Masters champions top 10

dshirley@macon.comApril 7, 2014 

1. Jack Nicklaus: It has to be Nicklaus, right? He won a record six times, including one of the most memorable in 1986 at 46 years old. He is also one of just three players to win in consecutive years, and his victories covered 23 years starting in 1963.

2. Arnold Palmer: Another no-brainer. The King changed the game in the early years of golf on television, and he helped make the Masters a must-see spectacle with his go-for-broke style. Palmer won four times, every other year starting in 1958 and ending in 1964.

3. Tiger Woods: He has matched Palmer with four green jackets, including back-to-back in 2001 and 2002. But his last win came in 2005, and it’s a surprise he is still “stuck” on four.

4. Nick Faldo: The English star joins Nicklaus and Woods as the only players to win in consecutive years (1989 and 1990), and he won his third title in 1996 when Greg Norman suffered his memorable final-round collapse (Faldo did shoot a 67 that day).

5. Gary Player: He helped make the Masters an international tournament with his three wins. The first one came in 1961, and he didn’t win again until 1974 (and added his third in 1978).

6. Jimmy Demaret: He was one of the dominant players in the Masters’ early years, winning three times from 1940 to 1950.

7. Sam Snead: He also won three times in the early days with his victories coming in 1949 and then again in 1952 and 1954.

8. Phil Mickelson: His first win in 2004 is one of the most popular wins in tournament history with the fans (who can forget his “leap” for joy after the winning putt?), and he added two more in 2006 and 2010. Mickelson likely isn’t done at Augusta National Golf Club.

9. Seve Ballesteros: The fiery Spaniard is among a group of eight two-time winners (1980 and 1983). But his flair for the dramatic puts him above most of those players.

10. Tom Watson: He won twice (1977 and 1981), but it feels like it should have been more. And he has been somewhat competitive late into his career.

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