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The Masters 2024 tips: Best first-round leader bets

09 Apr | BY Adrian Mills | MIN READ TIME |
The Masters 2024 tips: Best first-round leader bets

Our tips for the first round at Augusta include hot starts for the world No. 1 and a young European star.

Thursday marks the opening round of the 88th edition of the Masters and 89 competitors will be hoping to make a fast start on day one at Augusta National.

World number one Scottie Scheffler is the 10/1 favourite to be leading the way after the opening 18 holes, ahead of 16/1 Rory McIlroy and defending champion Jon Rahm at 18/1.

Xander Schauffele is priced at 22/1, narrowly ahead of 25/1 chances Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka, while Joaquin Niemann comes in next at 28/1.


Scottie Scheffler to be first-round leader /
Ludvig Aberg to be first-round leader /
Tony Finau to be first-round leader /

Red-hot Scheffler to start fast

Scheffler has been in fantastic form this season, having chalked up back-to-back wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship, along with a further three top-five finishes.

The American will take some stopping in his pursuit of a second Green Jacket and there is every chance he can get off to a quick start, something he did on his last start at the Houston Open when he was one off the pace after day one.

All aspects of Scheffler’s game are in fine fettle heading into the first Major of the campaign, and it’s also worth noting that he ranks third in first-round scoring average on the PGA Tour this season.

The 27-year-old was three strokes off the early pace last year when Rahm claimed the spoils, while he was a shot closer to the first-round pacesetters in 2022 before going on to win the event.

Swedish rookie to shine in Georgia

Fuzzy Zoeller was the last rookie to win the Masters, claiming the spoils in 1979, but one player who will be looking to etch his name into the history book is Ludvig Aberg, who has made a rapid rise in the game.

The 24-year-old Swedish sensation only turned professional last year, but he has already won once on both the DP World Tour and PGA Tour, while he was also part of Europe’s triumphant Ryder Cup team.

On his Masters and Major debut this week, this classy operator can continue to showcase his talents on one of the biggest stages around by taking the early lead at Augusta National.

Finau to get into the early mix

Tony Finau is still searching for his Major breakthrough and, while he is a tempting price at 33/1 in the outright market, the 50/1 available on him to be leading after round one is hard to ignore.

The American’s fantastic tee-to-green game makes him a great fit for this course and he is ranked sixth in this category on the PGA Tour this season, while he is also seventh in approach.

If Finau can make some improvement with the putter, the club that has arguably stopped him from winning more in his career, then he could be a big contender and a fast start to the tournament can be made.

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