!!! Yeah, well, we’d better find a way to make it fun, because watching him lap the field in Augusta is going to usher in a new era in pro golf — and mark the return of a dominant World No. 1. Scottie is the small money because he’s the smart money. If he can keep his putts within gimme range, it won’t be close.

Dylan Dethier   

To-win: Xander Schauffele, +2,000. I will pick him until he wins or until he gets worse at golf. It seems like he’s still just getting better at golf. He might be better than anyone not named Scottie Scheffler at golf. That hasn’t translated to many wins of late, so I’m betting Augusta is the place that happens. (Also, Brooks Koepka at this same price!)

Nick Dimengo    

To-win: Shane Lowry, +4,000. While my buddy Dylan Dethier continues to shower Xander with heart eyes, my love affair is with the 37-year-old Irishman. Lowry checks off lots of boxes for me — he’s a former major champ (2019 Open Championship), has decent history at the Masters and knows how to manage those tricky greens at Augusta. If this guy gets hot with the putter … look out! Do. Not. Let. This. Man. Get. Hot!

Connor Federico  

To-win: Joaquin Niemann, +2,500. The Chilean didn’t qualify for his fifth Masters on world-ranking points. Instead, the young LIV golfer sought to earn an invitation from Augusta National in the past few months, playing in several events outside of  the LIV circuit. ANGC couldn’t ignore his efforts to qualify nor his recent form, and neither can I. He won two of the first four LIV events of the season, and while he has yet to truly compete at a major, he continues to gradually improve at Augusta, finishing T16 last year.

Jack Hirsh 

To win: Scottie Scheffler, +400. I know Scottie Scheffler didn’t go to Alabama, but he’s starting to feel like their football team. Roll Tide Roll. The best player in the world heading into the week has won the Masters the past two years. I don’t see that changing this year. 

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Nick Piastowski 

To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +3,300. Listen, Scottie Scheffler should be your pick, and my colleagues here are eloquently telling you why. But should you be moved to scatter your chips around, there’s maybe something with DeChambeau. But that’s not my thought. Last week, ahead of their LIV Golf event, Brooks Koepka said this of his one-time nemesis: “I watch Bryson last year, and I believe — what was it, Singapore, Thailand, we played together? — and I started to watch what’s come for the last, I don’t know, eight months, I guess, about eight months now. Kind of watched that progress go, so that’s been cool. I can see him starting around the corner.” It’s not much — but for Koepka to talk of a foe ahead of a major is at least notable.  

Josh Sens

To-win: Scottie Scheffler, +400. Xander Schauffele is beyond overdue to win this tournament, and he would if it weren’t for the fact that the best player in the world is pretty much playing his best-imaginable golf. As much as I am leery of making the obvious pick, I can’t reason myself out of this one.

Jonathan Wall 

To-win: Scottie Scheffler, +400. He’s ball-striking it like peak-Tiger and finally has a reliable putter. Good luck to everyone else at Augusta. You’re gonna need it. 

Sean Zak 

To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +3,300. A crowning victory for the YouTube Golfer. In all seriousness, I’m not expecting anyone to touch Scheffler, but DeChambeau is among the few who have actually been playing good golf in recent months. It’s a nice price, too. 

Alan Bastable

To-win: Scottie Scheffler, +400. Lol, it’s cute that some of my colleagues didn’t pick him.

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