10 - 13 April

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy: Will be making his fourth appearance at Augusta

Rory McIlroy: Will be making his fourth appearance at Augusta

McIlroy was the story for the first three rounds of last year's Masters and, to many, for the fourth as well.

Fact Box

  • McIlroy is a big Manchester United fan and takes all the chances he gets to visit Old Trafford.
  • His opening 63 at St Andrews in 2010 was the lowest first round ever shot in the Open's 150-year history.
  • He follows Rihanna, Sky Sports News and Richard Branson on Twitter.

For 54 holes the Northern Irishman was majestic. He shared the first round lead with Alvaro Quiros after a superb 65, moved two clear at halfway and had doubled that lead to four when he walked off the course on Saturday night.

But then came one of the most painfully memorable Masters implosions of all-time.

Before Rory knew it the field had reeled him in and, feeling the pressure, he collapsed on the back nine going treble bogey, bogey, double bogey at 10, 11 and 12 to fall right out of contention.

Four in front at start of play he ended it in tied 15th, a full 10 shots behind winner Charl Schwartzel.

What happened next was even more remarkable.

Two months later before the US Open, McIlroy ended a tweet with the hashtag ilovemajors - not the words you might expect from a player who had suffered such a heartache in his previous one.

And, showing an amazing ability to put his Augusta woes behind him, McIlroy destroyed the US Open field at Congressional and won his first major by a staggering eight shots.

He hasn't look backed since and a win in The Honda Classic at the start of March took him to world number one for the first time.

McIlroy raises his game for the majors and his big hitting, stellar iron play and improved putting suggest it's a matter of when, not if, the 22-year-old slips his arms inside the famous Green Jacket.

Rory's Vital Stats

  • DOB: 04/05/1989
  • Nationality: Northern Ireland
  • Height: 5ft 9