Profiles of the top 50 US Masters contenders
Includes full Masters records for each
Masters record: 20-MC-15-40-25-8-4-10-7-5-21-5-MC-2
"That's as happy as I've ever been on a golf course right there," the Northern Irishman gushed last year after dramatically holing a bunker shot at the 72nd hole to shoot 64 and secure second place. "It's what you dream about, right? Getting in-contention." A Green Jacket is the real wish, of course, and McIlroy knows it yet the memories (and the prospect of the real dream being fulfilled) might light a spark. "I wanted a crack at the course right away," he said of his emotions leaving 18. Breaking 73 on Thursday would help. He hasn't done so in his last four starts. Angle? Seven of his last nine final rounds were sub-70.
Masters record: 19-18-1
It's easy to view the defending champion as wonderfully uncomplicated but those qualities will be tested to the max by the frenzy of off-the-course activities he'll have to undertake this week. It's not just that only three men have won back-to-back Masters, it's that only one of them was defending his first Green Jacket and only three of the last 10 defences reaped a top 30 (with just the one top 10). That said, he arrives fresh from two wins in five starts. That's down on last year's three in five, but it's tiresome to quibble and in the last three years he has six major top 10s in 10 starts. Angle? Beware the distracted defender.
Masters record: 27-4-9-7-5-27
The big Spaniard has a fine Augusta record but dig deep and, for all the consistency, he's never actually been closer than six shots off the 54-hole lead. He was flying in early March with five wins in eight starts and, when he grabbed a two shot first round lead at Bay Hill, he seemed to be riding the wave. But he crashed to T39th, losing an almost inconceivable six shots to the field off the tee, and didn't escape his group at the WGC Match Play. Clearly a huge threat but his one major win came on his favourite course (Torrey Pines) and he had no top 10 in them last year. Angle? He's gone sub-70 just once in six third rounds.
Masters record: 2-1-2-11-3-21-46-3-MC
Last year was something of a shocker because, although the 2015 champion has endured bad pre-cut rounds at Augusta, what he had never done before was card two of them in the same week. "I hated it," he said of the missed cut. "It was the worst feeling as a golfer I can remember." He uttered those words wearing the tartan jacket presented to the RBC Heritage winner so fire in his belly worked magic then - can he re-fuel it to don green? No win this year but he was third at Innisbrook. Angle? Every time he's broken par in round one he's finished in top three; every time he didn't he failed to make the top 10.
Masters record: 55-5-51-2-10-3
In the final major championship action of 2022 the Aussie stood tall with two scintillating 64s at the Open. The first earned him a two shot halfway lead, the second saw him overhaul Rory McIlroy on Sunday. His long game was bold and certain, his short game nerveless, his putting ice cool. Three qualities that will hold him in good stead this week if he rediscovers them and he needs to because after five triumphs last year he's returned from the Christmas break to play just four times and land only one top 20. Angle? He was very bullish last week about proving to doubters that LIV golfers are not half-baked part-timers.
Masters record: 39-22-17-12-4-21-8
Like his friend Spieth, Thomas was not a happy man at Augusta last year. After a Friday 67 righted the ship following an opening 76 he said: "I was really, really mad. Anger is an understatement. Couldn't get focused and in the tournament mindset." In another echo of Spieth he also rebounded - in his case winning the next major championship but he has just three top fives (and no win) in 16 starts since. Angle? His entire first round record at Augusta is quite remarkable: he carded a 66 in the winter Masters of 2020 but has never broken 73 in six April tournaments. He's also gone sub-70 in five consecutive second rounds.
Masters record: 47-MC-9-17-MC-39
It remains one of the great modern day major championship mysteries: just why is it that Patrick Cantlay cannot transfer his obvious abilities to the highest stage? The raw numbers are bad enough because he has just three top 10s in 23 starts, but he's also never once been within five shots of the lead with 18 holes to play. He did, however, very briefly hit the top of the leaderboard in the final round when ninth here in 2019. Angle? His third round 64 in 2019 highlights that he can go low at Augusta but 11 of his 20 scores there have been over-par and he's carded a 79 in each of his last two visits.
Masters record: 44-18-5
Ahead of last year's event we noted this fader of the ball had said: "I've got to stick to my strengths. Guys have hit cuts and won. It's possible." He didn't win but he did post a career-best tournament finish before saying: "I felt comfortable playing Collin golf and I have to do that. It's possible to win playing that style of golf." On the other hand, when asked if the stretching of the course works to his benefit he responded: "No. I need to hit it longer." Angle? What to do if he grabs the third round lead? He led by five in December's World Challenge and by six in January's Tournament of Champions after 54 holes. He won neither.
Masters record: 2-WD-3-20-28-10-22-20-5-MC-MC
You'd like to think that at the very least the brittle Aussie will improve on his last three rounds at Augusta given that they read 78-77-76. Before those last two visits he'd proved himself a superb fit for the course with eight top 30s including three top fives (when always bang in the hunt during the final three days). He's in wonderful form for the year landing a top 20 in all seven starts and said of the Masters after making the WGC last eight: "I'm excited to be back. The game's looking nice." Angle? He did card a 67 in 2019 to grab a share of the halfway lead but six of his last eight second round scores have been over-par.
Masters record: 50-2-17-3-MC
It says much for the consistent brilliance of the Californian in the majors that his reaping of "just" three top 15 finishes last year was a disappointment. Not one was a top 10, however, when previously he had landed nine of them in 18 starts and he missed the cut at Augusta, just the third time he had missed a major championship weekend. He was yet another to respond in style to a bad effort, in his case winning four times in just eight starts. His form has been solid in 2023 without threatening to win. Angle? Keep it simple. He understands the major examinations: 15 tops 20s in 22 major championship starts.
Masters record: MC
When asked ahead of his debut last year if the course suited him the New Yorker said: "I think very well. I typically drive it well and I think that's rewarded out here. You can just make it simpler by hitting good tee shots." He also added: "It's very complicated and tricky around the greens. I have a lot of to learn." It was a wise footnote because he missed more than half the greens and saved par just one in three times when doing so as he carded two 77s. Angle? He's boom or bust in the majors: four missed cuts sitting alongside two starts when he finished one shot outside a play-off.
Masters record: 30-38-38-13-MC-6-4-10-2-1-MC-12
What to make of the current state of the 2020 winner? He's played only nine rounds of competitive golf this year and his record book reads: 35-13-7. To outsiders he seems overly-casual; his peers praise his lack of complication. It's an attitude that could be beneficial at a potentially murky Masters for LIV competitors. He also has a take on his win which belies his apparent lack of care, saying last year that he was "aggressively conservative". Angle? If you trust that he'll be up for it, consider that he has been tied eighth or better at halfway in six of the last seven Masters (the exception was when he defended in 2021).
Masters record: MC-MC-48
The 32-year-old Californian is both very easy to warm to and undoubtedly a fine player. Not only a six-time winner on the PGA Tour but a winner at three different Major championship-hosting venues (Quail Hollow, Riviera, Torrey Pines). The latter came this year, a second win of the season and one of six top 10s. But his major form? Oh crikey. 13 starts and just one top 40 (T13th at last year's PGA Championship). And it's even worse at Augusta: three starts, two missed cuts, eight rounds, seven of them over-par and an average of 74.38. Angle? He's surely got to improve on his scoring but by how much?
Masters record: MC
It's not quite in Max Homa's ballpark but the Louisiana man is another yet to calibrate his game for the major test. Ten starts in and he's got a best of just T20th in last year's PGA Championship and he carded 75-74 on his Augusta debut last year. If that's the bad news, the good is that he has thrived in elite company at WGC level, only losing out at the 2021 St Jude Invitational in extra holes and winning last month's Dell Match Play (beating his good friend and this week's defending champion Scottie Scheffler in the semi). Angle? He is yet to break 70 in round one of a major (again, like Homa, surely it must change?!).
Masters record: 10-5-38-10-35
Twelve months ago the Utah man was chipper about how he sees Augusta. "I'm a very visual, very creative player," he said. "I grew up curving the ball and this course allows you to do that, to use your creativity into and around the greens." The words had quite a Bubba Watson-feel to them and although Finau is yet to win the event, or indeed a major championship, his three top 10s back up his potential. He also played alongside Tiger Woods when he won in 2019 so has that inspiration to fall back on should he need to so. Angle? Super solid in the majors: 13 top 20s (10 of them top 10) in 26 starts.
Masters record: 2-6
Rookies are supposed to struggle at Augusta National but Zalatoris not only finished second, he spent all week in the top four. Last year he returned to add a top six effort that was a little reliant on a final round 67 but after eight laps he is yet to find himself outside the top 15. "I've wanted to be on this stage my entire life," he said in 2021. "Why shy away now?" It's an attitude that surely explains his superb major record which includes three second places in just nine completed starts. Injury ended his 2023 early and he's failed to break the top 50 in his last three starts. Angle? Form and fitness might impact that major log book.
Masters record: 2-MC-8
After a superb tournament debut in the soft conditions of November 2020 (when he was top six all week), the Korean's first experience of spring was a shock: 77-80 to miss the cut by miles. Then he opened with a 67 for a share of last year's first round lead before struggling to keep pace with the winner. Nonetheless, he's now sat in the top 10 at the end of eight of his 10 Masters circuits. As tireless as ever, he's played 10 events this year, completing 37 competitive rounds - a tally Dustin Johnson might not match until the Fall. Angle? The horse might have bolted but he is 2-for-3 at landing top Asian.
Masters record: 27-54-MC-5-7-11-19-32-13-1-14
It was maybe not immediately apparent when he carded consecutive rounds of 80 at Augusta early in his career but the Japanese superstar slots in nicely at the Masters, notching seven top 20s in his last eight starts including a fabulous victory in 2021 (he's also ended the last 12 rounds inside the top 20 on the leaderboard). When fit he remains an elite level threat, finishing fourth at last year's US Open and fifth in last month's Players Championship. He withdrew from the WGC Match Play but was a good T15th last week. Angle: Masters winners struggle to defend, but nine winners have won again the year after their defence.
Masters record: MC-7-32-38-21-46-34-14
For a long while the Englishman's major championship record was a Cantlay-like enigma. Ahead of last year he'd landed just one top 10 in 26 starts and that was courtesy of late birdies early on Sunday at the 2016 Masters - not to be sniffed at but definitely back door. His T14th here last year hinted at something, genuinely contending in the PGA Championship was instructive and he heeded the lessons to win the US Open. Recent form is poor, however, with one top 25 finish (and five missed cuts) in seven starts. Angle? Four of his last five opening rounds have failed to dip below 74.
Masters record: MC-MC-39-MC-25-21-3
The Irishman dropped hints last year he was due a good week at Augusta and he was proved right. It might have been even better but for some poor approach work because he led the Strokes Gained Off the Tee rankings and was fourth Around the Greens. He departed saying: "My first weekend here in the heat of it and the big thing I can take away is how comfortable I felt." His form is not what it was 12 months ago but he did win the BMW PGA Championship late last year and was fifth in the Honda Classic. Angle? Take heed of conditions - he's on record as saying he prefers fast-running conditions at Augusta.
Masters record: MC-44-56-MC-18-52
On his tournament debut in 2017 the Englishman carded 80-78 and, after making the cut last year, he signed for 79-80. A bad start, a bad end and in-between are 16 laps that have featured just one sub-70 score. "This isn't a course I feel particularly comfortable on," he explained in 2021 and added last year: "I'm glad it's over because it doesn't really suit my eye. If I come back in the future it's just a case of trying to get through the best that I can. I haven't enjoyed it." Ouch. He played the Texas Open last week as the favourite but missed the cut. Angle? Expect TV apologies for his language.
Masters record: 32-21-27
Consistency is typically deemed a good trait but Norway's finest might want to take issue with that. At Augusta he's never yet broken par in the first round, never yet gone sub-70 the rest of the week, never finished outside the top 40, and never yet recorded a top 20. The good news is that when he hits greens he makes plenty of birdies (he's has a Putts per GIR average of 1.55 in his last eight rounds) but the bad news is that he when he does miss the putting surface he's saved par just 37% of the time. Brandel Chamblee once said Hovland is "devastatingly bad at chipping" and Augusta highlights that failing. Angle? Top Norwegian.
Masters record: 39-22-5-36-20-11-8-25-14-2-10-2-12-MC-23-7-MC
A couple of years ago the Englishman said he was now focused on the majors but after victory at Pebble Beach in January he changed tack. "I don't have to achieve anything else but I want to," he said. "This result has re-energised that kind of thinking." He didn't sit on his laurels, adding sixth at the Players last month and now he heads to a tournament he has enjoyed in the past. He's four times heading into Sunday in the top two and one of his runner-up finishes came only after extra holes. Angle? The first round: he's twice been the solo leader, twice the co-leader and another four times he was tied sixth or better.
Masters record: 41-MC-1-8-18-5-1-1-15-22-1-3-2-2-6-4-4-40-4-17-32-1-38-47
He closed the 2022 tournament with a pair of 78s but no-one really cared (except, probably, him). Instead, it was the fact that he defied every wince-inducing step to card a first round 71 that left him in a share of 10th which captured the world's attention - another example of his other-wordly desire to compete. Further attempts to push his battered body through 72-holes proved beyond even him last summer but it would not be entirely surprising if he made another Augusta weekend. Angle? Anything other than making the cut seems fanciful.
Masters record: 33-21-11-2-7-MC-MC
Between the 2017 US Open and the 2021 Open he played 16 majors, finishing top eight in 12 of them with four wins. In contrast, last year he didn't register one top 50. After missing the cut at Augusta he told the Netflix series Full Swing: "Am I going to be the same golfer? Am I ever going to be the same? I don't know where I'm at." It's assumed his angst prompted the move to LIV where's won twice including last week and Greg Norman Jr. insists he is riled and ready for this week. Angle? He's missed the last two Augusta cuts shooting 74-75-75-75.
Masters record: MC-46-10-8-6
Take a look at that tournament record again and enjoy the neatness of the progression. In one sense it is even neater because on debut, as an amateur, he opened with an 80 before a 69 very nearly scraped him into the weekend. His 54-hole position is also heading in the right direction: 22-15-6-6. He's hit lots of greens (70%) but when he misses them he struggles (37% scrambling). An impressive winner of the Texas Open last week when leading the field for SG Approach and Greens in Regulation. Angle? Which comes next - more progress or a dip?
Masters record: MC-40-35
It's never been exactly clear why but winners at Riviera (a faders track) often perform well at Augusta (which favours drawers). And when last year's Riviera champ Niemann opened with a 69 for tied third in early April he fancied adding to that number. Then he reverted to type, which is to say he's struggled in the Masters. He closed last year with laps of 74-77-74 and he's also carded a 75, two 76s and a 77. He also has a poor major record anywhere with a best of T23rd in 15 tries. Angle? Those raw numbers: 10 rounds and only three of them sub-74.
Masters record: Debut
The Korean 20-year-old, a professional for nearly five years now, had a thrilling 2023 that included cuts made at the US Open and Open, two PGA Tour victories and a sensational Presidents Cup debut. But, after finishing top six in two of the first three events of 2023, he's run out of puff (admittedly while still making cuts). Angle? His character might be suited to the excitement of the Masters.
Min Woo Lee
Masters record: 14
The Aussie sparkled either side of New Year, landing eight consecutive finishes of T13th or better including four top threes. He then ventured to the States to finish a very impressive sixth in the Players Championship. His excellent tournament debut last year was one of three top 30s in the majors and he was excited about Augusta. "Absolutely love the course," he said on Wednesday and added on Sunday after playing the front nine in 6-under: "Equalled the front nine record. Pat on the back. Positive vibes." Angle? An interesting outsider.
Masters record: MC-17-36-19-46-14
The likeable Englishman has five top five finishes in the major championships, but he's never quite got to grips with Augusta. True, he has three top 20s yet he's never been within eight shots of the lead on Sunday morning. He was, on the other hand, a fine winner of the Nedbank Challenge late last year and third at Innisbrook last month. Angle? His final round scores read (look away now): 74-74-74-76-73.
Masters record: 9-23-MC-33-27-27-25-MC-18-2-8-1-14-38-42-9-32-18-34-54-48
It seems slightly implausible but the 2013 winner is now 42-years-old and it might be showing on the biggest stages because he hasn't recorded a major championship, WGC or Players Championship top 10 since 2019. He also has a best of just T20th in six starts this year. Angle? He hasn't equalled, never mind broken, par in his last nine laps of the course and seven of his last eight final rounds were over-par too.
Masters record: MC-22-49-MC-1-36-10-8-35
He struggled on the green in his first four Masters appearances and never finished top 20. He then got to grips with them to land three top 10s including the win in 2018. Nonetheless, he said last year "It's hard to say you're ever comfortable in this place" and his LIV participation won't help. Second in January's Dubai Desert Classic and third last week. Angle? In four of his nine visits he has failed to break 73 all week.
Masters record: 21-38-29-34-46-MC
It's almost incredible that the big-hitter's star has dulled as quickly as it has. Oh for the days when he played the pantomime villain, saying things like: "I'm looking at Augusta as a par-67." In 22 tries he has broken that tally once. On 16 occasions, however, he failed to break the actual par of 72. He's also broken 72 just four times in 11 rounds this year. Angle? No real form, questionable fitness, equipment issues.
Masters record: Debut
The well-travelled American - he's plied his trade on 12 different tours around the world - was a two-time winner on the DP World Tour and made his PGA Tour breakthrough with victory in last month's Arnold Palmer Invitational. Angle? The debutant has played eight major championship but he's gone sub-70 in just three of 22 rounds.
Masters record: MC-MC-MC-2-MC-25-19-15-41-12-29-23-26-WD
Second place in the LIV Tucson event last month was a welcome return to form and very nearly a first win on US soil for the South African. After four top three major finishes in five starts in 2020/21 the dam burst last year with not one top 50. Angle? His opening rounds in last year's US majors were 76 in the Masters (he did withdraw afterwards however), 73 in the PGA Championship and 77 in the US Open.
Masters record: 13-26-MC
The Mexican might not have made himself too popular in the clubhouse last year when saying, of Augusta, "I like target golf." He went on to add: "It's so challenging. You need to be extremely accurate with your iron play. The holes really fit my eye off the tee." Good vibes and he's a winner this year, in January's Saudi International. Angle? His volatility at Augusta: 10 rounds, four rounds in the 60s, four scores of 75+.
Masters record: 27-54-MC-22-52-43
Back in the winner's circle this season, the 2011 PGA Championship winner was also second at Torrey Pines and T10th at Bay Hill. He also got himself in the mix at last year's US Open, sitting two shots back with 18 holes to play before finishing seventh. Angle? He's never sparkled at Augusta, the nearest he's been to the top at the end of any round being T14th and he's carded 73-82-75-77-71 on Saturdays.
Masters record: 37-MC-17-MC-56-38-50-43
He's ranked 24th in the world rankings and been as high as 11th. He's won the Tour Championship, the WGC Dell Match Play and the BMW PGA Championship. The Florida man is clearly a very, very good golfer and yet ... Angle? He cannot get a grip on majors. He finished fourth in his first one as a professional (the 2013 US Open) but has just one top 20 (T17th in the 2016 Masters) in 34 appearances since then.
Masters record: 20-33-MC
Major winners tend to have recent experience of contending in one (Kirk was fifth at last year's PGA Championship). They also tend to be fresh off a win (he won February's Honda Classic). They've often logged a Masters top 20 (see above). And they need a sharp short game (he ranks 26th Around the Greens, second for 3-Putt Avoidance this season). Angle? The win maybe beyond him but an interesting outsider.
Masters record: 4-MC-MC
He was fourth on his tournament debut in 2017, when a second round 68 earned him a share of the halfway lead, but the Belgian has missed the cut in both subsequent appearances. A double winner either side of New Year 2022, he added six top 10s and seemed set for a Ryder Cup return before joining LIV. Angle? His last three rounds at Augusta read 78-79-80. Unlikely to maintain such standards but still off-putting.
Masters record: 39
He made the cut easily enough last year and went away feeling bright enough about the future, saying: "I love that iron play and hitting into the right spots matters - that's always been strength of mine." A first-time winner last year he's been third twice this year in elite company at the Tournament of Champions and Players Championship. Angle? Improved short game suggests potential for the top 20.
Masters record: Debut
The 28-year-old from Chile very nearly pulled off a sensational victory in the PGA Championship last May, claiming a three shot 54-hole lead and maintaining an advantage over the field throughout most of the final day. Alas, he fell one stroke short of the play-off and by year's end he had turned to LIV. Angle? In five starts in 2023 he's yet to finish outside the top 15 and was fifth last week - add to top rookie considerations.
Masters record: 43
Another golfer who's had to wait four years to back up a solid Masters debut, in his case one which witnessed a 69 final round. Blessed with a swing the elite envy, he also cuts a somewhat old fashioned look in visor and clothing, and has two top fives this calendar year. Angle? He's had some difficulties in the majors, missing five of eight cuts and having a best finish of T34th in last year's PGA Championship.
Masters record: 38-1-MC-MC-MC-25-MC-12
A past champion and a mightily impressive one but he remains an enigma - a player who has added big DP World Tour events to his resume (the BMW PGA Championship, Tour Championship, Dunhill Links) but done very little otherwise. Angle? Since winning with a final round 67 in 2017 his record on Friday, Saturday and Sunday is a little grisly with one score of 66 and nine failures to break 73.
Masters record: 20-42-38-1-50-1-38-37-MC-5-12-57-26-39
In typically quirky fashion he has one top 25 (T12th) in seven starts in odd years and four top 25s (including the two wins) in seven even years. It's almost certainly a fluke and the bigger concern is his form and fitness. He didn't play any golf in the last seven months of 2022 and in four starts this year (three on LIV) he has one finish better than T40th (and that was T20th). Angle? Last broke par on day one eight years ago.
Masters record: 19-26-10
The big-hitter's Masters record is rather good for a man who, although a three-time PGA Tour winner, plays a lot of bad golf (and the one time he didn't make the top 20 he was sixth at halfway). Angle? Maybe overlook the rotten form (no top 30 finish in his last nine starts) because he was recording equally poor results ahead of the last two Masters. He said in 2021: "I'm very comfortable here, it plays to my strengths."
Masters record: Debut
A Masters bow for the 25-year-old whose flair for imaginative golf might be a fine match for the test. A cameo role is most likely, however, because for all his exciting golf in the last 18 months he's yet to win on the PGA Tour. Angle? He's played well at Innisbrook and Deere Run (both undulating) and also at Muirfield Village (fast greens) which are nice pointers for Augusta - he could shine among the debutants.
Si Woo Kim
Masters record: MC-24-21-34-12-39
A tidy short game has helped the Korean make five cuts in a row at Augusta but he's only once ranked top 20 in the traditional long game categories (and then only 19th for Driving Accuracy) which probably stops him genuinely competing. He's a winner this year, however (at the Sony Open), and he was fifth heading into the final round of last year's Open. Angle? Not going to lie - 49 angles but I can't find one for Kim.
Masters record: MC-31-21-11-15-30
There's a consistency with Henley at the Masters (he even contrived to be T21st with 18 holes to play three years in a row) but a first top 10 remains elusive and it's a trend that extends to all major championship golf. He's made 32 starts and T11th in this event remains his best effort. Angle? He's had his struggles in round two at Augusta, with four of his six scores failing to better 74.
Masters record: 38-40-MC-8-28-4-MC-46-MC-MC-38-45-35-12-8-MC-17-34-1-MC-MC-MC-23
As we've established, returning a Green Jacket often prompts problems, but Garcia went further and missed three straight cuts, a run he ended last year. It's hard to see how he can thrive this week simply because of the LIV furore and his difficulties coping with it. Since joining, his ventures back to the traditional tours have reaped MC-48-68-WD. Angle? His first round scores in those four events were 74-73-75-76.