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The Masters is the Super Bowl of golf, the most prestigious and important event for golf. It has cemented legends of the game along with introducing fans to new ones, as history is riddled throughout its course and tournaments.
Of golf’s most illustrious event, who has won it the most times? There have been countless memorable results, but which golfers have dominated golf’s grandest game? Let’s go through the Masters and some of its most dominant players to play in it.
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What is The Masters Tournament?
As stated, it’s the biggest event in golf. It is held annually at the Augusta National Golf Club, typically in April. It’s the first of four major events held on the golf calendar, and considered the most prestigious and important.
The winner of the event receives a green jacket, and a nice prize financially speaking. Last year’s winner, Scottie Scheffler, won the highest prize share at a Masters event at $2.7 million dollars. The entire event is held over the course of four days (Thursday-Sunday), with each round being played a day.
Highest Masters Winning Score
In golf, the lowest score wins. So which golfers have won the biggest tournament with the highest scores? 289 is the highest score to win a Masters event, accomplished by three different players. In the 1950s, both Sam Snead and Jack Burke Jr. won with a 289 while Zach Johnson accomplished the feat in 2007.
Snead actually beat Ben Hogan in the 1954 Masters that went to a Playoffs. Burke, Jr.’s 289 win came in 1956, two years later. He beat amateur Ken Venturi by one stroke. Johnson won by two strokes against a pair of South Africans and the one and only Tiger Woods.
Jack Nicklaus: The King of Masters
Many consider the Golden Bear the greatest golfer of all-time, which is hard to argue looking at his Augusta resume. Nicklaus has won six Masters events through the years of 1963 and 1986. For two decades Nicklaus has been winning Masters, and his six is more than any other player.
His accomplishments don’t stop in Georgia though, winning 18 total majors. He won the PGA Championship five times, the U.S. Open four times and the British Open three times. He has also seen 73 total PGA Tour victories throughout his career, ranking third all-time.
Masters Tournament Hall of Fame
The Golden Bear isn’t the only golfer to dominate the Masters though, as many other golfers have made names for themselves in this event.
Of course Tiger is on the list, winning five Masters and just one shy behind tying Nicklaus. Woods won his most recent major in 2019, 14 years separated from his last Masters win in 2005. It’s a tall task, but Tiger has shown he can win in Augusta and will be eyeing the magic number ‘6’.
Tiger’s first Masters win came in 1997 where he destroyed competition. He set a Masters record by winning stroke margin, finishing -18 under par which was 12 strokes better than second-place finisher Tom Kite.
Palmer won his first Masters event in 1958, the first time the winning prize share reached five digits ($11,250). He won his first three Masters by one stroke or less, winning his final Masters in 1964 by six strokes ahead of runner up Jack Nicklaus.
He saw two runner up results in Augusta, once to Gary Player and the other to Nicklaus. Palmer won 10 total majors in his career and his four Masters victories is more win for him in a major event than any other – although he has won all four majors at least one time.
Demaret was the first three-time winner at the Masters, his first coming in 1940 and his last in 1950. It was a race between him and Byron Nelson to become the first three-time Masters winner, as Nelson won his second in 1942. He finished as runner-up to Demaret in 1947 but never saw a Top 2 finish after.
Snead was the second three-time winner at the Masters, winning his third in 1954 against Ben Hogan. Hogan was also going for this third green jacket, but lost in a playoff to Snead. Snead won his three green jackets within the span of six years, and also finished as a runner up in 1957.
Another three-time Masters winner is Gary Player, winning his three over the course of nearly two decades. Player won his first Masters event in 1961, beating out Arnold Palmer by a stroke. He won his last in 1978. He is one of a few players to win all four majors in his career, and has nine total. He has won both the Masters and the British Open three times each.
The current golf commentator on TV, Sir Nick Faldo also won three Masters events. He won back-to-back Masters events in 1989 and 1990, while also winning in 1996 just one year prior to Tiger’s dominant ‘97 performance.
Faldo won his back-to-back Masters in playoffs each, as he is also only one of three players to win the Masters back-to-back years. The other two players include Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, arguably the two greatest golfers of all-time. A great list to be part of indeed.
The most famous left-handed golfer has also worn the green jacket on three different occasions, his last as recently as 2010. He has beaten out a South African golfer in winning the Masters during two of his three victories. Mickelson has won all four majors in his career and has a total of 12. He has won the U.S. Open six different times.