Scottie Scheffler smiles after winning The Players Championship golf tournament...

Scottie Scheffler smiles after winning The Players Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 17, 2024, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Scheffler will be competing in the 2024 Masters golf tournament. Credit: AP/Marta Lavandier

A capsule look at 10 key players for the Masters, to be played April 11-14 (listed in predicted order of finish):


Age: 27.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 1.

Worldwide victories: 9.

Majors: Masters (2022).

Xander Schauffele poses at the Ryder Cup at the Marco...

Xander Schauffele poses at the Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Guidonia Montecelio, Italy, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023. Schauffele will be competing in the 2024 Masters golf tournament. Credit: AP/Alessandra Tarantino

Masters appearances: 4.

Masters memory: Having such a large lead that he could 4-putt the final hole in 2022 and still win by three.

Backspin: Scheffler is the most overwhelming Masters favorite since Tiger Woods in 2013. He already has two wins this year and nearly had a third in a row at the Houston Open. His tee-to-green game is at levels not seen since Woods at his peak.


Jon Rahm poses after a press conference before the start...

Jon Rahm poses after a press conference before the start of LIV Golf Miami at the Trump National Doral on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 in Miami, Fla. Rahm will be competing in the 2024 Masters. Credit: AP/Montana Pritchard/LIV Golf

Age: 30.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 5.

Worldwide victories: 8.

Majors: None.

Masters appearances: 6.

Masters memory: Runner-up to Tiger Woods in 2019. Rallying against Hideki Matsuyama in 2021 until hitting 8-iron to the water on the 16th.

Backspin: Schauffele has not won since the summer of 2022. He has played in the final group at Riviera and The Players Championship, so his game is trending. He has had two chances at winning the Masters, in 2019 and 2021.


Age: 29.

Country: Spain.

World ranking: 3 (LIV).

Worldwide victories: 20.

Majors: Masters (2023), U.S. Open (2021).

Masters appearances: 7.

Masters memory: Rally to beat Brooks Koepka and winning the Masters on the birthdate of Seve Ballesteros.

Backspin: Rahm will try to join Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus as the only back-to-back winners. The focus will be stronger than ever after his decision to join LIV Golf in December. He has not won since the Masters last year.


Age: 30.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 19.

Worldwide victories: 16.

Majors: Masters (2015), U.S. Open (2015), British Open (2017).

Masters appearances: 10.

Masters memory: Going wire-to-wire to win the Masters in 2015.

Backspin: Spieth is coming up on two years since his last win and he missed two straight cuts at The Players Championship and Valspar Championship. But Augusta National suits him and his putting. He holds the record for leading after seven straight rounds and has played in the final group three times.


Age: 34.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 2.

Worldwide victories: 34.

Majors: U.S. Open (2011), British Open (2014), PGA Championship (2012, 2014).

Masters appearances: 15.

Masters memory: Losing a four-shot lead in the final round of 2011.

Backspin: McIlroy decided to play eight tournaments this year leading up to the Masters, all the while trying to limit chatter about the one major that eludes him. This is his 10th chance at trying to complete the career Grand Slam. More telling is it’s been 10 years since he last won a major.


Age: 33.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 31 (LIV).

Worldwide victories: 15.

Majors: U.S. Open (2017, 2018), PGA Championship (2018, 2019, 2023).

Masters appearances: 8.

Masters memory: Two runner-up finishes, most recently losing 54-hole lead to Jon Rahm last year.

Backspin: Koepka still burns over his lost chance from a year ago, when he lost a four-shot lead on a marathon Sunday and went 22 straight holes without a birdie. He got back his major mojo by winning the PGA Championship. But he now has two close calls at Augusta (2019 and 2023).


Age: 32.

Country: Japan.

World ranking: 14.

Worldwide victories: 18.

Majors: Masters (2021).

Masters appearances: 12.

Masters memory: Becoming the first Japanese man to win a major at Augusta National in 2021.

Backspin: Injuries have slowed his progress the last two years. He won at Riviera with a record 62 in the final round and has looked ready to return among the elite in golf.


Age: 30.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 4.

Worldwide victories: 3.

Majors: U.S. Open (2023).

Masters appearances: None.

Masters memory: Flying private with Augusta National member Johnny Harris for his first practice round on March 5.

Backspin: The U.S. Open champion has two other wins against the strongest fields, and he might have more wins if not for finishing runner-up in consecutive weeks to Scottie Scheffler. He is No. 4 in the world and has never played in the Masters.


Age: 48.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 950.

Worldwide victories: 93.

Majors: Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019), U.S. Open (2000, 2002, 2008), British Open (2000, 2005, 2006), PGA Championship (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007).

Masters appearances: 25.

Masters memory: Five green jackets.

Backspin: In the five years since Woods won his fifth Masters, he has only one round in the 60s at Augusta National. He had his ankle fused after withdrawing on the weekend last year. But he will have played only 24 holes in one tournament going into the Masters.


Age: 53.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 161 (LIV).

Worldwide victories: 47.

Majors: Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), PGA Championship (2005, 2021), British Open (2013).

Masters appearances: 30.

Masters memory: The leap when he won his first major with an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the 2004 Masters.

Backspin: Mickelson, for all he has been through, can still surprise. He won the 2021 PGA Championship at age 50. And he closed with a 65 at Augusta National last year to finish runner-up alongside Koepka. He has only two top 10s at LIV Golf the last two seasons.

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