The top six early contenders for Masters 2024 glory at Augusta

Masters Jon Rahm

The Masters will return in the second week of April 2024 and, crucially, will not adjust its qualifying to aid LIV Golf players.

This is likely to impact the field in some way, with many top LIV stars likely to miss the event.

Here we look at the players making a strong early case for a big Masters push.

Brooks Koepka

The only LIV golfer to take part in the Ryder Cup, Koepka hasn’t expressed much sympathy for his cohorts in the breakaway league, insisting they need to tailor their seasons smarter in order to qualify for the big events on the traditional tours.

Koepka has twice finished as the runner-up at Augusta and must feel that the clock is ticking when it comes to claiming the coveted Green Jacket.

He has secured his place at the next five Masters with his PGA Championship win at Oak Hill and might be one of the few LIV golf stars in the field.

Jordan Spieth

It will have been nine years since Jordan Spieth won his very first Major at Augusta when he takes his place in the field for the 2024 Masters.

Spieth hasn’t been able to repeat success in any of the Majors but has won three of the four showpieces and finished as the runner-up in the missing piece, the PGA Championship.

He has gone without a tournament win in 2023, although he was involved in a playoff for the Heritage for the second event in a row, losing out to Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick.

Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland has enjoyed a breakout 2023 and narrowly missed out on a first Major championship at Oak Hill.

Hovland has only cracked the top 10 once at Augusta, with his tie for seventh this season, his best effort to date.

In 2023 he won big tournaments at the Memorial, BMW Championship and the Tour Championship to signal that he is a real contender for Major glory.

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler had a memorable weekend at Augusta in 2022 but this term he wasn’t able to mount a push in the final round.

Scheffler’s 2022 Masters win remains his only Major to date, although he has endured late heartbreak at both the US Open and PGA Championship.

He didn’t claim any Majors in 2023 but would secure his second Phoenix Open championship and a significant triumph at TPC Sawgrass.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy ruffled a few feathers during the Ryder Cup recently, but he also laid down a marker as a potential candidate for more Major honours in 2024.

McIlroy came agonisingly close to completing his career Grand Slam at Augusta in 2022, but his second-place finish is still his best effort at the Masters.

McIlroy very definitely has the game to win the Masters, but there are question marks around his ability to handle the pressure.

Jon Rahm

The defending champion, Jon Rahm, is the strong favourite for the title, even if nobody has defended the Masters title since Tiger Woods went back-to-back in 2001 and 2002.

Rahm would be just the fourth man in history to defend the title at Augusta and the first from continental Europe.

Rahm might yet prove to be the man who benefits most from LIV Golf departures, as he is in great form right now.