US Masters 2023: Rahm and McIlroy set for major shoot-out

Golf fans across the world are eagerly anticipating the start of the first major of the 2023 season – the prestigious US Masters Tournament at Augusta National.

The tournament has been won by some truly legendary names and this year’s line-up will be desperate to add their name to the roll of honour.

The latest betting on The Masters suggests Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy will be tough to beat in their quest to don the Green Jacket for the first time.

Read on as we look at the Masters schedule before assessing whether the bookmakers’ favourites will get the job done this year.

2023 Masters Tournament Schedule

  • Sunday, April 2: Player arrivals, practice rounds.
  • Monday, April 3: Practice rounds.
  • Tuesday, April 4: Practice rounds, Champions Dinner.
  • Wednesday, April 5: Practice rounds, Par-3 Contest.
  • Thursday, April 6: Honorary starters ceremony, first round of the Masters.
  • Friday, April 7: Second round.
  • Saturday, April 8: Third round.
  • Sunday, April 9: Final round, Green Jacket ceremony and trophy presentation.

2023 Masters Preview

Rahm will head into the Masters with a target on his back after producing some of the best form of his career in recent months.

The Spaniard finished second at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last September and has not been any lower than eighth position in the tournaments he has played since then.

He has won five events during that period including the recent Genesis Invitational in California, where his 17-under par score was enough to secure a tenth PGA Tour title.

The victory took Rahm above 2022 Masters champions Scottie Scheffler to world number one, but also established a more noteworthy career landmark.

Rahm now has one more PGA Tour success than his idol Seve Ballesteros, although his late compatriot still has more major tournament victories with five.

The 28-year-old will be eager to add to his 2021 US Open victory by claiming top spot in a tournament he clearly has the talent to win.

He finished tied for 27th in 2016 and 2022, but shoehorned four successive top 10 finishes in between to demonstrate he can handle the challenge presented by Augusta.

While Rahm will likely be competitive again this year, he may have his work cut out against a player who has emerged as one of the most consistent on the PGA Tour.

Four-time major winner McIlroy finished second in this event last year after producing a stunning final day surge to finish on seven-under-par.

That left him just three shots adrift of Scheffler – a remarkable achievement given there was a 10 shot gap between the pair at the start of the fourth day.

Having won the other three majors, McIlroy is desperate to complete the set by finally getting his hands on an elusive Green Jacket.

McIlroy’s last victory in a major was the 2014 PGA Championship, but his game is back to a level where another success should be achievable.

While the Masters is unlikely to be a just a two-way fight between Rahm and McIlroy, it would be no surprise to see both players in contention on the final day.

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