World number one Scottie Scheffler will defend his title when the 87th Masters takes place at Augusta National from April 6-9.
Scheffler is bidding to become just the fourth player to win back-to-back green jackets after Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.
Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the main contenders for the year’s first men’s major championship.
Despite losing his semi-final of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play from two up with three to play, McIlroy left Austin Country Club feeling “really bullish” about the state of his game and his chances of completing the career grand slam at Augusta. The world number two also revealed he was fitting in a second scouting trip to the course, despite having already played 54 holes there recently. McIlroy’s final round of 64 last year was a thrilling reminder of his capabilities and a missed cut in 2021 is the only real blemish on his Masters record over the last nine years.
So much has happened in men’s golf since last year’s Masters that it would be easy to forget that Cameron Smith was in the last group alongside Scheffler in the final round and birdied the first two holes to close within a shot of the leader. The Australian then faltered and eventually finished third, but was also fifth in 2018 and 2020 and claimed his maiden major title in the 150th Open at St Andrews last July before joining LIV Golf. That move makes his form difficult to accurately assess with just a missed cut on the Asian Tour and three LIV events under his belt before Augusta.
At first glance Conners appears a surprise inclusion on a list which otherwise is made up of major champions. However, the 31-year-old Canadian has quietly racked up three straight top 10s in the Masters, having missed the cut on his debut in 2015 and then failing to qualify until 2019, when he finished 46th. Eight of his last 12 rounds at Augusta have been par or better, including a second round of 65 in the low-scoring edition in 2020, which was staged in November due to the Covid-19 pandemic.