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The Masters 2024: Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood among English quintet chasing Augusta glory



The men’s major golf season kicks off this week at The Masters and there will be a few Englishmen vying to get their hands on the coveted green jacket.

While the major has, since its inception in 1934, been dominated by American winners – only 24 of the tournaments being won by non-Americans – those Englishmen that have won it have made their mark.

From Sir Nick Faldo’s hat-trick of victories to Danny Willett’s shock win, they made their moment count at Augusta National.

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Nick Dougherty believes Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy will all be competing to wear the green jacket in Augusta and hopes McIlroy can complete a career grand slam to write his name in history

So, with The Masters just around the corner, we take a closer look at the English hopefuls aiming to make 2024 their year…

History: Which Englishmen have won before?

Sir Nick Faldo (1989, 1990, 1996)

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A look back to Nick Faldo’s victory at The Masters in 1990 when he became just the second man to retain the title

If there is one Englishman’s name who is synonymous with The Masters, it is Sir Nick Faldo.

A three-time champion, Faldo has donned the Green Jacket more than most, one of only three players to go back-to-back on the iconic course.

In his maiden Masters victory, Faldo was leading the pack after 27 holes and then started to slip back, becoming involved in a dramatic final round where six players led at one point across the back nine.

Putts on the 11th, 16th, and 17th sealed a play-off against Scott Hoch for the title, Hoch ‘choking’ on the first extra hole as he missed a two-foot par putt, allowing Faldo the chance to birdie the second extra hole for the win.

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Re-live the story behind Nick Faldo’s famous 1989 first victory at The Masters in Augusta

Partnered with 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus in the 1990 final round, Faldo then edged out Raymond Floyd in a play-off to become the first player since Nicklaus himself to defend his Masters win.

It looked like his crown was slipping when he double-bogeyed the opening hole after driving into a bunker and then three-putting.

However, Faldo held his nerve to force the play-off, the Englishman chipping an eight-iron down the hill to 18 feet, from where he safely made par to retain the title and claim the third of his six major victories.

The golfing legend then had to wait six years to don the green jacket once again, beating out LIV golf CEO Greg Norman in 1996, Norman dropping a six-shot lead to give Faldo the win.

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Masters moments, 1996: As the countdown to the Masters continues, take a look back at Nick Faldo putting the finishing touches to his third win, turning a six-shot deficit into a five-shot win over Greg Norman

Danny Willett (2016)

If there is one word that sums up Willett’s Masters win in 2016 it is ‘drama’.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth held a one-shot lead heading into the final day, with the then 22-year-old looking to become the youngest two-time Masters champion and only the fourth back-to-back winner of the green jacket.

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Spieth was the first defending champion to hold the 54-hole lead since Ben Hogan in 1954 and was on a run of seventh consecutive Masters rounds where he either led or was co-leader, breaking Arnold Palmer’s record of six that was set back in 1961.

Willett was three adrift of the leader on even par and had never won a professional event by coming from more than a stroke behind on the final day.

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Champion! Here’s how Danny Willett celebrated his 2016 victory at The Masters

Spieth raced clear on the front nine and posted four consecutive birdies from the sixth to reach the turn with a five-shot lead, only to follow back-to-back bogeys from the 10th by hitting it into Rae’s Creek twice at the 12th on his way to a quadruple-bogey seven.

Willett, making only his second Masters appearance, posted a final-day 67 – equalling the second-lowest bogey-free winning round at Augusta – to claim a three-shot win and a maiden major title.

Hopes in 2024: Fleetwood, Fitzpatrick, and a Willett double

Matt Fitzpatrick

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Matt Fitzpatrick gets off to a brilliant start on day four of The Players, opening with back-to-back birdies and narrowing the gap at the top of the leaderboard

Masters wins: 0

PGA Tour wins: 2

Major wins: 1 (US Open 2022)

Fitzpatrick has found some really good form recently, putting himself in a potentially winning position heading into the final round of the Players Champions 2024, and can take confidence from such a solid performance into the 2024 Masters.

Fitzpatrick knows how to perform at Augusta National, finishing inside the top 15 on his last two starts, and with 10 years of Masters experience under his belt, he could catapult himself into even more golfing stardom if his short game is on point and he can stay calm under pressure in the final round.

The 2022 US Open champion heads into The Masters having finished tied for 10th at last week’s Valero Texas Open and come fifth at The Players Championship, where he carded four sub-70 rounds.

The 29-year-old put that top-five finish at TPC Sawgrass down to getting back to his best off the tee, which he believes leads to him playing some of his best golf.

“I drove it like I feel like I can drive it,” Fitzpatrick said. “To me, it felt a bit like my old self: drove the ball well, putted well, and that’s always been the key to when I’ve played well, really.”

Tommy Fleetwood

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Highlights from the final round of the Dubai Invitational as Tommy Fleetwood snatches a dramatic victory from under Rory McIlroy’s nose

Masters wins: 0

PGA Tour wins: 0

Major wins: 0

Tommy Fleetwood has become somewhat of a nearly man of late, putting in solid performances in majors and on the PGA Tour but just always missing out on victory by the smallest of margins.

Fleetwood’s best performance in the Masters was back in 2022 when he finished T14 but after a solid year, he will be hoping that in 2024 he finally gets the win on the biggest stage.

He has seven top 10 finishes in majors and renowned golf instructor Butch Harmon, who has worked with Fleetwood, is backing him to get over the line in the first of 2024.

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“I think he’s ready to break out and win a major,” Harmon said. “He’s got a great game for Augusta, he is a right-to-left player.

“In our two years together he’s improved every aspect of his game. He’s a very consistent player, he handles the situation well when he gets in there. He had a good chance to win two majors last year – he was right in there in both Opens and he lost the Canadian Open to a guy who holed a 72 footer, so he’s due a break himself.

“He’s playing with a lot of confidence and I’m someone who thinks Tommy Fleetwood is not just one of the best golfers in the world but also one of the nicest guys in the world. So I hope he can get it done.”

Danny Willett

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Jon Rahm is the 2023 Masters champion! Watch his best moments from the final round

Masters wins: 1

PGA Tour wins: 1

Major wins: 1 (Masters 2016)

Willett will be using The Masters in 2024 as a chance to make a comeback after a bad shoulder injury.

The 2016 champion had surgery back in September but has targeted the Masters for a big comeback, Willett automatically qualifying due to his previous victory.

He has endured some struggles at Augusta National since his triumph eight years ago, failing to make the cut on five of seven occasions and with a best finish of tied for 12th in 2022.

This year’s tournament will mark his first outing since the 2023 BMW PGA Championship, where he finished tied for 64th, and he is eager to make an impression again on one of golf’s grandest stages.

“I played 18 holes plus the par-three course on Sunday, but we’re still playing it by ear, seeing how the body holds up,” Willett said ahead of this week’s tournament. “You don’t want to come and just make up the numbers, you want to come and know you can hit certain shots and do certain things.

“Unless something happens that I don’t like the feel of, I’m optimistic that I’ll be teeing it up on Thursday. It’s probably about 80/20 in favour right now.”

Justin Rose

Justin Rose, of England, lines up his putt on the first green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament, Friday, March 8, 2024, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Masters wins: 0

PGA Tour wins: 11

Major wins: 1 (US Open 2013)

Rose has finished runner up at The Masters twice, in 2015 and 2017, and has a further four top-10 finishes in the tournament.

The 43-year-old has not been in the best of form on the PGA Tour so far this year though, with a tied-11th finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am a rare bright spot.

He has finished no higher than tied-40th on any of his other starts and was forced to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational after suffering back spasms, then missed the cut at The Players Championship.

Rose is, however, a former major champion having triumphed in the US Open in 2013 and an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour, with the most recent of those successes coming at last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Despite his up-and-down form, Rose remains formidable on his day.

Tyrrell Hatton

Tyrrell Hatton of Legion XIII GC hits his shot from the sixth tee during the pro-am before the start of the LIV Golf Mayakoba at the El Camale..n Golf Course on Thursday, February 01, 2024 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Charles Laberge/LIV Golf via AP)

Masters wins: 0

PGA Tour wins: 1

Major wins: 0

Hatton made headlines earlier this year by joining reigning Masters champion and Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm in switching to the LIV Golf series.

He heads to Augusta National having secured a sixth-place finish, his best since switching, at the tournament in Miami last weekend and helping Legion XIII win the team competition for the second time since crossing golf’s divide.

One of 13 LIV players competing in the first major of the year, Hatton’s best performance at The Masters in his seven previous appearances is a tied-18th finish in 2021. The 32-year-old played down any talk of the rivalry between the different tours this week though.

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“I would say the media is going to make it more LIV, PGA Tour, European Tour, whatever,” Hatton said.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, that doesn’t really matter. There are guys who play on those tours who are our friends. We get on well with them.

“But when we go out on the golf course we’re going to try our best to win. At majors it doesn’t matter what side you’re on, you’re just trying your best.”

When is The Masters on Sky Sports?

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The Masters is upon us and you can watch all the tremendous action and intense drama from Augusta live on Sky Sports, from Thursday April 11 – Sunday April 14

Wall-to-wall coverage from the tournament begins at 2pm over the first two rounds on Thursday April 11 and Friday April 12, with Featured Group action and regular updates from around the course available to enjoy on Sky Sports Golf until the global broadcast window begins at 8pm.

There will be lots of extra action throughout all four days via the red button on Sky Sports Golf, along with Sky Q and Sky Glass, providing plenty of bonus feeds and allowing you to follow players’ progress through various parts of Augusta’s famous layout.

Sky Sports Golf will show extended build-up content over the weekend and occasional live updates from the course before the global broadcast window starts at 8pm for the third round and 7pm for the final day, with early action available throughout via the red button.

Who will win The Masters? Watch live from April 11-14 exclusively on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins with Featured Groups on Thursday April 11 from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, majors and more with NOW.


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