US Masters 2023: Can A LIV golfer upset the PGA?


The upcoming 2023 US Masters Tournament at Augusta National could spark plenty of controversy in golfing circles.

The decision by organisers to allow players from the rebel LIV Golf competition to compete in the event was not universally welcomed in the sport.

Previous champions Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel and Phil Mickelson will all feature in this year’s Masters.

Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka also qualify as they have won one of the four majors in the past five years.

A quick look at the latest Masters betting suggests Smith has the best chance of sticking two fingers up at the PGA Tour and taking home the Green Jacket.

Smith finished joint-third on five-under-par in last year’s event, before winning the British Open by one shot later in the season.

However, the Australian has gone off the boil in recent months and it is difficult to imagine him claiming his second major title.

DeChambeau’s previous record at the Masters does not point to him being a candidate to win the Masters, but the same cannot be said of Koepka.

The four-time major winner finished tied for second in 2019 and has the ability to win the tournament if everything falls into place.

His oversized ego will likely be fuelled by going head-to-head with PGA players and he could be a dangerous proposition at the Masters.

Of the six previous champions representing LIV in the Masters, Johnson appeals as the most likely winner this time around.

The 2020 champion has recorded three top five finishes in his last seven appearances at the Masters and loves playing at Augusta.

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He has been one of the standout performers on the LIV circuit, finishing in the top 10 in six of his seven tournaments and ending 2022 as the leading money winner.

Johnson cemented his name in the history books with his victory in 2020, posting a record-breaking 20-under-par score to clinch the title.

He shot 65 in the first and third rounds, thus becoming the first player to shoot multiple rounds of 65 or better at the tournament.

Johnson had little problem fending off his rivals on that occasion, powering clear on the final day to secure an impressive five-shot success.

He led the field in greens in regulation, hitting 60 out of 72. That was the highest mark in the tournament since 1980.

Johnson also averaged 306.7 yards off the tee and hit 78.6 percent of the fairways, highlighting that his game is ideally suited to the course at Augusta.

The 38-year-old is a top-priced 25/1 to win the 2023 Masters and that looks far too big given his recent record at the tournament.

The PGA Tour’s top names such as Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy will undoubtedly be eager to stop any LIV golfer winning the Masters this year.

However, Johnson appeals as the value bet in a tournament that could well become feisty as it reaches the business end.



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