2023 Masters Sunday Picks: Brooks Koepka in Position for 5th Major
Pictured: Brooks Koepka. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
The weather was the story throughout much of the day Saturday at Augusta National as the players who went out to finish their second round in the morning faced the worst of the conditions. It was cold, wet and rainy from the start of the day until play was finally stopped in the afternoon as Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm played their shots onto the green at the par-4 7th.
They will begin on Sunday with a couple of pivotal putts as Koepka looks to save par from about 11 feet and Rahm will look to birdie from nine feet. The first shots they hit in the morning could set the tone for who eventually dons the green jacket on Sunday evening (hopefully).
If it sounds like I feel this is a two-man race, that’s because that’s all I see from a contention standpoint. These two have separated themselves from the field and with their experience in these moments, I just don’t see them both making the big mistakes necessary to bring the rest of the field back into contention.
As we enter the final day, I will focus on picking a winner from the two leaders and then look for some value to move up the board. Let’s see who stands out as the players get ready for a long Sunday of golf at the Masters.
There are a few different ways you can play what looks to be a Sunday duel between Koepka and Rahm. In fact, this could set up for a gem of a live-betting opportunity if Rahm can close the gap. The first putt on Sunday, as I noted above, will do a lot to set the tone of whether the Spaniard can quickly cut into the lead as he has the potential to make it just a two-shot advantage.
My gut thought is to take Koepka at -110 on BetRivers right now because I expect we’ll see him sink his par put on Sunday morning. I have no other reason for this belief than the fact that when he is at his best, these are the putts he seems to make every single time. Koepka seems to have ice in his veins in these moments and when you combine his mindset with the play he’s shown this week, I think we’ll see him don the green jacket.
I highlighted Scottie Scheffler’s putting struggles yesterday and I’ll go back to him here. He was playing well when they stopped Saturday and is 2-under on his round through 12 holes. He will finish Round 3 on the front nine and is at the start of the tough stretch of holes four through seven. Similar to Koepka, Scheffler will start the day with a long par putt, but my play on him being top 5 won’t be swayed too much if he misses that putt. He’s just two shots short of that position as things stand and we know he will press to go low and get another top finish. DataGolf has Scheffler listed with a 30% chance of a top 5, but DraftKings is pricing it at +400, implying a 20% likelihood. We rarely see discrepancies this large and that’s enough for me to snag some value on the defending champion.
Some guys where handling the conditions better than others Saturday and Sungjae Im was someone who had found his form. He had the best round going on the course at 3-under through his first seven holes. That round moved him from on the cutline to inside the top 30 and he has the potential to climb even higher if he can keep it going Sunday.
Im will make the turn back to the front in the soft and potentially more calm conditions on Sunday morning. I expect he’ll have every opportunity to climb into the top 20 and may even have a shot at a top-10 finish if he continues to play well. He already has two top-10 results in his career at the Masters and his struggles to stay inside the cutline to start the week were certainly uncharacteristic of his recent play. DraftKings has the South Korean at +225 for a top 20 and +1200 for a top 10, both of which have some value going into the final day.
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