A Look At The Texas Golfers In The 2023 Masters Tournament

Written By Hill Kerby on April 5, 2023
Texas Golfers PGA Masters Tournament 2023

The 2023 Masters Tournament begins this Thursday, April 6, and Texas golfers, including current Masters Champion Scottie Scheffler, will provide stiff competition

Scheffler will be playing as the Masters’ defending champion and world top-ranked golfer, with two wins and four top-five finishes on tour this year. The Dallas-raised, Highland Park High (Go Scots!) and University of Texas (Hook em, Horns!) graduate will have a target on his back, though, as 87 other qualified golfers enter the weekend hoping to hoist the Masters Trophy and don the Green Jacket.

Scheffler became the tenth Texan to win the Masters last year, joining recent winners Jordan Spieth (2015) and Patrick Reed (2018) in rarified air among other legends of the game, including Ben Crenshaw, Ben Hogan, Jimmy Demaret and Byron Nelson.

Those four players all won multiple Masters titles, something Scheffler, Spieth and Reed dream of accomplishing in their careers.

Several more golfers in this year’s tournament have Texas ties, including 2021 Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris, Bryson DeChambeau and Sahith Theegala. Below, we’ll break down a few storylines related to the Lone Star State.

Texas golf fans will certainly be engaged in this year’s Masters but unfortunately will not be able to place a legal sports bet in Texas on golf. As a major sporting event, we can expect some Texans to try, albeit unsuccessfully.

Scheffler seeks back-to-back titles; Spieth & Reed look for second win

Scheffler is one of the favorites to win the 2023 Masters Tournament and become the first back-to-back winner since Tiger Woods in 2002. After winning the Masters, Scheffler finished 2022 ranked second in the Official World Golf Rankings behind Rory McIlroy but has become number one after a solid start to 2023.

Since February, Scheffler has competed in five tournaments:

  • He won two in The WMPhoenix Open and The Players Championship;
  • tied for fourth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational;
  • and finished 12th in the Genesis Open.

Spieth is another favored champion this weekend. Ranked 16th worldwide, he has two top-five finishes in the last month: the Arnold Palmer Invitational (T4) and Valspar Championship (T3).

Of course, Spieth also has won three major championships in his career. In addition to the 2015 Masters, he also won the 2015 US Open and 2017 Open Championship. If he is in the mix Sunday afternoon, he knows what it takes to close out the tournament.

Reed is a longer shot at winning his second Green Jacket, now ranked 70th worldwide. He has only played a handful of tournaments this year on the LIV Tour and DP World Tour.

Can Zalatoris, DeChambeau & others make a run at the 2023 Masters

Two years ago, Plano’s Will Zalatoris finished one stroke shy of Hideki Matsuyama for the lowest score in the 2021 Masters. He has since added two more runner-ups to his major tournament resume in the 2022 US Open and PGA Championship.

Entering the weekend, Zalatoris is a top-ten candidate to come out on top alongside fellow Texans Scheffler and Spieth. He finished fourth in the Genesis Open at Riviera in February, a course known for predicting success at Augusta National Golf Club.

Dallas resident and 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau, who now plays on the LIV Tour, has never cracked the top 20 in the Masters in six appearances. His best finish was in 2016 when he tied for 21st place as an amateur.

TCU graduate (Riff Ram Bah Zoo!) Tom Hoge is a top-25 player in the world rankings, recently taking third in The Players Championship. Last year was his first time in the Masters, where he took 39th place. He also finished tied for ninth in the 2022 PGA Championship.

Former Texas A&M golfer (Gig ’em, Aggies!), now in Houston, Cameron Champ, has missed the cut in most of his recent competitions. However, he has three career wins and remains eligible for this year’s event due to finishing tied for tenth in last year’s Masters.

Three Texas first-timers on the green

Three more Texans will be playing The Masters for their first time:

  1. Sahith Theegala
  2. Taylor Moore
  3. Sam Bennett (a)

Theegala moved to Houston last year and has since launched up to 29th in the world rankings. This year, he’s finished fourth in the Farmers Open at Torrey Pines and sixth at Riviera.

Moore punched his ticket to Augusta by winning the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, his first on tour.

Bennett, the lone Texan amateur in the tournament, is from Madisonville and in his fifth year at Texas A&M. This will be his second major tournament, following up a 49th-place finish at the 2022 US Open. He earned his berth after winning the 2022 US Amateur Championship.

Can LIV Tour golfers participate in the Masters?

For the moment, yes, but that could change as the LIV tour fights to have their golfers recognized by the Official World Golf Rankings body. Their application is pending acceptance by the OWGR, and, if not accepted, LIV golfers will see their OWGR rankings continue to drop, affecting their opportunities to be invited to major events.

Reed, who resigned from the PGA Tour last June to move to the newly-formed LIV Golf Tour, will be one of 17 golfers representing the tour at Augusta National in 2023.

LIV Golf’s inaugural season was in 2022, forming as a rival to the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour responded by banning all players who left for the LIV Tour.

These conditions left the possibility for previously-eligible Masters golfers to find themselves barred from competing this year. However, Augusta National Golf Club and Masters Tournament Chairman Fred Ridley invited them at the end of February, saying via The Palm Beach Post:

“We will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament. Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it. Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April.”

Other LIV Tour notables include former Masters winners:

  • Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010)
  • Charl Schwartzel (2011)
  • Bubba Watson (2012, 2014)
  • Sergio Garcia (2017)
  • Dustin Johnson (2020)

LIV Tour contestants with PGA major titles include Brooks Kopeka (four), Louis Oosthuizen (one), Cameron Smith (one) and DeChambeau (one). Mickelson has lifetime major championships, and Johnson has four.

2023 Masters Tournament info

The Masters Tournament runs from Thursday, April 6 to Sunday, April 9, from Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

Main TV and streaming coverage will be available on ESPN and CBS throughout the weekend, with bonus coverage on ESPN Plus and Masters.com. Bonus coverage includes featured groups and holes, such as the famed Amen Corner (Holes 11-13).

Full schedule (all times in CDT)

Thursday, April 6 (Round 1)

  • 6:40 a.m. – 7 p.m.: Bonus coverage on ESPN Plus
  • 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Main TV broadcast on ESPN

Friday, April 7 (Round 2)

  • 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Bonus coverage on ESPN Plus
  • 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Main TV broadcast on ESPN

Saturday, April 8 (Round 3)

  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: On the Range on Masters.com
  • 9:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Bonus coverage on ESPN Plus
  • 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Main TV broadcast on CBS

Sunday, April 9 (Round 4)

  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: On the Range on Masters.com
  • 9:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Bonus coverage on ESPN Plus
  • 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Main TV broadcast on CBS
  • 6 p.m.: Green Jacket Ceremony on Masters.com
Photo by Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo
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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of safe, legal betting, and is grateful to be able to contribute to growing the industry. He has a background in poker, sports, and psychology, all of which he incorporates into his writing for PlayTexas.

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