Who will win Masters 2024? Evaluating odds of Scottie Scheffler, Max Homa, top of leaderboard entering Round 4


AUGUSTA, Ga. — The volunteer in charge of changing the numbers behind the large white leaderboard on the 18th hole at Augusta National Golf Club hung a red 6 where “SCHEFFLER” and “13” met. It represented an eagle as Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world, moved back into a tie for the lead at the 2024 Masters, one he had spent the prior few holes kicking away. A murmur went through the crowd at No. 18. A man who walked past uttered, “Man, that’s crazy.”

Except … it’s really not.

You have heard about leaderboard gravity where players who are not equipped to handle the lead naturally fade from the top of a tournament. What you haven’t heard about is leaderboard buoyancy, which is what Scheffler exudes — and has for the last two years.

It’s tough for the rest of the world to compete when the best iron player is also the best from tee to green while being mentally and emotionally elite, the best course manager, tough as hell and a complete and total competitive dog when the oxygen gets thin.

After going out in 35 on Saturday and taking a one-shot lead to the second nine, Scheffler started double bogey-bogey on the second nine and nearly made another, needing a 5-foot par putt on the par-3 12th to fall so that he wouldn’t drop all the way to 3 under, well back of the new 6-under lead held by several peers.

A fellow media member called it a “a pivotal moment.” Indeed, but Scheffler canned it and walked way back to the 13th tee box surely thinking that the Masters was slipping just a bit.

Instead of fading, Scheffler hammered a drive and reached the 13th green in two shots before making a 31-foot eagle and unleashing a business-like fist pump that, as one of his fellow competitors, I would not have wanted to see.

Was it crazy in the moment? Perhaps, especialy because he had played the first few holes of the second nine so poorly. But this is who Scottie Scheffler: incredible at golf, tremendous mentally and somebody you don’t want to see across from you in the ring unless you’re ready to fight to the death.

Despite not pulling away as expected Saturday, Scheffler ensured — by the end of Round 3 — that the 2024 Masters still ran through him. He added a birdie on No. 15 and now sits 7 under, one clear of the rest of the field. Those around him atop the leaderboard had Scheffler on the ropes briefly, and then suddenly, he slipped away. It’s a chance they may not get again, and there’s no guarantee they get another opportunity.

Here’s who could feasibly win the Masters on Sunday and why, should Scheffler falter, they have an opportunity to claim a green jacket. Remember, history tell us that anyone further than four strokes back of the lead entering the final 18 holes has an extremely difficult path ahead of them to win the Masters; the winner has been within that margin over the last 27 playings of this tournament at Augusta National, per Justin Ray.

2. Collin Morikawa (-6)

Odds: 3-1

Why he’ll win: I did not see this coming! Morikawa is near the top of the field with his iron play. Only Max Homa has been better. Plus, Morikawa has experience winning major championships. In 16 such appearances, he’s won two of them. When he’s close to majors, he closes them out, and Sunday he seeks the third leg of the career grand slam.

Why he won’t: Morikawa’s been pretty mediocre so far this season. Outside of a nice showing in Hawaii, he’s done basically nothing since and did not come into this event with any buzz at all. That doesn’t mean much now, but Sunday pressure has a way of exposing shortcomings, and Morikawa has had a lot of those this year (specifically, it’s been the worst approach play of his career so far). 

3. Max Homa (-5)

Odds: 9-1

Why he’ll win: Homa was so steady on Saturday. He’s been the best iron player in the field, and his distance control has been outrageously good. If it turns into an iron contest — and it often does at Augusta National — there’s nobody else I’d rather have (other than Scheffler!) than Max Homa. 

Why he won’t: Max, who wears his heart on his sleeve in admirable ways, is going to feel some things on Sunday that he’s never felt before. This is his first experience truly in the cauldron of a major championship, and Scheffler has a huge edge on him in that regard.

4. Ludvig Åberg (-4)

Odds: 10-1

Why he’ll win: Sometimes, it’s better to not know what you don’t know. That’s been a refrain at times around Augusta National this week, and Åberg knows as little as anyone else in the field given that this is his first major championship appearance. He’s been incredible over the last two days, shooting a round-of-the-day 69 on Friday and following it with a 2-under 70 on Saturday. That 5 under over the last two days is the best in the field. He’s among the handful of best strikers in this field, and those are usually the guys who are at or around the lead late on a Sunday. Åberg is the guy many have projected him to be.

Why he won’t: Winning the first major you play is just not something that happens often. Åberg is special, but winning a green jacket in his first major appearance would be historic — something that has literally never happened before.

5. Bryson DeChambeau (-3)

Odds: 18-1

Why he’ll win: He’s been the best driver in the field so far this week. He’s a former major champion at a big-boy golf course (Winged Foot, 2020 U.S. Open), and he can put himself in some unique positions at this golf course. That does not mean DeChambeau will convert all of those approach shots, but he should at least have chances, especially on the par 5s, that a lot of other players who are chasing probably will not. 

“When he drives it like that, he makes this golf course a little bit different,” said Gary Woodland, who played with Bryson on Thursday and Friday.

Why he won’t: DeChambeau proved Sunday that he still struggles a bit with the tweener shots, making a 7 on No. 15 after hitting his third in the water. I’m not sure that short game is ready for the pressure of a Sunday at a place that demands the creativity that Augusta National demands.



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