Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler went head-to-head on the last day of the WGC Matchplay, but not in the way that most golf fans had expected. Their form and seeding suggested that they should have met in the final, but defeats in the last four meant that the two men had to settle for the consolation game.
McIlroy emerged with the win, but this is unlikely to be the last time that he goes up against Scheffler.
Preparation has begun for the first Major of 2023, and Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy are up there with the favorites for the US Masters. Current Masters 2023 odds are the two favorites with odds of +750 and +650 respectively.
Jon Rahm is next at +800, while 2015 champion Jordan Spieth leads a fairly distant chasing pack at +1600. With the world’s top golfers on show, there are many other options and those who like to bet on golf may also want to consider 2022 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and reigning British Open champion Cam Smith, among others.
There will be challenges but after a strong opening to the season, much of the attention is on Scheffler and McIlroy.
Scottie Scheffler will go into the 2023 US Masters as the defending champion and the number one golfer in the world rankings. At Augusta 12 months ago, Scheffler finished three shots clear of a chasing pack which was led by runner-up Rory McIlroy.
That first Major came at the end of a hot run of form that had seen Scottie win three PGA tournaments in the lead-up to the Masters. In 2023, he’s on a similar role. Scheffler may have lost out in his defense of the WGC Matchplay, but this season has already produced wins in the Phoenix Open and the Players Championship.
He’s number one for a reason, and Scottie Scheffler is the man to beat.
McIlroy one short of a Grand Slam
There are four Major titles in golf and Rory McIlroy has won three of them. As he tees up at Augusta, there will be two things bothering the Northern Irishman. The US Masters is the only Major to have eluded him thus far, and his best finish in this tournament saw him claim the runner-up slot behind Scheffler in 2022.
Secondly, his most recent Major win came at the PGA Championship in 2014. He’ll be aware that another victory in one of the big four tournaments is long overdue.
It isn’t just the Rory and Scottie show. There are many challenges expected from within the Masters field, and Jon Rahm should be a big threat. He’s already won three times this year but is working his way back to form following his withdrawal from the Players Championship.
It should be a thrilling four days at the Augusta National with many top players looking to compete, but it could all come down to another final day showdown between Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler.