2024 Masters Golf Pools: Strategy, Ideas, Expert Picks & Predictions For Augusta National

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Written By John Haslbauer | Last Updated
masters golf pool picks

The most popular week of the year for golf pools is Masters week. So if you’re a casual sports fan, hesitant to bet Masters odds, and just want to play in a contest with friends, you’ve come to the right place even if you’ve never heard of half the players in this field. This strategy guide will walk you through some of the best options in each tier for your 2024 Masters golf pool picks.

I’ve also already written about Masters DraftKings picks for daily fantasy contests that could apply to traditional pools, too.

Strategy For Masters Golf Pool Picks

Similar to a daily fantasy tournament strategy (DraftKings, FanDuel, etc.), game theory is key for Masters golf pool picks. It’s best to first understand who the popular players in each tier are going to be, then decide which ones you want to double down on and which ones you’re comfortable fading for a more contrarian option to differentiate your lineup. Below, we’ll go through the consensus Popular and Pivot plays in each tier. The format in each golf pool will vary, but the below tiers are structured in order of consensus betting odds, as is most common for golf pools.

How Do Masters Pools Work?

Typically, the best combined score under par of the players rostered from each tier wins a Masters pool. Some pools will severely penalize one of your players’ scores if they miss the cut. For example, if a player misses the cut with a score of +2, the pool may add ten strokes and make the player +12, making it critical that the players you pick make the cut. Also, check your pool rules to see if the worst score is not counted among your picks. Sometimes, this is a feature of golf pool rules and scoring.

Tier 1: Top 1-7 Players

The Popular Play: Scottie Scheffler

The first Major championship of 2024 has a much different feel to it compared to last season. What was once a three-headed monster of Scheffler, Rahm, and Rory has suddenly become Scheffler and then everyone else. It’s hard not to get into hyperboles when describing Scottie Scheffler’s golf game at the moment, but it is truly the most dominant stretch of golf we’ve seen since prime Tiger Woods. If I was making one pool lineup, I would start it with Scheffler, assuming more than half my pool will do the same, and try to get contrarian elsewhere.

The Pivot Play: Brooks Koepka

If you’re not going to take Scheffler in this tier of your pools, you should still expect him to finish somewhere in the top five, so you’ll need a player who is battle-tested enough to go toe-to-toe with him on Sunday. That’s where Brooks Koepka comes in. He leads the post-Tiger era of golfers with 5 career Major championships and is coming off a 2023 campaign that included a runner-up at The Masters and a win at the PGA Championship. Don’t get caught up in the idiosyncrasies of his LIV form. Brooks in a Major is always a good idea.

Tier 2: Top 8-22 Players

The Popular Play: Will Zalatoris

There is no obvious choice after the top-7 players in this field are off the board. Headlining this tier are Joaquin Niemann, Ludvig Aberg, and Wyndham Clark, none of whom have any course history to feel great about. Experience is crucial at Augusta National, so I’m favoring Zalatoris’ unblemished Masters resume. He’s finished T6 and 2nd in two prior appearances here, and has placed top-10 in six of his first nine career Major starts.

The Pivot Play: Cameron Smith

Keeping the course history theme, the hype behind Cameron Smith has diminished dramatically after an underwhelming season on the LIV tour. But this is Augusta National we’re talking about, and at 30 years old, Smith remains in the prime years of his career, searching for the elusive green jacket. He’s placed top-10 in three of his last four Masters appearances and lost in a playoff two starts ago at LIV Hong Kong to prove his form is not long gone when healthy.

Tier 3: Top 23-54 Players

The Popular Play: Cameron Young

Like his college roommate at Wake Forest, Cameron Young has earned the reputation of a Major specialist, thriving in difficult conditions with four top-10s in Majors since 2022. That includes a T7 finish here at the 2023 Masters, proving he has quickly deciphered the code to score at this nuanced venue. Young is in incredible ball-striking form leading in, with four top-15s over his last six starts, and seems like the safest play on the board in this range.

The Pivot Play: Si Woo Kim

Speaking of safe, consistent form and immaculate ball-striking form, Kim makes for an intriguing pivot in Masters pools. On a streak of 10 consecutive made cuts with six top-25s over that span, Kim is not the type of player you need to worry about sinking your Pool lineup’s hopes while still offering an enticing ceiling. An accurate driver of the ball with elite approach play and touch around the greens, Kim has made it through the cut in six consecutive trips to The Masters and ranks atop the field in Bogey Avoidance.

Tier 4: Top 55-75 Players

The Popular Play: Stephan Jaeger

There is no standout popular play in this tier, with each of these players sharing the same flaws between either lack of Masters experience or recent form. I imagine most who have followed the 2024 PGA TOUR season closely will gravitate toward Jaeger in this spot, though. A winner two weeks ago at the Texas Children’s Houston Open at Memorial Park, he proved up to the challenge of grinding in difficult, firm, and undulated conditions, ultimately out-dueling Scottie Scheffler by one stroke.

He’s shown to be a great fit for long courses that emphasize long iron approach play, also finishing T3 at both the Mexico Open and Farmers Insurance Open earlier this season.

The Pivot Play: Sergio Garcia

Looking down the list of value players in this range, Sergio Garcia is probably the most recognizable household name; won The Masters fairly recently (2017), suits the course well as a bomber, and is coming off of a great runner-up finish at LIV Miami last week. Brooks Koepka parlayed a LIV win the week prior to The Masters into a runner-up finish the following week, so we should not completely dismiss Sergio’s sudden display of form, even if it was predominantly carried by his putter.

Tier 5: Top 76+ Players

The Popular Play: Erik van Rooyen

A very boom-or-bust player, van Rooyen is an appealing target as the last man in your pool lineups. At The Masters, the top 50 and ties in this field of 89 will make it through the cut, so I don’t think Pool players should be more concerned with finding players with “boom” potential in this tier. One of the most skilled ball-strikers in this field, van Rooyen has also raised his putting baseline this season and displayed his standout long iron play in his Worldwide Technology Championship win last fall.

The Pivot Play: Austin Eckroat

Though making his Masters debut this week, Eckroat has shown enough consistency in recent weeks and on comp, difficult conditions to warrant a flier pick on this tier. He finished top-10 at the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club last year, a great comp to Augusta National’s oversized property with large, firm, fast, and undulating greens. He won the Cognizant Classic in this region of the country four starts ago and enters on a streak of five consecutive top-40 finishes on the PGA TOUR.

Best of luck with your Masters golf pool picks!

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