10 - 13 April

Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell: The 2010 US Open champion will be playing in his fifth Masters.

Graeme McDowell: The 2010 US Open champion will be playing in his fifth Masters.

McDowell has a disappointing Augusta record - three missed cuts and a tied 17th - but he's not a man to write off lightly.

Fact Box

  • McDowell was awarded the MBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List.
  • In 2002, he won the Haskins Award, given to the most outstanding collegiate golfer in the United States.
  • McDowell follows Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Shaquille O'Neal and Manchester United on Twitter.

The first sign that he was something a little special came when the man from Portrush won the 2002 Volvo Scandinavian Masters on just his fourth start on the European Tour.

He stalled somewhat over the next five seasons, managing just one more victory, but a two-win campaign in 2008 saw him climb the world rankings.

But his life really changed - although he didn't know it at the time - when he got a last-minute invite to replace shamed host Tiger Woods in the 2009 Chevron World Challenge.

A solo-second behind Jim Furyk took him inside the world's top-50 ranked players but by the time the 2010 US Open field was confirmed he'd slipped to 48th, just inside the bubble, meaning that without those Chevron world ranking points he may well have missed the tournament that thrust him to stardom.

G-Mac went on to win at Pebble Beach by a stroke, rode the momentum to win again in Europe and take second only to Martin Kaymer in the Race to Dubai, before famously anchoring the European Ryder Cup team to victory at Celtic Manor.

Then, just when you thought he'd done surprising, McDowell went back to Tiger's tournament at Sherwood Country Club and chased down Woods, becoming the first man to come back from four behind this generation's best player with a stunning play-off triumph.

Like many who achieve their lifetime goal of a major relatively early, McDowell came back to earth in 2011 and failed to win.

But with the lure of a Ryder Cup at the end of 2012, he'll be doing everything he can to make the team again and, despite the missed cuts, he has the tools to be a strong contender at Augusta.

Graeme's Vital Stats

  • DOB: 30/07/1979
  • Nationality: Northern Ireland
  • Height: 5ft 11