Masters History: List of Masters Champions and Multiple Green Jacket Winners

Masters History: List of Past Champions, Most Green JacketsOne of my favorite parts about having this blog is that it challenges me to learn more about the history of the sports I write about. As you may remember (since it was only last month) I did a series of posts about the history of March Madness and the history of the major conference tournaments. It was great because it gave me not only the ability to educate our readers, but also to educate myself.

As the 2009 Masters prepares to tee off on Thursday, I now have the opportunity to do the same thing for the Greatest Spectacle in Golf. And golf, much like baseball in many ways, is hard to fully appreciate without understanding the proper historical context for contemporary accomplishments.

(See also, our posts on the biggest final round comebacks in Masters history and the greatest moments in Masters history.)

Tiger Woods will tee off around 2:00 on Thursday, gunning to become Masters Champion and GreenMasters History: List of Past Champions and Most Green Jackets Jacket Wearer for the fifth time. Why is this so important? Because it would break the current tie between Woods and the great Arnold Palmer for second on the all-time list of Masters Champions. It would also move Tiger to within one of the incomparable Jack Nicklaus for most Green Jackets ever.

But pretty much every golf fan knows that.

What about Phil Mickelson? Where can he place himself on the all-time Masters champion list this weekend? How about Ben Crenshaw and Jose Maria Olazabal? That is the purpose of this post.

First, we will run down the all-time list of Masters Champions, all the way back to the first Masters in 1934. Then, we’ll take a look at the list of men of who have won multiple Green Jackets and how they stack up against each other.

Masters History: List of Past Masters Champions

Year Masters Champion 72-Hole Score Margin of Victory
2009 ??? ??? ???
2008 Trevor Immelman 280 +3
2007 Zach Johnson 289 +2
2006 Phil Mickelson 281 +2
2005 Tiger Woods 276 Playoff
2004 Phil Mickelson 279 +1
2003 Mike Weir 281 Playoff
2002 Tiger Woods 276 +3
2001 Tiger Woods 272 +2
2000 Vijay Singh 289 +3
1999 Jose Maria Olazabal 280 +2
1998 Mark O'Meara 279 +1
1997 Tiger Woods 270 +12
1996 Nick Faldo 276 +5
1995 Ben Crenshaw 274 +1
1994 Jose Maria Olazabal 279 +2
1993 Bernhard Langer 277 +4
1992 Fred Couples 275 +2
1991 Ian Woosnam 277 +1
1990 Nick Faldo 278 Playoff
1989 Nick Faldo 283 Playoff
1988 Sandy Lyle 281 +1
1987 Larry Mize 285 Playoff
1986 Jack Nicklaus 279 +1
1985 Bernhard Langer 282 +2
1984 Ben Crenshaw 277 +2
1983 Seve Ballesteros 280 +4
1982 Craig Stadler 284 Playoff
1981 Tom Watson 280 +2
1980 Seve Ballesteros 275 +4
1979 Fuzzy Zoeller 280 Playoff
1978 Gary Player 277 +1
1977 Tom Watson 276 +2
1976 Raymond Floyd 271 +8
1975 Jack Nicklaus 276 +1
1974 Gary Player 278 +2
1973 Tommy Aaron 283 +1
1972 Jack Nicklaus 286 +3
1971 Charles Coody 279 +2
1970 Billy Casper 279 Playoff
1969 George Archer 281 +1
1968 Bob Goalby 281 +1
1967 Gay Brewer 280 +1
1966 Jack Nicklaus 288 Playoff
1965 Jack Nicklaus 271 +9
1964 Arnold Palmer 276 +6
1963 Jack Nicklaus 286 +1
1962 Arnold Palmer 280 Playoff
1961 Gary Player 280 +1
1960 Arnold Palmer 282 +1
1959 Art Wall Jr. 284 +1
1958 Arnold Palmer 284 +1
1957 Doug Ford 283 +3
1956 Jack Burke Jr. 289 +1
1955 Cary Middlecoff 279 +7
1954 Sam Snead 289 Playoff
1953 Ben Hogan 274 +5
1952 Sam Snead 286 +4
1951 Ben Hogan 280 +2
1950 Jimmy Demaret 283 +2
1949 Sam Snead 282 +3
1948 Claude Harmon 279 +5
1947 Jimmy Demaret 281 +2
1946 Herman Keiser 282 +1
1945 No Tournament    
1944 No Tournament    
1943 No Tournament    
1942 Byron Nelson 280 Playoff
1941 Craig Wood 280 +3
1940 Jimmy Demaret 280 +4
1939 Ralph Guldahl 279 +1
1938 Henry Picard 285 +2
1937 Byron Nelson 283 +2
1936 Horton Smith 285 +1
1935 Gene Sarazen 282 Playoff
1934 Horton Smith 284 +1

This information above was taken from the official website for the Masters, where they provide a list of Masters champions that includes the 18-hold, 36-hole, 54-hole, and 72-hole totals for each champion. The above table is obviously just a snippet of that information.

Also provided at is the list of multiple Masters champions, which looks like this:

  • 6 – Jack Nicklaus: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986
  • 4 – Arnold Palmer: 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964
  • 4 – Tiger Woods: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005
  • 3 – Jimmy Demaret: 1940, 1947, 1950
  • 3 – Sam Snead: 1949, 1952, 1954Masters History: List of Past Masters Champions, Most Green Jackets
  • 3 – Gary Player: 1961, 1974, 1978
  • 3 – Nick Faldo: 1989, 1990, 1996
  • 2 – Horton Smith: 1934, 1936
  • 2 – Byron Nelson: 1937, 1942
  • 2 – Ben Hogan: 1951, 1953
  • 2 – Tom Watson: 1977, 1981
  • 2 – Seve Ballesteros: 1980, 1983
  • 2 – Bernhard Langer: 1985, 1993
  • 2 – Ben Crenshaw: 1984, 1995
  • 2 – Jose Maria Olazabal: 1994, 1999
  • 2 – Phil Mickelson: 2004, 2006

And a few other interesting nuggets of Masters history:

  • Only four players have been wire-to-wire champions: Craig Wood (1941), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Raymond Floyd (1976).
  • Mark O’Meara set the record for the most number of attempts before winning his first Green Jacket in 1998: 15.
  • Amazingly, Jack Nicklaus won his sixth Masters 28 years after his first Masters Tournament.
  • The youngest Masters champion ever is, of course, Tiger Woods in 1997 when he was still only 21. Woods also shattered the course record that year in perhaps the greatest single 72-hole performance in golf history.
  • The oldest Masters champion is Jack Nicklaus, who was 46 when he won Green Jacket #6 in 1986.
  • The average age of a Masters champion is 32.57 years.List of Masters Champions - Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus - Most Green Jackets

Looking at the list of past Masters champions, you cannot help but notice the amazing stretch from 1960-1966 when only three players donned Green Jackets: Jack Nicklaus (3), Arnold Palmer (3), Gary Player (1). That must have been an amazing time to be a golf fan — one that I am obviously not familiar with since it was about 20 years before I was even born. I would love to get the perspective of an older golf fan in the comments section as to what it was like to have those three (and especially Nicklaus and Palmer) pushing eachother to such great heights.

That has been the one thing conspicuously absent from Tiger’s dominance over the last 15 years: a legitimate rival. I know that Phil Mickelson has won two Masters in the last five years, but I don’t think anyone looks at Mickelson as being Arnold Palmer to Wood’s Nicklaus.

Perhaps as both move into the heart of their 30s, they can provide that kind of back-and-forth competitiveness and drama to eachother. We shall see. It certainly would be fun to see the two of them paired up together on Sunday, battling shot-for-shot for the 2009 Masters championship.

About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.


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