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08th Apr 2024

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry chasing Masters dream at Augusta

Paddy Morgan

Masters live

“I’m not trying to win it from the first tee shot. I think that’s something that I’ve tried to learn. It’s a 72-hole golf tournament.”

2024 US Masters is golf’s first major in eight months. 13 LIV Tour players will be participating at this week’s event at a par-72 Augusta National that includes 10 par 4s, four par 3s and four par 5s.

89 players will compete in the 2024 US Masters – all attempting to win the green jacket, which includes five-time winner Tiger Woods. This week will be Rory McIlroy’s 15th attempt in trying to become a winner of all four majors.

McIlroy has participated at Augusta 14 times which includes finishing inside the top 10 on seven occasions. McIlroy’s best finish at Augusta was a runner-up to Scottie Scheffler, in 2022. His last major win was the PGA Championship at Valhalla, in 2014, with his two best opportunities, since then, at 2022 Open Championship and 2023 US Open.

The Northern Irishman’s last five first rounds at Augusta have a score average of 73.8. The four-time major champion will play day one and two of 2024 Masters with world number one, Scottie Scheffler and 2021 Olympic gold medallist, Xander Schauffele. The three-time FedEx Cup champion started 2024 with a runner-up finish to Tommy Fleetwood at Dubai Invitational and his fourth win of Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Tommy Fleetwood of England embrace on the 18th green as Fleetwood wins the Dubai Invitational at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club on January 14, 2024 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry chasing green blazer glory at the Masters

Rory McIlroy’s best finish in 2024 PGA Tour Florida swing was a tied 19th at Sawgrass and no top 10s resulted in been ranked 129th in strokes gained approaching the greens. McIlroy decided to visit Butch Harmon in Las Vegas to have a second opinion regarding his swing. He then moved up to 46th Greens in Regulation Percentage due to a third-place finish at Valero Texas Open. McIlroy is ranked fourth in Driving Distance and an improved iron game will hopefully give himself a chance of been in contention on Saturday and Sunday.

This week will be Shane Lowry’s ninth time to play in the Masters. Lowry’s best finish at Augusta was a tied third, in 2022. In 2023, the Offaly native shot a final round of 73 to finish tied 16th. Lowry will play day one and two of 2024 Masters with JT Poston and 2024 Valero Texas Open winner, Akshay Bhatia.

Lowry’s best PGA Tour finishes in 2024 were two top fives in a row at Cognizant Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational. Iron play has been Lowry’s strength in 2024 as he is ranked third in Strokes Gained Approach the Greens. The 2019 Champion Golfer Of The Year’s good Florida form rewarded him in returning inside top 50 of the world golf rankings. The two-time Ryder Cup participant’s last worldwide win was at Wentworth, in 2022.

2022 Masters champion Scheffler is the overwhelming favourite for this year’s edition. The American’s last three starts includes two wins at Bay Hill & Sawgrass and a tied second in Houston. Scheffler is currently ranked first in Strokes Gained total, Birdie Average, Scoring Average, Strokes Gained Approach the Greens and Greens in Regulation Percentage. Jon Rahm is the defending Masters champion and this is his first major since joining LIV Tour, late in 2023. Rahm’s best LIV Tour finish in 2024 was a tied third at Mayakoba.

Brooks Koepka finished joint runner-up to Rahm in the 2023 Masters but went on to win his fifth major at Oak Hill. Koepka ranked third with a score average of 71.56 category for players that have played 25 to 49 rounds at Augusta.

Jordan Spieth is a three-time major champion which includes winning the 2015 Masters. Spieth is ranked first in category 25 to 49 rounds at Augusta with a score average of 70.66. Xander Schauffele’s best 2024 PGA Tour finishes are six top 10s. Schauffele has finished three times inside the top 10 at Augusta which includes a joint runner-up to Woods in 2019.

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