All practice sessions are over, the dinner of champions is in the books and the festive Par 3 contest has come and gone. The course of 88 golfers will now turn their attention to playing their best game at Augusta National and they hope to etch their name in the history books by winning a green jacket at the 87 Masters Tournament.
But only one can win out of those 88 and three names are very well poised to lift the Masters trophy on Easter Sunday.
Heading into the first round on Thursday, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are ranked 1, 2 and 3 respectively in the Official World Golf Ranking. All three have had success during the current PGA Tour FedEx Cup season, and while the rankings there don’t necessarily match the rankings in OWGR, the tour trio has had good reason thus far to defend victory at Augusta.
Like defending champion Scheffler in 2022, Rahm enters the tournament with three wins this season. With victories at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, The American Express and The Genesis Invitational, Rahm is taking a similar path to a green jacket as Scheffler did last season when Scheffler was also leading the FedEx Cup standings leading up to the tournament in Augusta.
Winner of THE PLAYERS Championship and the WM Phoenix Open, Scheffler sits in a comfortable third place in the FedEx Cup standings just under 300 points behind Rahm. The 2022 Masters champion will look to make back-to-back wins at Augusta and join Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to have successfully defended their Masters title. A win at Augusta will also allow Scheffler to join Tiger Woods as the only two players to have won THE PLAYERS Championship and the Masters in the same year.
While Rahm and Scheffler arrive hot at Augusta, McIlroy has a very good reason to push for a green jacket. Though he only has one win this season entering this week (THE CJ CUP in South Carolina), the 33-year-old is playing a career Grand Slam with a Masters win and joins Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player , Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen as the group of golfers who have won the four majors on the PGA Tour. Though he sits sixth in the FedEx Cup standings, McIlroy is getting closer to a Grand Slam after finishing second last year at Augusta.
As for the favorite of the three to win this week, that depends on who you ask. Draftkings sports betting Scheffler (+650), McIlroy (+700) and Rahm (+900) are listed in the same order as their world rankings as favorites to win this week. While SB Nation’s Scott Phillips ranked Scheffler first, McIlroy second and Rahm fourth as favorites to win at Augusta.
Regardless of ranks or favorites, the PGA Big 3 of the 2022-2023 season have their own path to victory this week. A case can be made for each to win, but it’s fair to say that all three will most likely make their races in the green jacket on Sunday.