Masters 2024: SB Nation staff predicts who will win at Augusta National

The most incredible week of the year has descended upon us.

The Masters Tournament is here, and for the first time in 2024, the best players in the world will play alongside each other on the same course. Of the 89 players in this year’s field, 13 LIV golfers will tee it up, including last year’s champion Jon Rahm.

World number one Scottie Scheffler arrives as the overwhelming favorite, as he prevailed at Augusta National in 2022. But what makes The Masters special year in and year out is that anyone can win, and the tournament does not truly begin until the back nine on Sunday.

Look no further than 1986, when Jack Nicklaus made a back nine charge that continues to live in Augusta lore. ‘The Golden Bear’ paraded through Amen Corner, eagled the 15th, birdied 16, and capped it off with another birdie at 17. At 46 years old, Nicklaus did the unthinkable, winning his sixth Green Jacket in the grandest of fashions while holding off Tom Kite, Seve Ballesteros, and Greg Norman.

But Tiger Woods did the unthinkable in 2019 as well. While every other contender made mistakes around him on the back nine, Woods played things safe. He then went for the kill shot on the par-3 16th, where his tee shot almost dropped in for an ace. Woods settled for birdie, which all but handed him his 15th major championship.

Remember, The Masters does not start until the back nine on Sunday.

With that in mind, the SB Nation’s Playing Through has submitted their picks for the 88th edition of The Masters:

Augusta National, The Masters

The 12th hole at Augusta National.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Kendall Capps – Senior Editor

I am taking Tony Finau to sit in Butler Cabin on Sunday evening.

Experience at Augusta National is crucial, and in his previous five appearances, he has three top-10s and one top-five. He plays this course well.

Finau has even been quoted saying that Augusta National, along with Riviera and Torrey Pines, are his favorite courses to play and that this track fits his game well.

He has always been a great lag putter, but his short putts have been considerably better over the past couple of years, which is a must to win a Green Jacket.

But maybe more than anything, he is in good form entering the tournament, having nearly repeated at the Houston Open two weeks ago.

The Masters - Round One

Tony Finau plays a shot during the 2023 Masters.
Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

Jack Milko – Staff Writer

So many PGA Tour stars have struggled this year. Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, and Justin Thomas—all solid iron players—have not had their best stuff in 2024, and I envision that trend continuing at Augusta.

As such, that leaves me between two players, who, funny enough, have won the past two Green Jackets. But between those two, only one has triumphed in a tournament in 2024.

That would be Scottie Scheffler, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players in back-to-back weeks. Nobody is hitting the ball better than Scheffler is, and if he has a decent week with the putter, he will win with ease.

Plus, Scheffler, believe it or not, is due in a major championship.

Since winning The Masters in 2022, he has had four top-10 finishes in majors, including a tie for second last year at Oak Hill and a solo third at the U.S. Open.

Scheffler put the Green Jacket on Rahm’s shoulders a year ago, but this time around, the roles will be reversed.

Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Masters Tournament

Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm after the 2023 Masters.
Augusta National

Savannah Leigh Richardson – Staff Writer

My pick for the Masters is Brooks Koepka.

For 72 hours last year, it looked like Koepka would seize his fifth major championship and capture the illusive Green Jacket. But he stumbled during Sunday’s final round as Rahm raced by him to clinch his second major and maiden Masters title.

Yet, Koepka learned from that experience, channeled his anger, and rallied to win the PGA Championship at Oak Hill with a vengeance.

That said, of all the majors, Koepka wants this one the most. He almost won the Masters in 2019 as well, but he hit his tee shot into Rae’s Creek on the 12th hole, thus leading to a double bogey and diminishing his chances.

I feel like it is his year, and Brooksy finally gets his Green Jacket on Sunday.

Brooks Koepka, The Masters

Brooks Koepka lines up a putt on the 17th green during the final round of the 2023 Masters.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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