Masters Tournament

Masters Tournament
Masters Tournament
Tournament information
Location Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Established 1934
Course(s) Augusta National Golf Club
Par 72
Length 7,435 yards (6,799 m)
Tour(s) PGA Tour
PGA European Tour
Japan Golf Tour
Format Stroke play
Prize fund $8,000,000
Month played April
Tournament record score
Aggregate 270 Tiger Woods (1997)
To par -18 Tiger Woods (1997)
Current champion
South Africa Charl Schwartzel
2011 Masters Tournament

The Masters Tournament, also known as The Masters (sometimes referred to as The U.S. Masters outside of the United States), is one of the four major championships in professional golf. Scheduled for the first full week of April, it is the first of the majors to be played each year. Unlike the other major championships, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club, a private golf club in the city of Augusta, Georgia, USA. The Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones.[1] Jones designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie. The tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour, the PGA European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, entry being controlled by the Augusta National Golf Club.

The tournament has a number of traditions. A green jacket has been awarded to the winner since 1949, which must be returned to the clubhouse after a year. The Champions dinner, inaugurated by Ben Hogan in 1952, is held on the Tuesday before each tournament, and is open only to past champions and certain board members of the Augusta National Golf Club. Beginning in 1963, legendary golfers, usually past champions, have hit an honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round. Such golfers have included Fred McLeod, Jock Hutchinson, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus. Since 1960, a semi-social Par 3 Contest, on a par-3 course on Augusta National's grounds, has been played on the day before the first round of each Masters Tournament.

Nicklaus has won more Masters Tournaments than any other golfer, winning six times between 1963 and 1986. Other multiple winners include Palmer and Tiger Woods, with four each. Gary Player, from South Africa, was the first non-American player to win the tournament in 1961.

Since the course first opened in 1933, it has been modified many times by different architects. Among the changes: greens have been reshaped and occasionally rebuilt completely, bunkers have been added, water hazards have been extended, new tees have been built, hundreds of trees have been planted, and several mounds have been installed.[2]



The Masters is the first acknowledged major golf championship of the year and since 1940 has been played so that the final round is always on the second Sunday of April.[1]

Because the Masters has a relatively small field compared to other golf tournaments, the competitors play in groups of three for the first 36 holes on the first two days. After 36 holes have been played by all players, players are eliminated to reduce the field. To "make the cut", players must be either within 44 places of the lead (ties counting) or within 10 strokes of the leader's score. These rules have applied since the 1961 tournament; from 1957 to 1960 the best 40 scores and ties and those within 10 strokes of the leader made the cut. Before 1957, there was no 36-hole cut.[3]

Following the cut a further 36 holes are played over the final two days. If there is a tie at the end of the 72 holes, all players who are tied enter a sudden death play off starting on the 18th hole and then playing the 18th and 10th until a winner is found.



The total prize money for the 2008 tournament was $7,500,000, with $1,350,000 going to the winner.[4] In the inaugural year, the winner Horton Smith received $1,000 out of a $5,000 purse.[5] After [Nicklaus's first win in 1963, he received $20,000, while after his final victory in 1986 he won $144,000.[6][7] In recent years the purse has grown quickly. Between 2001 and 2008, the winners share grew by $270,000, and the purse grew by $1,500,000.[4][5]

In addition to a cash prize, the winner of the tournament is presented with a distinctive green jacket, formally awarded since 1949, and informally acquired by the champions for many years before that. The green sport coat is the official attire worn by members of Augusta National while on the club grounds; each Masters winner becomes an honorary member of the club. The recipient of the green jacket has it presented to him inside the Butler Cabin soon after the end of the tournament, and the presentation is then repeated outside near the 18th green in front of the spectators. Winners keep their jacket for the first year after their first victory, then return it to the club to wear whenever they visit. The tradition began in 1949, when Sam Snead won his first of three Masters titles. The green jacket is only allowed to be removed from Augusta National by the reigning champion, after which it must remain at the club. Exceptions to this rule include Gary Player, who in his joy of winning mistakenly took his jacket home to South Africa after his 1961 victory (although he has always followed the spirit of the rule and has never worn the jacket);[8] Seve Ballesteros who, in a recent[when?] interview with Peter Alliss from his home in Pedreña, showed off one of his two green jackets in his trophy room; and Henry Picard, whose jacket was removed from the club before the tradition was well established, remained in his closet for a number of years, and is now on display at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio, where he was the club professional for many years.[9][10]

By tradition, the winner of the previous year's Masters Tournament puts the jacket on the current winner at the end of the tournament. In 1966, Jack Nicklaus became the first player to win in consecutive years and he donned the jacket himself.[11] When Nick Faldo (in 1990) and Tiger Woods (in 2002) repeated as champions, the chairman of Augusta National put the jacket on them.

There are several awards presented to players who perform exceptional feats during the tournament. The player who has the daily lowest score receives a crystal vase, while players who score a hole-in-one or a double eagle win a large crystal bowl. For each eagle a player makes he receives a pair of crystal goblets. The winner of the Par 3 competition, which is played the day before the tournament begins, wins a crystal bowl.[1]

In addition to the green jacket, winners of the tournament receive a gold medal. They have their names engraved on the actual silver Masters trophy, introduced in 1961, which depicts the clubhouse. This trophy remains at Augusta National; since 1993 winners have received a sterling silver replica. The runner-up receives a silver medal, introduced in 1951. Beginning in 1978, a silver salver was added as an award for the runner-up.[1]

In 1952 the Masters began presenting an award, known as the Silver Cup, to the lowest scoring amateur to make the cut. In 1954 they began presenting an amateur silver medal to the low amateur runner-up.[1]

Other traditions

As with the other majors, winning the Masters gives a golfer several privileges which make his career more secure. Masters champions are automatically invited to play in the other three majors (the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship) for the next five years, and earn a lifetime invitation to the Masters. They also receive membership on the PGA Tour for the following five seasons and invitations to The Players Championship for five years.[12]

Because the tournament was established by the amateur golfer Bobby Jones, the Masters has a tradition of honoring amateur golf. It invites winners of the most prestigious amateur tournaments in the world. Also, the current U.S. Amateur champion always plays in the same group as the defending Masters champion for the first two days of the tournament.

Since 1963 the custom in most years has been to start the tournament with an honorary opening tee shot at the first hole, typically by one of golf's legendary players. The original honorary starters were Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod; this twosome led off every tournament from 1963 until 1973, when poor health prevented Hutchison from swinging a club. McLeod continued on until his death in 1976. Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen started in 1981, and were then joined by Sam Snead in 1984. This trio continued until 1999 when Sarazen died, while Nelson stopped in 2001. Snead hit his final opening tee shot in 2001, a year before he too died. In 2007, Arnold Palmer took over as the honorary starter. Palmer also had the honor in 2008 and 2009.[13] At the 2010 and 2011 Masters Tournaments, Jack Nicklaus joined Palmer as a co-honorary starter for the event.[14]

The Champions' dinner is held each year on the Tuesday evening preceding Thursday's first round. The dinner was first held in 1952, hosted by defending champion Ben Hogan, to honor the past champions of the tournament.[15] At that time 15 tournaments had been played, and the number of past champions was 11 (including Hogan). Officially known as the "Masters Club", it includes only past winners of the Masters, although selected members of the Augusta National Golf Club have been included as honorary members, usually the chairman. The defending champion, as host, selects the menu for the dinner. Over the years, one of the most notable dishes was haggis, served by Scotsman Sandy Lyle in 1989.[16] Frequently, Masters champions opt to serve finely prepared cuisine by the Masters chef from their home regions. Notable examples have included bobotie, a South African delicacy served at the behest of 2008 Masters Tournament champion Trevor Immelman. Previous examples also include German Bernhard Langer's 1986 Wiener Schnitzel feast, Brit Nick Faldo's Fish and Chips, Canadian Mike Weir's elk and wild boar, and Vijay Singh's Seafood Tom Kah and Chicken Panang Curry. Prior to the 1998 Champions Dinner, 1979 Masters Champion Fuzzy Zoeller created a media firestorm when he suggested that Tiger Woods refrain from serving collard greens and fried chicken, dishes commonly associated with Afro-American culture, at the traditional clubhouse feast. 1991 Masters Champion Ian Woosnam has asserted that Angel Cabrera's "asado," prepared diligently by Chef James Clark, Jr., represented the finest interpretation of Argentine cuisine known to a Masters chef.

The 9th hole on the par 3 course

The Par 3 Contest was first introduced in 1960, and was won that year by Snead. Since then it has traditionally been played on the Wednesday before the tournament starts. The Par 3 course was built in 1958. It is a nine-hole course, with a par of 27, and measures 1,060 yards (970 m) in length.[17] There have been 73 holes-in-one in the history of the contest, with a record five occurring in 2002. No Par 3 Contest winner has also won the Masters in the same year.[18][19] There have been several repeat winners, including Pádraig Harrington, Sandy Lyle, and Sam Snead. The former two won in successive years. In this event, golfers may use their children as caddies, which helps to create a family-friendly atmosphere. In 2008, the event was televised for the first time by ESPN.

Before 1982 all players in the Masters were required to use the services of an Augusta National Club caddy, who by club tradition was always an African American.[20] Indeed, club co-founder Clifford Roberts is reputed to have said, "As long as I'm alive, golfers will be white, and caddies will be black."[21] Since 1982, players have been allowed the option of using their own caddy. The Masters requires caddies to wear a uniform consisting of a white jumpsuit, a green Masters cap, and white tennis shoes. The surname, and sometimes first initial, of each player is found on the back of his caddie's uniform. The defending champion always receives caddy number "1": other golfers get their caddy numbers from the order in which they register for the tournament.


Masters logo on the club grounds

Augusta National Golf Club

The idea for Augusta National originated with Bobby Jones, who wanted to build a golf course after his retirement from the game. He sought advice from Clifford Roberts, who later became the chairman of the club. They came across a piece of land in Augusta, Georgia, of which Jones said: "Perfect! And to think this ground has been lying here all these years waiting for someone to come along and lay a golf course upon it."[22] Jones hired Alister MacKenzie to design the course, and work began in 1931. The course formally opened in 1933, but MacKenzie died before the first Masters Tournament was played.[23]

Early tournament years

The first "Augusta National Invitational" Tournament, as the Masters was originally known, began on March 22, 1934, and was won by Horton Smith. The present name was adopted in 1939. The first tournament was played with current holes 10 through 18 played as the first nine, and 1 through 9 as the second nine[24] then reversed permanently to its present layout for the 1935 tournament.[1]

Initially the Augusta National Invitational field was composed of Bobby Jones' close associates. Jones had petitioned the USGA to hold the U.S. Open at Augusta but the USGA denied the petition, noting that the hot Georgia summers would create difficult playing conditions.[25]

Gene Sarazen hit the "shot heard 'round the world" in 1935, holing a shot from the fairway on the par 5 15th for a double eagle.[26] This tied Sarazen with Craig Wood, and in the ensuing 36-hole playoff Sarazen was the victor by five strokes.[27] The tournament was not played from 1943 to 1945, due to World War II. To assist the war effort, cattle and turkeys were raised on the Augusta National grounds.[1]


The Big Three of Palmer, Player, and Nicklaus dominated the Masters from 1960 through 1978, winning the event eleven times among them during that span. After winning by one stroke in 1958,[28] Palmer won by one stroke again in 1960 in memorable circumstances. Trailing Ken Venturi by one shot in the 1960 event, Palmer made birdies on the last two holes to prevail. Palmer would go on to win another two Masters in 1962 and 1964.[29][30]

Jack Nicklaus playing in the 2006 Masters Tournament par 3 contest.

Jack Nicklaus emerged in the early 1960s, and served as a rival to the popular Palmer. Nicklaus won his first green jacket in 1963, defeating Tony Lema by one stroke.[31] Two years later, he shot a then-course record of 271 (17 under par) for his second Masters win, leading Bobby Jones to say that Nicklaus played "a game with which I am not familiar."[32] The next year, Nicklaus won his third green jacket in a grueling 18-hole playoff against Tommy Jacobs and Gay Brewer.[11] This made Nicklaus the first player to win consecutive Masters. He won again in 1972, again by three strokes.[33] In 1975, Nicklaus was locked in a duel with Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller. In one of the most exciting Masters to date, he claimed the victory by one stroke over his two challengers.[34]

Player became the first non-American to win the Masters in 1961 beating Palmer, the defending champion.[35] In 1974 he won again by two strokes.[36] After not winning a tournament for four years, and at the age of 42, Player won his third and final Masters in 1978 by one stroke over three players.[37] Player currently shares (with Fred Couples) the record of making 23 consecutive cuts, and has played in a record 52 Masters.[38][39][40]

A controversial ending to the Masters occurred in 1968. Roberto DeVicenzo signed a scorecard (scored by playing partner Tommy Aaron) which incorrectly listed a 4 instead of a 3 on the 17th hole. This extra stroke cost him a chance to be in an 18-hole playoff with Bob Goalby, who won the green jacket. DeVicenzo's mistake led to the famous quote, "What a stupid I am."[41][42]

In 1975, Lee Elder became the first African American to qualify for the Masters,[43] doing so 15 years before Augusta National admitted its first black member.[20]


Non-Americans collected 11 victories in 20 years in the 1980s and 1990s, by far the strongest run they have had in any of the three majors played in the United States since the early days of the U.S. Open. Nicklaus became the oldest player to win the Masters in 1986 when he won for the sixth time at age 46.[44][45]

During this period, no golfer suffered from the pressure of competing at Augusta more than Greg Norman. In 1987, Norman lost a sudden-death playoff to Larry Mize. Mize holed out a remarkable 45-yard pitch shot to birdie the second playoff hole and win the Masters.[46] In 1996, Norman tied the course record with an opening round 63, and had a six-stroke lead over Nick Faldo entering the final round. Norman shot a 78 while Faldo scored a 67 to win by five shots (for his third Masters championship).[47] Norman also suffered in 1986 when after birdieing four straight holes, and needing only a par to tie Nicklaus for the lead, he badly pushed his 4-iron approach to 18 and missed his par putt for bogey.

In 1997, Tiger Woods won the Masters by twelve shots at age 21, in the process breaking the tournament four-day scoring record that had stood for 32 years.[1] Woods completed his "Tiger Slam" by winning his fourth straight major championship at the Masters in 2001.[48] The Masters was his again the next year, making him only the third player in history to win the tournament in consecutive years,[49] as well as in 2005 when he defeated Chris DiMarco in a playoff for his first major championship win in almost three years.[50]

Recently, the club was targeted by Martha Burk, who organized a failed protest at the 2003 Masters to pressure the club into accepting female members. Burk planned to protest at the front gates of Augusta National during the third day of the tournament, but her application for a permit to do so was denied.[51] A court appeal was dismissed.[52] In 2004, Burk stated that she had no further plans to protest against the club.[53]

Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne himself made headlines in April 2010, however, when he commented (at the annual pre-Masters press conference) on Tiger Woods' off-the-course behavior. "It's not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here," Payne said, in his opening speech. "It is the fact he disappointed all of us and more importantly our kids and grandkids."[54][55][56]

The 2003 tournament was won by Mike Weir, who became the first Canadian to win a major championship, and the first left-hander to win the Masters.[57] The following year, another left-hander, Phil Mickelson, won his first major championship by making a birdie on the final hole to beat Ernie Els by a stroke.[58] Mickelson also won the tournament in 2006 and 2010. In 2011, the tournament was won by South African Charl Schwartzel, who birdied the final four holes to win by two strokes.

Course adjustments

As with many other courses, Augusta National's championship setup has been lengthened in recent years. In 2001, the course measured approximately 6,925 yards (6,332 m) from the Masters tees. It was lengthened to 7,270 yards (6,650 m) for 2002, and again in 2006 to 7,445 yards (6,808 m); 520 yards (480 m) longer than the 2001 course.[59][60] The changes attracted many critics, including the most successful players in Masters history, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Tiger Woods. Woods claimed that the "shorter hitters are going to struggle." Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson was unperturbed, stating, "We are comfortable with what we are doing with the golf course.". After a practice round, Gary Player defended the changes, saying, "There have been a lot of criticisms, but I think unjustly so, now I've played it.... The guys are basically having to hit the same second shots that Jack Nicklaus had to hit [in his prime]".[61]

Originally, the grass on the putting greens was the wide-bladed Bermuda. The greens lost speed, especially during the late 1970s, after the introduction of a healthier strain of narrow-bladed Bermuda, which thrived and grew thicker,. In 1978, the greens on the Par 3 course were reconstructed with bentgrass, a narrow-bladed species that could be mowed shorter, eliminating grain.[62] After this test run, the greens on the main course were replaced with bentgrass in time for the 1981 Masters. The bentgrass resulted in significantly faster putting surfaces, which has required a reduction in some of the contours of the greens over time.[63]

Just before the 1975 tournament, the common beige sand in the bunkers was replaced with the now-signature white feldspar. It is a quartz derivative of the mining of feldspar and is shipped in from North Carolina.[64]


United States

CBS has televised the Masters in the United States every year since 1956, when it used six cameras and covered only the final four holes. Tournament coverage of the first eight holes did not begin until 1993 because of resistance from the tournament organizers, but by 2006, over 50 cameras were used. USA Network added first- and second-round coverage in 1982,[65] which was also produced by the CBS production team. The Masters is broadcast each year in high-definition television, one of the first golf tournaments to ever hold that distinction, and the early round coverage previously aired in that format on USA's sister network, Universal HD. In 2008, ESPN and ESPN HD replaced USA and Universal as the weekday coverage provider,[66] with coverage continuing to be jointly produced with CBS.

In 2005, CBS broadcast the tournament with high-definition fixed and handheld wired cameras, as well as standard-definition wireless handheld cameras. In 2006, a webstream called "Amen Corner Live" began providing coverage of all players passing through holes 11, 12, and 13 through all four rounds.[67] This was the first full tournament multi-hole webcast from a major championship. In 2007, CBS added "Masters Extra," an extra hour of full-field bonus coverage daily on the internet, preceding the television broadcasts. In 2008, CBS added full coverage of holes 15 and 16 live on the web. In 2011, "Masters Extra" was dropped after officials gave ESPN an extra hour each day on Thursday and Friday.

While Augusta National Golf Club has consistently chosen CBS as its U.S. broadcast partner, it has done so in successive one-year contracts.[68] Due to the lack of long-term contractual security, as well as the club's limited dependence on broadcast rights fees (owing to its affluent membership), it is widely held that CBS allows Augusta National greater control over the content of the broadcast, or at least performs some form of self-censorship, in order to maintain future rights. The club, however, has insisted it does not make any demands with respect to the content of the broadcast.[69][70]

There are some controversial aspects to this relationship. Announcers refer to the gallery as patrons rather than as spectators or fans (gallery itself is also used), and use the term second cut instead of rough (however, the second cut is normally substantially shorter than comparable "primary rough" at other courses).[69] Announcers who have been deemed not to have acted with the decorum expected by the club have been removed, notably Jack Whitaker and Gary McCord.[69] There also tends to be a lack of discussion of any controversy involving Augusta National, such as the 2003 Martha Burk protests.[70] However, there have not been many other major issues in recent years.

The club mandates minimal commercial interruption, currently limited to four minutes per hour (as opposed to the usual 12 or more); this is subsidized by selling exclusive sponsorship packages to three companies.[68] In the immediate aftermath of the Martha Burk controversy, there were no commercials during the 2003 and 2004 broadcasts,[69] although international commercial broadcasters continued to insert their own commercials into the coverage. The Players Championship began imposing the same rule in 2007 and some of the other major championships have tried to follow suit in their most recent TV contracts.

The club also disallows promotions for other network programs, with the sole exception of an on-screen mention of 60 Minutes should the final round run long or right before the coverage ends.[68] Other broadcast material not allowed include sponsored graphics, blimps, and on-course announcers.[68] There is also typically no cut-in for other news and sports, either from CBS or its affiliates. CBS uses "Augusta" by Dave Loggins as the event telecast's distinctive theme music. The CBS broadcasts also maintained a modified version of their previous graphics package from the 1990s until 2009 for the broadcasts, updated in 2008 to adopt a glossier dark green and silver color scheme similar to their standard golf graphics. A new graphics package debuted for the 2010 edition. ESPN's broadcasts have also shared the same graphics and music since their displacement of USA Network.

Significant restrictions have been placed on the tournament's broadcast hours compared to other major championships. Only in the 21st century did the tournament allow CBS to air 18-hole coverage of the leaders, a standard at the other three majors.[69] Only three hours of cable coverage is scheduled for the early rounds each day. International broadcasters do not receive additional coverage, although they may take commercial breaks at different times from CBS or ESPN.

Radio coverage

Westwood One has provided live radio play-by-play coverage in the United States since 1956. This coverage can also be heard on the official Masters website. The network provides short two- or three-minute updates throughout the tournament, as well as longer three- and four-hour segments towards the end of the day.[71]


The BBC has broadcast the Masters in the UK since 1986, and it also provides live radio commentary on the closing stages on Radio Five Live. With the 2007 launch of BBC HD, UK viewers can now watch the championship in that format. BBC Sport held the TV and radio rights through to 2010.[72] The BBC's coverage airs without commercials because it is financed by a licence fee. From the 2011 Masters, Sky Sports began broadcasting all four days, as well as the Par 3 Contest in HD and, for the first time ever, in 3D. The BBC will only have highlights of the first two days' play but will go head to head with Sky Sports, with full live coverage on the final two days of play.[73] In Ireland, from 2008 Setanta Ireland will broadcast all four rounds live having previously broadcasted the opening two rounds with RTÉ broadcasting the weekend coverage.[74]

In Canada, the broadcast rights are held by a marketing company, Graham Sanborn Media,[75] which in turn buys time on TSN (early rounds and weekend rebroadcasts), Global (weekend rounds live), and RDS (French-language coverage) to air the broadcasts. Graham Sanborn also sells all of the advertising for the Canadian broadcasts. The TSN/Global coverage is identical to the CBS/ESPN feed; RDS uses most of the U.S. video feed but provides commentary in French.

In most other countries, including much of Asia, Latin America, northern Africa, and the Middle East, broadcast rights for the entire tournament are held by the ESPN International networks.[76]


Although tickets for the Masters are not expensive, they are very difficult to come by. Even the practice rounds can be difficult to get into. Applications for practice round tickets have to be made nearly a year in advance and the successful applicants are chosen by random ballot. Tickets to the actual tournament are sold only to members of a patrons list, which is closed. A waiting list for the patrons list was opened in 1972 and closed in 1978. It was reopened in 2000 and subsequently closed once again. In 2008, The Masters also began allowing children (between the ages of 8 and 16) to enter on tournament days free if they are accompanied by the patron who is the owner of his or her badge.[77]

The Masters website announced that a limited supply of tickets for the 2012 tournament will be awarded to the general public for both practice days and competition rounds.[78]


The Masters has the smallest field out of the major championships at around 90 players. It is an invitational event, with invitations largely issued on an automatic basis to players who meet published criteria. The top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are all invited.[79]

Past champions are eligible to play in any edition, but since 2002 the Augusta National Golf Club has discouraged them from continuing to participate at an advanced age.[80]

Invitation categories (as of 2010):[81]

  1. Masters Tournament Champions (Lifetime)
  2. U.S. Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
  3. The Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
  4. PGA Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
  5. Winners of the Players Championship (Three years)
  6. Current U.S. Amateur Champion (6-A) (Honorary, non-competing after one year); Runner-up (6-B) to the current U.S. Amateur Champion
  7. Current British Amateur Champion (Honorary, non-competing after one year)
  8. Current Asian Amateur Champion
  9. Current U.S. Amateur Public Links Champion
  10. Current U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion
  11. The first 16 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Masters Tournament
  12. The first 8 players, including ties, in the previous year’s U.S. Open
  13. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Open Championship
  14. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s PGA Championship
  15. The 30 leaders on the Final Official PGA Tour Money List for the previous calendar year
  16. Winners of PGA Tour Regular Season and Playoff events that award at least a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters
  17. Those qualifying for the previous year’s season-ending Tour Championship
  18. The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
  19. The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament

Most of the top current players will meet the criteria of multiple categories for invitation. The Masters Committee, at its discretion, can also invite any golfer not otherwise qualified, although in practice these invitations are currently reserved for international players.[82]


The first winner of the Masters Tournament was Horton Smith in 1934. He repeated his win in 1936. The player with the most Masters victories is Jack Nicklaus, who won six times between 1963 and 1986. Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods have each won four, and Jimmy Demaret, Gary Player, Sam Snead, Nick Faldo, and Phil Mickelson have three titles to their name. Player also became the tournament's first overseas winner with his first victory in 1961. Other notable winners include Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Ben Crenshaw, and José María Olazábal, who have all won the Masters twice.[83]

Year Champion Country To par
Margin of
share ($)
2011 Charl Schwartzel  South Africa −14 2 1,440,000
2010 Phil Mickelson (3)  United States −16 3 1,350,000
2009 Ángel Cabrera  Argentina −12 Playoff (3) 1,350,000
2008 Trevor Immelman  South Africa −8 3 1,350,000
2007 Zach Johnson  United States +1 2 1,305,000
2006 Phil Mickelson (2)  United States −7 2 1,260,000
2005 Tiger Woods (4)  United States −12 Playoff (2) 1,260,000
2004 Phil Mickelson  United States −9 1 1,117,000
2003 Mike Weir  Canada −7 Playoff (2) 1,080,000
2002 Tiger Woods (3)  United States −12 3 1,008,000
2001 Tiger Woods (2)  United States −16 2 1,008,000
2000 Vijay Singh  Fiji −10 3 828,000
1999 José María Olazábal (2)  Spain −8 2 720,000
1998 Mark O'Meara  United States −9 1 576,000
1997 Tiger Woods  United States −18 12 486,000
1996 Nick Faldo (3)  England −12 5 450,000
1995 Ben Crenshaw (2)  United States −14 1 396,000
1994 José María Olazábal  Spain −9 2 360,000
1993 Bernhard Langer (2)  Germany −11 4 306,000
1992 Fred Couples  United States −13 2 270,000
1991 Ian Woosnam  Wales −11 1 243,000
1990 Nick Faldo (2)  England −10 Playoff (2) 225,000
1989 Nick Faldo  England −5 Playoff (2) 200,000
1988 Sandy Lyle  Scotland −7 1 183,800
1987 Larry Mize  United States −3 Playoff (3) 162,000
1986 Jack Nicklaus (6)  United States −9 1 144,000
1985 Bernhard Langer  West Germany −6 2 126,000
1984 Ben Crenshaw  United States −11 2 108,000
1983 Seve Ballesteros (2)  Spain −8 4 90,000
1982 Craig Stadler  United States −4 Playoff (2) 64,000
1981 Tom Watson (2)  United States −8 2 60,000
1980 Seve Ballesteros  Spain −13 4 55,000
1979 Fuzzy Zoeller  United States −8 Playoff (3) 50,000
1978 Gary Player (3)  South Africa −11 1 45,000
1977 Tom Watson  United States −12 2 40,000
1976 Raymond Floyd  United States −17 8 40,000
1975 Jack Nicklaus (5)  United States −12 1 40,000
1974 Gary Player (2)  South Africa −10 2 35,000
1973 Tommy Aaron  United States −5 1 30,000
1972 Jack Nicklaus (4)  United States −2 3 25,000
1971 Charles Coody  United States −9 2 25,000
1970 Billy Casper  United States −9 Playoff (2) 25,000
1969 George Archer  United States −7 1 20,000
1968 Bob Goalby  United States −11 1 20,000
1967 Gay Brewer  United States −8 1 20,000
1966 Jack Nicklaus (3)  United States E Playoff (3) 20,000
1965 Jack Nicklaus (2)  United States −17 9 20,000
1964 Arnold Palmer (4)  United States −12 6 20,000
1963 Jack Nicklaus  United States −2 1 20,000
1962 Arnold Palmer (3)  United States −8 Playoff (3) 20,000
1961 Gary Player  South Africa −8 1 20,000
1960 Arnold Palmer (2)  United States −6 1 17,500
1959 Art Wall, Jr.  United States −4 1 15,000
1958 Arnold Palmer  United States −4 1 11,250
1957 Doug Ford  United States −5 3 8,750
1956 Jack Burke, Jr.  United States +1 1 6,000
1955 Cary Middlecoff  United States −9 7 5,000
1954 Sam Snead (3)  United States +1 Playoff (2) 5,000
1953 Ben Hogan (2)  United States −14 5 4,000
1952 Sam Snead (2)  United States −2 4 4,000
1951 Ben Hogan  United States −8 2 3,000
1950 Jimmy Demaret (3)  United States −5 2 2,400
1949 Sam Snead  United States −6 3 2,750
1948 Claude Harmon  United States −9 5 2,500
1947 Jimmy Demaret (2)  United States −7 2 2,500
1946 Herman Keiser  United States −6 1 2,500
1943–45: Cancelled due to World War II
1942 Byron Nelson (2)  United States −8 Playoff (2) 1,500
1941 Craig Wood  United States −8 3 1,500
1940 Jimmy Demaret  United States −8 4 1,500
1939 Ralph Guldahl  United States −9 1 1,500
1938 Henry Picard  United States −3 2 1,500
1937 Byron Nelson  United States −5 2 1,500
1936 Horton Smith (2)  United States −3 1 1,500
1935 Gene Sarazen  United States −6 Playoff (2) 1,500
1934 Horton Smith  United States −4 1 1,500

The number in parentheses indicates the number players involved in each playoff.

Multiple and consecutive champions

This table lists the golfers who have won more than one Masters Tournament.

Deceased golfer †
Grand Slam winners ‡
Deceased Grand Slam winners ∞
Country Golfer Total Years
 USA Nicklaus, JackJack Nicklaus 6 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986
 USA Palmer, ArnoldArnold Palmer 4 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964
 USA Woods, TigerTiger Woods 4 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005
 USA Demaret, JimmyJimmy Demaret 3 1940, 1947, 1950
 USA Snead, SamSam Snead 3 1949, 1952, 1954
 ZAF Player, GaryGary Player 3 1961, 1974, 1978
 ENG Faldo, NickNick Faldo 3 1989, 1990, 1996
 USA Mickelson, PhilPhil Mickelson 3 2004, 2006, 2010
 USA Smith, HortonHorton Smith 2 1934, 1936
 USA Nelson, ByronByron Nelson 2 1937, 1942
 USA Hogan, BenBen Hogan 2 1951, 1953
 USA Watson, TomTom Watson 2 1977, 1981
 ESP Ballesteros, SeveSeve Ballesteros 2 1980, 1983
 GER Langer, BernhardBernhard Langer 2 1985, 1993
 USA Crenshaw, BenBen Crenshaw 2 1984, 1995
 ESP Olazábal, José MaríaJosé María Olazábal 2 1994, 1999
  • Bolded years and player names means back-to-back wins and players who accomplished the feat.

Champions by nationality

This table lists the total number of titles won by golfers of each nationality.

Rank Nation Wins Winners
1  United States 56 34
2  South Africa 5 3
3  Spain 4 2
4  England 3 1
5  Germany 2 1
T6  Scotland 1 1
 Wales 1 1
 Fiji 1 1
 Canada 1 1
 Argentina 1 1


Jack Nicklaus has won the most Masters and was &1000000000000004600000046 years, &1000000000000008200000082 days old when he won in 1986, making him the oldest winner of the Masters.[84] Nicklaus is the record holder for the most top tens, with 22, and the most cuts made, with 37.[3][85] The youngest winner of the Masters is Tiger Woods, who was &1000000000000002100000021 years, &10000000000000104000000104 days old when he won in 1997. In this year Woods also broke the records for the widest winning margin (12 strokes), and the lowest winning score, with 270 (−18).[86] Matteo Manassero became the youngest player ever, and the youngest to make the cut at &1000000000000001600000016 years, &10000000000000356000000356 days in 2010. Gary Player holds the record for most appearances, with 52. Player holds the record for the number of consecutive cuts made, with 23 between 1959 and 1982 (Player did not compete in 1973 due to illness). He shares this record with Fred Couples, who made his consecutive cuts between 1983 and 2007, not competing in 1987 and 1994.[3] Nick Price and Greg Norman share the course record of 63, with their rounds coming in 1986 and 1996 respectively. This score is also a record for all major championships. The highest winning score of 289 (+1) has occurred three times: Sam Snead in 1954, Jack Burke, Jr. in 1956, and Zach Johnson in 2007. Anthony Kim holds the record for most birdies in a round with 11 in 2009 during his second round.[86]


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