Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are two of the best golfers of their generation but have endured lengthy droughts with a major ahead of the 2023 Masters. McIlroy has failed to win a major since 2014 when he last won the PGA Championship.

Spieth has gone six years without a title, last winning The British Open in 2017. The two players are far too talented not to have won a major in that timespan, but it highlights the difficulty that even the best players face at the leading competitions. Both players have unfinished business at The Masters in the first major of the season. It would be fitting for either man to remerge on the major scene at Augusta to banish past demons.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy is the leading contender in the odds on the 2023 US Masters to win the crown at 13/2, but he has been in the position before and has not closed out the Green Jacket. In 2011, McIlroy held the lead before the final round of the tournament, only to endure a nightmare experience as he buckled under the pressure of the leaderboard. He was in the lead heading down the back nine but recorded a triple bogey on the 10th, a bogey on the 11th and a double bogey on the 12th to tumble down the standings. McIlroy has since won every other major, but Augusta still haunts him.

The 33-year-old has played well at The Masters, including a second-place finish in 2022, although he was well off the pace of winner Scottie Scheffler. The Northern Irishman has improved his consistency on the course over the last year, finishing in the top 10 of every major last season. He has already triumphed at the Dubai Desert Classic with a narrow win ahead of Patrick Reed and seems to be in a relaxed place with his golf. McIlroy will desperately want to end his major drought at Augusta to get the monkey off his back and finally don the Green Jacket that he should have claimed 12 years ago.

Jordan Spieth

Spieth has won the Green Jacket already in his career when he claimed the Masters crown in 2015 when he was seemingly on the trajectory to challenge Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. In 2015, Spieth dominated the major scene, winning the Masters and US Open along with a second-place finish at the PGA Championship and finishing fourth at the British Open. He returned to Augusta as the reigning champion and appeared to be on course to join a select company of golfers to win back-to-back titles at Augusta.

However, he too fell apart on the back nine on the 12th hole with a quadruple bogey, allowing a five-shot lead over Danny Willett to slip and allow the Englishman to run away with the crown. Although Spieth claimed his third major at the British Open in 2017 at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club, he has not been the same player since his Augusta meltdown. Spieth lost his aura and unshakable confidence. He has finished in the top five at The Masters since but has not been able to muster a serious challenge.

Last season he missed the cut at the competition for the first time. At the age of 29, Spieth still has plenty of time to get back to the top, and a resurgence at Augusta could help him on his journey. Both players will naturally be looking to end their respective droughts and end the first major in good form ahead of the rest of the season.