The Masters 2024 LIVE: Previews, predictions and odds as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods prepare for Augusta

Rory McIlroy will try to dethrone Jon Rahm at Augusta  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy will try to dethrone Jon Rahm at Augusta (Getty Images)

The first men’s golf major of the year is nearly upon us as the best players in the world descend on Augusta National for The Masters.

Twelve months after pulling on the famous green jacket for the first time following an emotional victory dedicated to his hero Seve Ballesteros, Jon Rahm returns to defend his title with intrigue added by his blockbuster defection to the breakaway LIV Golf series.

Negotiations continue between the PGA Tour and LIV’s Saudi Arabian backers over a possible partnership but, for now, all eyes will be on the course as Rahm and his fellow rebels such as the always-dangerous Brooks Koepka take on those who have remained on Tour. They include the likes of 2022 winner and this year’s dominant player Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy in pursuit of a career grand slam and the Augusta-suited Jordan Spieth.

Golf legend Tiger Woods is set to play and says he’s targeting “one more green jacket” to take him to 16 major titles despite the pain he faces on the vast majority of shots at Augusta.

Follow all the build-up ahead of Thursday’s start with our live blog below and get the latest Masters odds and tips here:

The Masters 2024 - live updates

  • The Masters begins at Augusta National tomorrow as the best men’s golfers in the world compete for the first major of the year

  • Jon Rahm returns as defending champion but has since made a controversial switch to LIV Golf

  • Rory McIlroy is targeting a career grand slam by finally pulling on the green jacket

  • Tiger Woods believes he can achieve ‘one more’ Masters win despite playing in pain

Golf has descended into Brexit with balls – the Masters must reunite a divided sport

Wednesday 10 April 2024 14:00 , Luke Baker

There has always been a sense that the Masters is a fairytale or fantasy for golfers and perhaps next week’s first major championship of 2024 most resembles The Wizard of Oz. There are the extremes of colour (Augusta National loves green), a fabled route (onto the property along Magnolia Lane and around it via Amen Corner), peculiar tradition (the Butler Cabin), a strange but beguiling prize (the green jacket) and a cast of characters desperately trying to overcome their flaws.

There is no scarecrow who wants a brain, tin man in search of a heart or lion seeking courage. Instead, Scottie Scheffler wants a hot putter, Rory McIlroy needs to stay patient and, OK, Xander Schauffele would like to turn his many major championship top-10 finishes into a win so maybe courage of a kind is what he’s missing.

But this year, there is an added feature for the Augusta fairytale and it is the sense that something malevolent and threatening is hanging over this other-worldly location.

Read Matt Cooper’s full preview of the 2024 Masters:

Golf has descended into Brexit with balls – the Masters must reunite a divided sport

Shane Lowry reveals ‘bucket list’ targets ahead of Masters

Wednesday 10 April 2024 13:45 , Luke Baker

Shane Lowry has revealed that a green jacket ranks highly on his “bucket list” as he bids for Masters triumph.

The 2019 Open winner has produced a number of encouraging performances at Augusta in recent years, finishing tied for third in 2022.

The Irishman’s victory at Portrush remains his sole major triumph, but Lowry is confident that his best golf remains ahead of him and he can still challenge in the biggest events.

The 37-year-old was a part of Europe’s successful Ryder Cup in Rome last year and would like to taste victory on American soil, too, while an Olympic medal is also in his sights.

Shane Lowry reveals ‘bucket list’ targets ahead of Masters

Rory McIlroy reacts to Tiger Woods backing him to win Masters for career grand slam

Wednesday 10 April 2024 13:30 , Luke Baker

Tiger Woods reiterated his belief that Rory McIlroy will definitely win the Masters during his career to complete the grand slam as McIlroy kept his own media duties to a minimum.

McIlroy was the last player to register at Augusta National around 30 minutes before his scheduled press conference, which started early and saw the world No 2 answer just seven questions.

One of those was in response to Woods having earlier insisted it was just a “matter of time” before McIlroy earns a green jacket to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Woods himself in having won all four major titles.

“It’s flattering,” McIlroy said. “It’s nice to hear, in my opinion, the best player ever to play the game say something like that.

“Does that mean that it’s going to happen? Obviously not. But he’s been around the game long enough to know that I at least have the potential to do it. I know I’ve got the potential to do it too. It’s not as if I haven’t been a pretty good player for the last couple of decades. But, yeah, it’s nice to hear it when it comes out of his mouth.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Tiger Woods reveals ambition to win ‘one more’ green jacket as he seeks record-breaking cut at The Masters

Wednesday 10 April 2024 13:15 , Luke Baker

Tiger Woods insists he can win a sixth green jacket and 16th major title, despite detailing the pain he faces on the vast majority of shots at Augusta National.

Woods has played fewer than five-and-a-half competitive rounds since undergoing ankle surgery in April last year after withdrawing from the Masters during the third round. The 48-year-old returned to action in the Hero World Challenge in December and completed all 72 holes, but was forced to withdraw from the Genesis Invitational in February due to illness after six holes of the second round.

Woods had also suffered a back spasm which led to a dreaded shank on the 18th hole in round one, but stuck to his tried and tested answer when asked what he thought he could achieve this week. “If everything comes together, I think I can get one more,” Woods said, adding with a smile: “Do I need to describe that any more than that, or are we good?”

Yet that question and answer came just minutes after Woods had candidly described the issues that the litany of injuries he has suffered over the years – including almost losing his right leg following a car accident in 2021 – cause him on anything but a perfectly flat lie.

Tiger Woods reveals ambition to win ‘one more’ green jacket

Jon Rahm explains why LIV Golf switch will not harm his Masters defence

Wednesday 10 April 2024 13:00 , Luke Baker

Jon Rahm insists his competitive edge has not been dulled by his move to LIV Golf as he bids to become just the fourth player to win back-to-back Masters titles.

Rahm’s shock move to the Saudi-backed breakaway competition came after he had previously pledged his loyalty to the PGA Tour and criticised LIV’s 54-hole format, with no cut and a shotgun start as “not a golf tournament”.

The two-time major winner has failed to win any of the five LIV events he has played but travelled to Augusta on the back of finishing fourth in Miami on Sunday and winning the team event at Doral.

“I’ve had a lot of fun playing in those events,” Rahm said. “The competition’s still there. Yeah, they’re smaller fields but you still have to beat some of the best players in the world and you still have to play at the same level you have to play on the PGA Tour to win those events.”

Rahm explains why LIV Golf switch will not harm his Masters defence

Masters contenders: Cameron Smith

Wednesday 10 April 2024 12:46 , Luke Baker

Somewhat of a forgotten star since his move to LIV, Cameron Smith was, at one point, golf’s hottest property having won the Players Championship and Open Championship in the same season.

A quiet character off the course, it’s easy to forget the Australian’s impressive record at Augusta, with four top-ten finishes in the last six years. Having notched up impressive performances, too, at last year’s PGA Championship and US Open, finishing T9 and fourth respectively, it’s clear that there are few courses capable of withstanding the 30-year-old’s aggressive style and flat-stick prowess.

With a T2 finish at the LIV’s most recent event in Hong Kong, Smith may well be peaking at the right time and could slide under the radar of his more outspoken and higher-profile LIV colleagues.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Masters contenders: Joaquin Niemann

Wednesday 10 April 2024 12:34 , Luke Baker

Joaquin Niemann was the only golfer keen to lean into the LIV-PGA Tour rivalry before last year’s Masters, suggesting he had a fire under his belly to outperform his PGA Tour rivals “knowing that they hate us”.

An eventual T16 finish didn’t give him much reason to gloat but the Chilean returns to Georgia in the best form of his life, having enjoyed a productive winter on the DP World Tour followed by two wins in LIV’s first four events.

Such displays earned the 25-year-old a late invite to the Masters but, with last year’s finish at Augusta marking his first top-20 in a major, he must now take his game to another level yet again if he is to back up his invite and contend with the game’s best.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Masters contenders: Wyndham Clark

Wednesday 10 April 2024 12:22 , Luke Baker

Clark was a 120/1 outsider when he captured US Open glory at Los Angeles Country Club last June but his odds of doubling his major tally at the Masters will be substantially shorter.

Clark won for the first time on the PGA Tour only one month prior to tasting major success last year but, since then, the American’s displays have ensured he won’t be regarded as a flash-in-the-pan major champion.

Capturing his second victory on tour at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February this year, the 30-year-old finished runner-up to Scheffler in back-to-back weeks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship. This April will be Clark’s first trip around Augusta in competition but there is no suggestion so far in his flourishing career that such a prospect should faze him.


Masters contenders: Brooks Koepka

Wednesday 10 April 2024 12:10 , Luke Baker

Following a tough spell with injuries in 2022, Brooks Koepka looked ready to re-announce himself on the major stage at this tournament last year before falling short after Rahm’s superb Sunday showing.

The American, though, didn’t have to wait long to break his near four-year winless major run, tasting victory at the following month’s PGA Championship at Bay Hill with a commanding two-shot victory.

Where Scheffler revels in his unnerving consistency, Koepka’s day-to-day record is more hot and cold. He has three wins since his move to LIV but has finished inside the top ten just once in their first four events.

But the 33-year-old is the man for the big occasion and there is no greater stage than Augusta. With two second-place finishes at Augusta in his last five starts and quite possibly the greatest major championship player of his generation, he is not someone to be overlooked.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Masters contenders: Ludvig Aberg

Wednesday 10 April 2024 11:58 , Luke Baker

Most golf fans are well aware of the statistic which makes Aberg appear an unlikely contender, namely that Fuzzy Zoeller was the last player to win the Masters on their tournament debut back in 1979.

In addition, the Masters will be Aberg’s first appearance in any major, but the 24-year-old Swede has defied the odds since turning professional in June 2023, winning on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour and justifying his wild card by helping Europe regain the Ryder Cup.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Masters contenders: Xander Schauffele

Wednesday 10 April 2024 11:46 , Luke Baker

Schauffele insisted the best was yet to come in his career after narrowly missing out on the Players Championship title, the Olympic champion taking a one-shot lead into the final round only to get overhauled by a charging Scheffler.

Failing to get over the line perpetuated the belief in some circles that Schauffele has underachieved, although he has seven PGA Tour titles to go with his gold medal from Tokyo, along with 11 top-10 major finishes, including three in his last five starts at Augusta.


Masters contenders: Rory McIlroy

Wednesday 10 April 2024 11:34 , Luke Baker

McIlroy’s 10th attempt to win the Masters and complete a career grand slam comes on the back of some underwhelming form since winning in Dubai in January, although the world No 2 remains second favourite behind Scheffler.

His recent record at Augusta National includes a thrilling final round of 64 in 2022 and two missed cuts and the four-time major winner is reportedly set to skip the pre-tournament par-three contest to fully focus on his bid to make history.


Masters contenders: Jon Rahm

Wednesday 10 April 2024 11:22 , Luke Baker

Started last year with a four-putt double bogey on the first but still shot an opening 65 and ended up winning his second major title by four shots over LIV Golf duo Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson.

Remarkably returns to Augusta as a fellow member of the Saudi-backed breakaway, a shock move which ensures his competitive sharpness will be under scrutiny.

Will be hoping Koepka and Mickelson proved last year that experience of the course is more important than current form.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Masters contenders: Scottie Scheffler

Wednesday 10 April 2024 11:10 , Luke Baker

The 2022 champion has been in brilliant form in 2024, winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational by five shots and seven days later becoming the first player to win back-to-back Players Championship titles at Sawgrass.

Switching putters on the advice of Rory McIlroy has proved vital, although missed short putts did cost him a third straight win in the Houston Open. Rightly rated favourite for a second green jacket at the kind of odds previously only offered for peak-era Tiger Woods.


Why does TV coverage of The Masters start so late?

Wednesday 10 April 2024 10:25 , Luke Baker

Golf fans hoping to tune in to The Masters will again have to wait for full television coverage to begin as organisers stick with their traditional broadcasting model.

Established in 1934, the first men’s major of the year is held at Augusta in Georgia, with about 90 of the world’s best golfers battling to pull on the famous green jacket.

Sky Sports continues to be the exclusive live broadcast partner of the event in the United Kingdom, but while the first golfers will tee off at about 1pm BST in rounds one and two, it is not until 7.30pm that viewers will be able to watch every group live.

Why does TV coverage of The Masters start so late?

Masters TV channel: How to watch golf major at Augusta

Wednesday 10 April 2024 10:06 , Luke Baker

The best golfers in the world descend on Augusta for The Masters, the first men’s major of the year. Twelve months on from pulling on the famous green jacket, Jon Rahm returns to defend his title with intrigue added by his blockbuster defection to the breakaway LIV Golf series.

Negotiations continue between the PGA Tour and LIV’s Saudi Arabian backers over a possible partnership but for now all eyes will be on the course as Rahm and his fellow rebels take on those who have remained on Tour. They include 2022 winner Scottie Scheffler, the dominant player in men’s golf this year and the favourite for victory.

Here’s how to watch and everything you need to know:

Masters TV channel: How to watch golf major at Augusta

The Masters 2024

Wednesday 10 April 2024 09:59 , Luke Baker

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of The 2024 Masters from Augusta.

The first men’s golf major of the year gets underway tomorrow and we’re here to bring you all the latest build-up to what promises to be a fascinating tournament.

As ever, there are so many storylines competing for attention at the event, so stick with us and we’ll bring you everything that matters.