Golf Majors 2023: When are they? Where are they? And who are the leading contenders?

By Bryan Nicholson

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2 March 2023

If you ask any professional golfer what they want to achieve in the sport, their answer is almost certain to involve winning a major or two. 

The four annual prestigious tournaments see the world’s elite pit their wits against one another in a bid to write their name into the record books. Perhaps The Masters’ green jacket is the most recognisable and desired prize, but the PGA Championships’ Wanamaker Trophy, the US Open’s equivalent and The Open’s Claret Jug are similarly highly sought after.

As the golf season kicks into gear on the PGA Tour and over at LIV golf, now is the time to look at the key information ahead of the 2023 showpiece events.

The Masters

The Masters is the most anticipated golf event each year as it kicks off the major calendar. It’s hosted at the iconic Augusta venue in Georgia, which is arguably the most well-known course in sport. 

Jon Rahm: ante-post favourite to win the Masters in April

This year’s tournament will be played between April 6-9, 2023, and the world’s best players will descend upon this golfing masterpiece with the ambition of putting on the coveted Green Jacket, which is awarded to the winner. At the time of writing, Jon Rahm (7.8) is the favourite to win ahead of Rory McIlroy and last year’s champion, Scottie Scheffler.

Golfer to watch

Sam Burns, who is as big as 50 with SBK and Smarkets, possesses the all-round game and necessary power to thrive at Augusta. My model shows a course-fit rating for Burns of 9.1/10, which is a strong number when you consider his odds. 

Showing a progressive career trajectory, the American already has four PGA Tour wins to his name and it wouldn’t surprise to see him challenge for the title in April.

PGA Championship

Oak Hill Country club in New York sets the stage for the 2023 PGA Championship, which is scheduled to be played May 18-21. American Jason Dufner beat Jim Furyk by two shots in this tournament when it was last played here in 2013, but plenty of water has passed under the bridge since then.

Justin Thomas: the current holder of the Wanamaker Trophy

Following an extremely eventful final round in 2022 that saw Tour rookie Mito Pereira throw away a lead on hole 18, Justin Thomas (14.5) heads to Oak Hill in an attempt to defend his Wanamaker Trophy. 

Golfer to watch

LIV golfers are eligible to play in all four majors this year and Abraham Ancer (75) stands out at a big price for the 2023 PGA Championship. 

Taking key metrics for the Oak Hill course into account, a player who can consistently keep the ball in the fairway and someone who excels in the mid-to-long iron department is the target profile. The Mexican is a regular towards the top of the driving accuracy stats, and he is rated highly in all the approach stat categories.

US Open

The US Open is the third of this year’s golf majors, and the ante-post outright market has Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm at the top (both at odds of 10), with Justin Thomas close behind. 

Rory McIlroy: joint favourite for the US Open

Matt Fitzpatrick put on a masterclass at Brookline Country Club in 2022 to win the US Open and claim his maiden major championship trophy, and he will try to defend his title at the relatively unknown LA Country Club (west course) from June 15-18.

Golfer to watch

Dustin Johnson (26) is the forgotten man since his move to LIV golf, and therefore there is some tasty value ahead of the US Open 2023. 

LA Country Club seems like it could be the perfect fit for DJ’s game. Don’t forget, the American is a former Masters and US Open winner who only narrowly missed out on his second US Open title at Chambers Bay.

Open Championship

July 20 will see the start of 2023 The Open Championship, which is the last of the four majors and will wrap up the grand slam golf events at Royal Liverpool. This is the scene of Open Championship favourite (8.6) Rory McIlroy’s last Claret Jug success back in 2014, and will be hosted here for the 13th time in history. 

Cam Smith: LIV golfer will be back at The Open to try and retain his title

Cameron Smith will be allowed to defend after winning the Open at the home of golf in 2022, before going on a detour to LIV golf. Collin Morikawa won the Open Championship at Royal St. Georges the previous year and Shane Lowry has also drunk from the Claret Jug - he tasted success at Royal Portrush in 2019.

Golfer to watch

Much will depend on the weather at Hoylake, but wind and links specialist ball striker Tommy Fleetwood (27) is familiar with this part of the world having grown up around the courses of Liverpool. 

He’s shown plenty of improvement in his short game recently and ranked fifth in strokes gained around the green in 2022. The Englishman finished tied-fourth last year at the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews, and just missed out behind Lowry in 2019 at Portrush. Can he grab the Claret Jug? He has a solid chance.

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