It's time for the 88th edition of The Masters. The team at Women & Golf have made four predictions of potential winners. Who are you backing?

Over recent years our Women & Golf Masters predictions haven't changed too much, the same players keep making their way to the top and generally seem to be pretty consistent around Augusta National. But, we still like to get involved with the Masters build-up.

Ahead of the 88th Masters, let's hear directly from the four players that we think will be featuring near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon. Not intentionally but we have a PGA Tour/LIV Golf equal showing.

Let's start with the World number two...

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy - image credit The R&A

Still in search of the elusive Grand Slam, this will be his tenth attempt at trying to secure it! How does the Irishman manage wanting to win but not making that desire so big that it hinders his performance?

"I would say not trying to win it from the first tee shot. I think that's something that I've tried to learn. It's a 72-hole golf tournament. I've won from 10 strokes back going into the weekend. There's loads of different ways to do it. This golf course gets you to chase things a little more than other golf courses, if you make a bogey or if you get yourself out of position, because it always tempts you to do something you think you can do.

"I'm pretty confident in my golf game. I think I can do most things, but sometimes you just have to take the conservative route and be a little more disciplined and patient.

"With a 72-hole golf tournament, you can be patient, you can be disciplined, and you can stick to your game plan. And that's something that I've really tried to learn at this tournament over the years."

Let's hope he takes his own advice. Remember Jon Rahm started with a double bogey on his first hole last year and then went on to win.

Fun fact: With a victory, he would join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as winners of the career Grand Slam.

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler The Masters
Scottie Scheffler - image credit Getty Images

Sitting pretty at the top of the World Golf Rankings, Scottie Scheffler comes into this week with a lot of confidence after two back-to-back victories and nearly a third in a row after finishing tied second in his last tournament the Texas Children's Houston Open at the end of March.

The American will be making his fifth straight appearance at Augusta National and has always finished in the top 20 (T19, T18, 1, T10). How is it possible to play the same course each year and sustain success on it?

"I think people may not realize how difficult the golf course is, especially when the wind is blowing. And I think we're going to have another couple of days of wind here where the winds are going to be pretty high and it swirls like crazy around this place.

"You have to stay so patient and trust in all aspects of your game because there is a certain type of player that can play well on this golf course, but at the end of the day you have to have trust in all aspects of your game. And I think this is a place where it's extremely important to kind of have that trust in yourself."

What about coming into the Major as the man of the moment?

"I try not to look too far into the future. I'm excited about how I've been playing to begin this year. I had two nice wins, which was obviously a bunch of fun. Then I was close in my last start as well.

"I think it's just one of those deals where all I'm trying to do is put myself in contention in the tournament and hopefully finish it off. I really am not looking much past tomorrow. I'm focused on my preparation right now. And those things don't really occupy many of my thoughts day-to-day.

"I'm an extremely competitive person. And I like competing out here, and hopefully I'll be out here competing for a long, long time, but life throws crazy stuff at you sometimes. So we'll see how long it happens, but hoping it's going to be a long time."

Brooks Koepka

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK - MAY 21: Brooks Koepka of The United States holds the Wanamaker Trophy after his win the final round of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 21, 2023 in Rochester, New York. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Brooks Koepka, 2023 PGA Championship - image credit David Cannon/Getty Images

There is no doubt that Brooks Koepka learnt a lot from his Masters defeat last year. The disappointment in finishing second to eventual winner Jon Rahm spurred Koepka on. He's never shared what he learnt but he definitely applied it to help him claim his third PGA Championship title just over a month later.

"It's pretty simple. I wasn't going to let it happen. I'm not going to share it. But, yeah, I think if I get the chance this year, I won't be thinking that way."

Has his preparation changed over the years and he learns more about Augusta National?

"I've still got the same game plan. I feel like I've played this place enough. It's all about angles, certain pin locations being in a certain spot. I don't know, sometimes occasionally they throw a new pin location, but usually they're pretty similar to where they have been over the last few years.

"And you know if like on 13, if it's a back left, if you're laying it up, lay it up a little further left, it's a little flatter, but every other pin you're going to the right. Just little stuff like that."

Fun facts: Last year, by winning the PGA Championship, Koepka joined Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead as three-time PGA champions and Byron Nelson, Peter Thomson and Seve Ballesteros as five-time major champions.

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm 2023 Masters Champion
Jon Rahm, 2023 Masters Champion - image credit Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Jon Rahm comes into the week as defending Masters Champion and he says it really was a special Major to win:

"It's so hard to put that experience into words. I had heard from a few other players, a few Masters champions and a few that have won other majors rather than the Masters, that they said there's something different, something special when you win one.

"I can confirm it's absolutely true; that the jump from no majors to U.S. Open was smaller from than what it was from the U.S. Open to the Masters. It is the biggest tournament in the world, with no offense to anything else, but it's probably the most followed one by people that don't even play golf.

"That's I think what makes the difference. Your notoriety goes up quite a bit. But it's also the tradition. By being the only venue, we keep coming back year after year, all the traditions, all the shots, all the stories make it so, so special."

Having made the move to LIV golf in December 2023, some are questioning whether he will have had enough preparation to defend his title and then add in the fact that he has Champion obligations, how is he feeling?

"It hasn't made preparation any more difficult. The Champions Dinner, you just have to work around it, right. Just got to make sure I'm ready at a certain time, which I almost made the mistake of not being on time because so used to not having anything to do on Tuesdays.

"You're saying like playing a little bit less is a bad thing. Which I wouldn't think it is. If I go on how I feel today on a Tuesday, I feel physically better than I did last year. But then once competition starts, it doesn't really matter. Once the gun goes off, whatever you feel is out the window; you got to go out there and post a score."

Fun fact: Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods remain the only players to have won the famous green jacket in consecutive years.

Has Tiger lost his appeal?

Unlike previous years, the Tiger effect seems to be waining. Whilst many are pleased to see him competiting, the usual furore is lacking. These were the scenes on Monday practice in 2023:

Challenging for the green jacket is unlikely but Tiger is looking to make the cut for the 24th consecutive time. What keeps him coming back and playing at the highest level?

"I love golf. I do. I've always loved it. I played other sports growing up, but I just have always loved this sport. I love to compete.

"And be able to have the love I have for the game and the love for competition be intertwined, I think that's one of the reasons why I've had a successful career. I just love doing the work. I love logging the time in, and I love preparing. I love competing, and I love that feeling when everything's on fire with a chance to win and you either you do or you don't."

In the UK - watch live coverage of The Masters on Sky Sports Golf from 2pm (BST) on Thursday. Also, you can download the Masters app which has lots of fantastic features.

Follow 2024 Masters live scoring here.