Martin Dempster's lowdown on main Masters contenders

Some facts and figures on the leading lights heading into the final men’s major of 2020 in its novel November slot at Augusta National

World No 1 Dustin Johnson and fifth-ranked Rory McIlroy walk together during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National. Picture: Rob Carr/Getty Images
World No 1 Dustin Johnson and fifth-ranked Rory McIlroy walk together during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National. Picture: Rob Carr/Getty Images


After becoming the second-oldest winner of the Masters behind Jack Nicklaus in 1986 as he claimed his fifth Green Jacket at the age of 43 last April , Woods is now searching for a victory that would move him ahead of Sam Snead as the PGA Tour’s most prolific champion. The pair are currently tied on 83 title triumphs. Four of Woods’ 15 wins in majors have come as defending champion, most recently in the 2007 US PGA Championship.

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The 2016 US Open champion has recorded four consecutive top-10s at the Masters - T6 in 2015, T4 in 2016, T10 in 2018 and T2 in 2019. He didn’t play in 2017 after slipping on a floor in his rented house in Augusta in the build up to the event when he was in a rich vein of form. Johnson is flying again coming into this one, having recorded top-10 finishes in each of his last six starts, including a win in the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour.


The four-time major winner has racked up five top-10 finishes in his last six starts at the Masters - T8 in 2014, 4th in 2015, T10 in 2016, T7 in 2017, T5 in 2018 and T21 in 2019. His last major win was in the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, but he has not missed a cut in 22 starts on the PGA Tour since the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

BROOKS KOEPKAAnother four-time major champion, he finished T2 at the 2019 Masters Tournament - his first top-10 in four starts at the event. The 2013 Scottish Challenge winner has been troubled by a knee injury since his most recent major success in the 2019 US PGA Championship but finished T5 at last week’s Vivint Houston Open in his second start of the 2020-21 season.


After winning his first major championship title at the US Open in September, the big-hitting American is now bidding to become the first player to claim consecutive majors since Jordan Spieth did the trick in the Masters and US Open in 2015. His best result at the Masters came as an amateur in 2016, when he finished T21. He then held a share of the first-round lead last year before finishing T29, but the 27-year-old has transformed both his game and physical appearance coming into this event.


The Spaniard has finished in the top 10 in each of the last two years at the Masters - fourth in 2018 then T9 in 2019. Rahm has recorded holes-in-one on successive days in practice rounds this week, the second one, which was skimmed across the water at the 16th, coming on his 26th birthday.

PHIL MICKELSONThe three-time Masters champion is among the players in the field that could break Julius Boros’ record as oldest major champion after he won the 1968 US PGA Championship at 48 years, 4 months, 18 days. Mickelson turned 50 in June and has already recorded victories in his first two starts on the Champions Tour.


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