2024 Masters: LIV Golf Contenders

2024 Masters: LIV Golf Contenders

The Masters

Course: Augusta National Golf Club (Par 72, 7,555 yards)
Purse: $18,000,000 
Winner: $3,240,000

Preview

The LIV Golf season saw its fifth event of the season wrap up at Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida this past weekend. Sergio Garcia, captain of Fireballs GC and winner of the 2017 Masters Tournament, saw his chance at capturing his first individual LIV Golf trophy slip between his fingers when he missed a four-foot birdie on the 18th hole, eventually losing to Dean Burmester on the second playoff hole. The defending Masters champion, Jon Rahm, finished in a share of fourth place in the individual event, but he and teammate Tyrrell Hatton helped lead Legion XIII to their second team event victory of the season. 

But for Garcia, Rahm, Hatton and 10 other LIV golfers, their attention will shift from the circuit and focus on what is ahead of them this weekend; a shot at cementing their legacy into the record books by donning the green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.

With the first major championship of the season set to begin Thursday, here is a look at the 13 LIV Golf representatives at the 2024 Masters:

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 1:30 PM ET Wednesday

Past Masters Champions

Jon Rahm (11-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T4 
  • LIV Golf Standings: 2nd
  • Number of Masters Appearances: Seven (made the cut every time)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: Won 
  • Performance in other Majors in 2023: T50 at PGA

The Masters

Course: Augusta National Golf Club (Par 72, 7,555 yards)
Purse: $18,000,000 
Winner: $3,240,000

Preview

The LIV Golf season saw its fifth event of the season wrap up at Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida this past weekend. Sergio Garcia, captain of Fireballs GC and winner of the 2017 Masters Tournament, saw his chance at capturing his first individual LIV Golf trophy slip between his fingers when he missed a four-foot birdie on the 18th hole, eventually losing to Dean Burmester on the second playoff hole. The defending Masters champion, Jon Rahm, finished in a share of fourth place in the individual event, but he and teammate Tyrrell Hatton helped lead Legion XIII to their second team event victory of the season. 

But for Garcia, Rahm, Hatton and 10 other LIV golfers, their attention will shift from the circuit and focus on what is ahead of them this weekend; a shot at cementing their legacy into the record books by donning the green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.

With the first major championship of the season set to begin Thursday, here is a look at the 13 LIV Golf representatives at the 2024 Masters:

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 1:30 PM ET Wednesday

Past Masters Champions

Jon Rahm (11-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T4 
  • LIV Golf Standings: 2nd
  • Number of Masters Appearances: Seven (made the cut every time)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: Won 
  • Performance in other Majors in 2023: T50 at PGA Championship, T10 at U.S. Open, T2 at Open Championship

The 2023 Masters champion enters Augusta National with the third-best odds behind Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, and the best odds among the LIV Golf participants. Rahm rattled off four top-10 finishes at the Masters before capturing his first green jacket in 2023, beating out LIV Golfers Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka by four strokes. Rahm has made the cut in all seven of his appearances at Augusta National, and he has an average scoring round of 70.50. Rahm has been one of the top performers in his first season in the LIV Golf league, and while he has yet to win an individual event, he is the only golfer to finish in the top 10 in all five events. The defending champion will look to join Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to win consecutive Masters Tournaments.

Phil Mickelson (250-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: 47th
  • LIV Golf Standings: 27th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: 30 (made the cut 27 times)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: T2
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: T58 at PGA Championship, MC at U.S. Open, MC at Open Championship

A three-time Masters champion (2004, 2006, 2010), there are few players in the field at Augusta this weekend with as much experience as Mickelson. He has made the cut in all but three Masters appearances, and he came close to capturing his fourth green jacket last year with a T2 finish. Mickelson has struggled on the LIV Golf circuit this season, with his only points coming from a T6 performance in Jeddah. That said, he wasn't lighting it up at this point last season and was still in contention at the 2023 Masters.

Bubba Watson (300-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T32
  • LIV Golf Standings: 40th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: 15 (made the cut 13 times)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: MC
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: DNP 

Watson joins Mickelson as the only multi-time Masters champion (2012, 2014) among the LIV Golf representation. Like Mickelson, Watson hasn't been lighting it up like we're used to seeing, with his best performance coming at LIV Golf Las Vegas with a T15 finish. He was in contention after the first round in Miami, but his four-under first round was dismantled by a four-over second round. Watson missed the cut at the 2023 Masters for just the second time in his career at Augusta National Golf Club, and his best finish since his victory in 2014 was a T5 finish in 2018.

Sergio Garcia (110-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: 2nd
  • LIV Golf Standings: 4th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: 24 (made the cut 15 times)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: MC
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: T27 at U.S. Open

Garcia was one four-foot putt away from capturing his first LIV Golf individual trophy since joining the league in 2022. He lost in the playoff to Burmester, which marked the second time this season that Garcia has lost in a playoff, the first coming in Mayakoba against Joaquin Niemann. Garcia was at least able to see his Fireballs GC teammate Abraham Ancer take the trophy in Hong Kong. Since winning the Masters in 2017, Garcia has missed the cut in four of his last five appearances at Augusta National Golf Club, as he managed to finish T23 in 2022.

Dustin Johnson (40-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T24 
  • LIV Golf Standings: 6th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: 13 (made the cut 11 times)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: T48 
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: T55 at PGA Championship, T10 at U.S. Open, MC at Open Championship

Johnson was at the top of the LIV Golf individual standings following his victory in Las Vegas, but he has failed to crack the top 20 in each of the last three events. He won the Masters in 2020, which was rescheduled for November due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of spectators didn't seem to bother Johnson, however, as he set a new Masters Tournament record with a 20-under score of 268. He missed the cut in 2021, but followed that up with finishes of T12 and T48 over the last two Masters Tournaments.

Charl Schwartzel (400-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T37
  • LIV Golf Schedule: 16th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: 14 (made the cut 10 times)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: T50
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: MC at Open Championship

Schwartzel's place in the LIV Golf standings is solely due to his T2 finish in Jeddah. Outside of that event, he has finished in 37th or worse in the other four tournaments. Schwartzel hasn't struggled at the Masters, however, as he has made the cut in each of the last four tournaments. He won at Augusta National in 2011 in just his second appearance at the Masters as he finished the tournament with rounds of 68 and 66. 

Patrick Reed (70-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T9
  • LIV Golf Standings: 30th 
  • Number of Masters Appearances: 10 (made the cut eight times)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: T4 
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: T18 at PGA Championship, T56 at U.S. Open, T33 at Open Championship

Reed had his best performance of the LIV Golf season in Miami, and he was in contention for an even better finish had it not been for a double bogey on the 18th hole on the Blue Monster course. His 4Aces squad hasn't fared much better, as the team has finished seventh or worse in four of the five LIV Golf events. Reed has made the cut in each of the last six Masters tournaments, a streak that started with a victory in 2018, and he has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four appearances.

The Rest of the Field

 Bryson DeChambeau (35-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T7 
  • LIV Golf Standings: 7th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: Seven (made the cut five times)
  • Best Finish at the Masters: T21 (2016)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: MC
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: T4 at PGA Championship, T20 at U.S. Open, T60 at Open Championship

DeChambeau quietly climbed up the leaderboard in Miami, finishing in a tie for seventh place with Stinger GC captain Louis Oosthuizen after a four-under 68 in the final round. After a T25 finish at the opening event in Mayakoba, DeChambeau has finished in the top 10 in each of the last four events. His Crushers GC squad sits in first place in the team standings, thanks to back-to-back victories in Jeddah and Hong Kong. DeChambeau made his Masters debut in 2016 and made the cut in his first five appearances at Augusta National, but he has failed to reach the weekend in each of the last two tournaments.

Brooks Koepka (16-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T45
  • LIV Golf Standings: 18th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: Eight (made the cut six times)
  • Best finish at the Masters: T2 (2019, 2023)
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: Won PGA Championship, T17 at U.S. Open, T64 at Open Championship

Koepka started the LIV golf season strong with a T5 finish in Mayakoba, and he followed that up with back-to-back T12 finishes in Las Vegas and Jeddah, with Smash GC winning the team event in Nevada. Koepka was in the top 10 following the first round in Miami, but he collapsed with scores of five-over 77 in each of the next two rounds. Koepka has come agonizingly close to donning the green jacket, including in 2023 when his lead after three rounds disappeared in a blink of an eye, with Rahm capturing the title. Koepka has finished top-12 in four of his last six appearances -- missing the cut in the two tournaments he didn't reach the weekend -- and he'll look to exorcize his Augusta National demons this week.

Joaquin Niemann (28-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T9
  • LIV Golf Standings: 1st
  • Number of Masters Appearances: Four (made the cut three times)
  • Best finish at the Masters: T16 (2023)
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: MC at PGA Championship, T32 at U.S. Open, MC at Open Championship

Niemann was one of three golfers to receive a special invitation to the Masters from Augusta National Golf Club chairman, Fred Ridley. It was a warranted decision, given the kind of season Niemann has had in 2024. He had three consecutive top-five finishes heading into the LIV Golf season, and he carried that momentum into victories at LIV Golf Mayakoba and LIV Golf Jeddah. NIemann is the only LIV player to win multiple individual trophies this season, which has him comfortably at the top of the individual season standings. He missed the cut in his first Masters appearance, but he has played all four rounds in his last three outings, including his best finish of T16 in 2023.

Cameron Smith (45-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: WD (illness)
  • LIV Golf Standings: 12th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: Seven (made the cut each time)
  • Best finish at the Masters: T2 (2020)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: T34 
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: T9 at PGA Championship, 4th at U.S. Open, T33 at Open Championship

Smith went into LIV Golf Miami riding a T2 finish in Hong Kong when he battled with Paul Casey and eventual winner Ancer in a three-way playoff. Smith's momentum came to a screeching halt, however, as he was forced to withdraw following the first round due to food poisoning, though it would take a lot more than a spoiled dinner to keep him from playing at Augusta. He has yet to miss the cut at the Masters, and he has finished in the top-10 at Augusta four times. 

Tyrrell Hatton (55-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: T4 
  • LIV Golf Standings: 13th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: Seven (made the cut five times)
  • Best finish at the Masters: T18 (2021)
  • Performance at 2023 Masters: T34
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: T15 at PGA Championship, T27 at U.S. Open, T20 at Open Championship

Hatton has gotten off to a good start in his first LIV Golf season, finishing in the top-15 in four of the five events. He entered the final round in Miami tied for second, and he stood on top of the leaderboard after scoring four-under on the front nine. The back nine was a different story for Hatton, however, as he scored bogeys on holes 10, 16 and 18 and was unable to make a final push for his first LIV Golf trophy, though he and captain Rahm did help Legion XIII capture their second team event of the season. Hatton has made the cut at the Masters in each of the past three tournaments, and he'll look to become the first English golfer since Nick Faldo in 1996 to put on the green jacket.

Adrian Meronk (180-1)

  • Performance at LIV Golf Miami: 17th
  • LIV Golf Standings: 17th
  • Number of Masters Appearances: One (2023 - MC)
  • Performance at other Majors in 2023: T40 at PGA Championship, MC at U.S. Open, T23 at Open Championship

Another rookie to the LIV Golf league this season, Meronk has been the best performer by far for Cleeks GC. After finishing 47th in Mayakoba, the Polish golfer finished 15th or better in the next three events, and his six-under 66 score in the second round at Miami tied Kieran Vincent for the best round of the tournament. Meronk was within three shots of the lead heading into Championship Sunday, but he was hampered by five bogeys on the back nine. The Blue Monster at Doral presents challenges similar to Augusta National Golf Club, so Meronk will have to play with more discipline if he wants to make his first cut at the Masters.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cullum Brownbridge
Cullum is a RotoWire contributor for the NFL, NBA, MLB and Golf. He is irrationally pessimistic about his favorite sports teams.
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