Noteworthy golfers run gamut at Masters

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods command the Masters spotlight, but other notables like Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Ryo Ishikawa and even amateur Lion Kim will likely attract plenty of attention, too.


Phil Mickelson

Lefty may be the favourite, but his season has included its fair share of indifferent play.

There was no sign of that over the weekend in Houston as Mickelson played his final two rounds in 16-under par.

 If nothing else, he'll be the most confident man at the outset of this Masters, where he's posted a Top 10 finish in 11 of the last 12 years, including three victories.

Martin Kaymer

The world's No. 1 player is looking to make it two straight majors.

He was clinical in winning the PGA Championship in August and proved it was no fluke by capturing two more tournaments before the end of the season and another one this year.

The German has missed the cut in all three of his appearances at Augusta National.

Lee Westwood

As steady as they come, Westwood had a chance to win his first major championship at the Masters last year.

He closed with a 71 and finished alone in second — three shots behind Mickelson.

Westwood is still looking for his first Top 10 in 2011.


Tiger Woods

Despite the long drought since his last victory, he should never be counted out at Augusta National.

The owner of four green jackets, his worst Masters finish over the last six years is a tie for sixth.

Woods finished fourth a year ago after returning from a long absence and should be a little sharper this time around.

Rory McIlroy

The mop-topped golfer from Northern Ireland celebrates his 22nd birthday during Masters week and enters after a self-described "mini boot camp" to sharpen his game.

McIlroy has posted fairly strong results this year despite some poor rounds.

The world's ninth-ranked player is looking for more consistency.

Ryo Ishikawa

Is there a better story in golf?

Just 19 years old, Ishikawa has pledged to donate all of his earnings in 2011 — plus $1,200 US for every birdie — to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated his native Japan.

If he finds himself in contention, it's hard to imagine anyone pulling against him.


Mike Weir 

A drive down Magnolia Lane might be just what the 2003 Masters champion needs to put an ugly stretch behind him.

The lefty from Bright's Grove, Ont., has made just one cut in six events this season and is making his return to competition after developing a cyst on his left wrist.

On the plus side, Weir has only missed the cut once in 11 visits to Augusta National.

Sergio Garcia

When was the last time golf's biggest enigma carried less of a presence heading into a major?

The Spaniard has fallen all the way to No. 73 in the world rankings.

However, he did finish eighth two weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Lion Kim (a)

Golf now has its Lion to go with Tiger and the (Golden) Bear.

Born Jun Min Kim, his parents started calling him Lion at a young age and the nickname stuck.

The 22-year-old senior from the University of Michigan earned his invite to Augusta National with a victory at last year's U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

While he's not likely to challenge for the green jacket, he's one of six players vying to be low amateur.

With files from The Canadian Press