We have compiled a complete list of Masters winners since the tournament began in 1934, as well as some of the historic moments from the most prestigious of golf’s four major championships. It might be the youngest of the bunch, but it is the most iconic, and has provided some of the most incredible moments in golf history.

Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods Masters winners
Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods have all won multiple Masters championships. (Image: AP)

Located on the site of a former nursery in Georgia, Augusta National Golf Club was started by famed amateur Robert Trent Jones and businessman Clifford Roberts, who was the first chairman of the tournament called The Augusta National Invitational Tournament because Jones thought “Masters” was too presumptuous.

A Tradition Unlike Any Other

Of the four Major golf tournaments, the Masters is the only one played at the same course every year. And the traditions at Augusta National make it special to golf pros and fans alike — a bucket-list pilgrimage for so many players.

“From the first time I drove up Magnolia Lane at age 19,” Jack Nicklaus said about the tree-lined entrance to the clubhouse, I had a special feeling about Augusta. Even today, I get chills.”

Ben Hogan once noted that the Masters was an event he wanted to win more than any other. “If the Masters offered no money at all, I would be here trying just as hard,” Hogan said.

Built on the site of the former Fruitlands Nursery in Augusta, Georgia, more than 4,000 azaleas, dogwoods, honeysuckle and magnolias create the landscape for a course that is  Three-time Masters champion Gary Player said of the course’s beauty, “If there’s a golf course in heaven, I hope it’s like Augusta National. I just don’t want an early tee time.”

hogan bridge augusta
The Hogan Bridge on Augusta National’s 12th makes for one of the most picturesque holes in golf. (Image: Golf Digest)

Legend of the Green Jacket

One of the strongest traditions of the Masters is the presentation of the green jacket to the winner. The idea began in 1937, as attire for members — thinking that fans at the course would be able to easily identify them and ask questions about the facility.

The first awarded to a player went to Sam Snead, when he won in 1949. (Previous winners received green jackets retroactively.) The piece of apparel was so coveted that when 1970 champion Billy Casper was buried with his when he died in 2015.

green jacket
Welcome to the Club: Craig Stadler (left, 1982) and Bernard Langer (right, 1985) received their green jackets in an era when golf was looking for a new superstar to emerge. (Image: Augusta National)

The Early Years: Masters Winners 1934-1950

When the Masters started, it was called The Augusta National Invitational Tournament, as Jones reportedly found the term “Masters” too presumptuous.  in 1934. His Jones thought “Masters” was too presumptuous. off the first Masters in 1934, and the birth of the Masters began. Horton Smith won the first event, with Craig Wood the runner up. Wood would finish second the following year, too, this time to Gene Sarazen.

Year Winner Runner Up 
1934 Horton Smith Craig Wood
1935 Gene Sarazen Craig Wood
1936 Horton Smith Harry Cooper
1937 Byron Nelson Ralph Guldahl
1938 Henry Picard Harry Cooper, Ralph Guldahl
1939 Ralph Guldahl Sam Snead
1940 Jimmy Demaret Lloyd Mangrum
1941 Craig Wood Byron Nelson
1942: Bryon Nelson Ben Hogan
1943-1945 No Tournament World War II
1946 Herman Keiser Ben Hogan
1947 Jimmy Demaret Byron Nelson, Frank Stranahan
1948 Claude Harmon Cary Middlecoff
1949 Sam Snead Johnny Bulla, Lloyd Mangrum
1950 Jimmy Demaret Jim Ferrier

Horton Smith became the first two-time winner, when he captured his second green jacket in 1936. By 1939 Roberts had persuaded Jones to change the name of the tournament to “The Masters.” Though Jones played in 12 tournaments, he never won.

There were two more repeat champions before 1950, Jimmy Demaret, who won three times, and two-time winner Byron Nelson.

Sam Snead and Ben Hogan at the Masters
Sam Snead (left) and Ben Hogan (center) stroll down the fairway on the eve of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in 1955. (Image: AP)

The Coming Television Age: Masters Winners 1951-1964

In the early 1950s, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead dominated the Masters. The two won the event from 1951 to 1954. Snead, who won in 1952 and 1954, also won in 1949, joining Demaret as a three-time winner. Hogan, who won in 1951 and 1953, was a runner up a then-record four times.

Both Hogan and Snead were the best golfers of their generation, and they would have several battles on the course throughout the years, including Augusta National.

Year Winner Runner Up 
1951 Ben Hogan Skee Riegel
1952 Sam Snead Jack Burke Jr.
1953 Ben Hogan Ed Oliver
1954 Sam Snead Ben Hogan
1955 Cary Middlecoff Ben Hogan
1956 Jack Burke Jr. Ken Venturi
1957 Doug Ford Sam Snead
1958 Arnold Palmer Doug Ford, Fred Hawkins
1959 Art Wall Cary Middlecoff
1960 Arnold Palmer Ken Venturi
1961 Gary Player Charles Coe, Arnold Palmer
1962 Arnold Palmer Gary Player
1963 Jack Nicklaus Tony Lema
1964 Arnold Palmer Dave Marr, Jack Nicklaus

CBS has televised every Masters tournament since 1956. In 1958, with the tournament being broadcast to living rooms around America, the public met Arnold Palmer — a flashy young charismatic golfer from Latrobe, Pennsylvania — who won his first of four green jackets.

Palmer had a swashbuckling swagger and a swing that was once described as similar to a rusty gate. That distinctive style, however, earned him four Green Jackets and a legion of fans affectionately called Arnie’s Army.

The Golden Bear’s Time: Masters Winners 1965-1985

While Palmer had a stranglehold on the early sixties, he was soon challenged by a young college kid from Columbus, Ohio. Jack Nicklaus had already made a name for himself by winning in 1963, but it was the middle of the decade when he supplanted Palmer as the game’s greatest. He won the Masters in 1965 and 1966, becoming the first back-to-back winner in tournament history.

Golf fans hated that the likable Palmer was being pushed aside by Nicklaus, and many nicknamed him “Fat Jack.” It took several years for Nicklaus’ greatness to be recognized, and that began at Augusta National.

Year Winner Runner Up
1965 Jack Nicklaus Arnold Palmer, Gary Player
1966 Jack Nicklaus Tommy Jacobs
1967 Gay Brewer Bobby Nichols
1968 Bob Goalby Robert DeVicenzo
1969 George Archer Billy Casper, George Knudson, Tom Weiskopf
1970 Billy Casper Gene Littler
1971 Charles Coody Johnny Miller, Jack Nicklaus
1972 Jack Nicklaus Bruce Crampton, Bobby Mitchell
1973 Tommy Aaron J.C. Sneed
1974 Gary Player Dave Stockton
1975 Jack Nicklaus Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf
1976 Raymond Floyd Ben Crenshaw
1977 Tom Watson Jack Nicklaus
1978 Gary Player Rod Funseth, Hubert Green, Tom Watson
1979 Fuzzy Zoeller Ed Sneed, Tom Watson
1980 Seve Ballesteros Gibby Gilbert, Jack Nicklaus
1981 Tom Watson Johnny Miller, Jack Nicklaus
1982 Craig Stadler Dan Pohl
1983 Seve Ballesteros Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite
1984 Ben Crenshaw Tom Watson
1985 Bernhard Langer Seve Ballesteros, Raymond Floyd, Curtis Strange

Nicklaus would go on to win two more times in 1972 and 1975, but would save his most dramatic victory 10 years later. In addition to six green jackets, he finished second four times, matching Hogan’s record.

Challenging Nicklaus during that time was South Africa’s Gary Player. The diminutive golfer had already won in 1961, but grabbed two more green jackets in 1974 and 1978.

By 1986 Jack Nicklaus was considered past his prime. He hadn’t won at Augusta since 1975, and many thought his best days were behind him. He stunned the world when he won his sixth Masters, and 18th major championship, that year, two records that still stand today.

 

Course of Controversy

For as alluring as the notion of winning at Augusta National is to golfers, the world was changing and soon the Masters would have to wrestle with a past that took exclusivity to the level of discrimination. It wasn’t until 1975 that Lee Elder would become the first Black player to receive an invitation to the Masters.

It would be another 15 years before Augusta National, facing pressure from TV interests, would admit its first Black member in 1990. Tiger Woods became the first person of color to win the tournament in 1997, and at a celebration at the club, many of the club’s minority employees were seen peering through the windows.

While the color barrier may have been broken, it was still much later before anyone cracked through the glass tee box. Augusta National had been for men only until 2012, when they invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first female members.

Parity Arrives: Masters Winners 1986-1996

The 1980s and ’90s were decades when no one golfer had a stranglehold on the PGA Tour. Other than back-to-back victories by Nick Faldo over Raymond Floyd (1989-90) this was an era golf parity was all the buzz, as lesser-known pros such as Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam  pulled out surprise wins.

Year Winner Runner Up 
1986 Jack Nicklaus Tom Kite, Greg Norman
1987 Larry Mize Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman
1988 Sandy Lyle Mark Calcavecchia
1989 Nick Faldo Raymond Floyd
1990 Nick Faldo Raymond Floyd
1991 Ian Woosnam Jose Maria Olazabal
1992 Fred Couples Raymond Floyd
1993 Bernhard Langer Chip Beck
1994 Jose Maria Olzabal Tom Lehman
1995 Ben Crenshaw Davis Love III
1996 Nick Faldo Greg Norman

This also was the age where Augusta National finally began putting its demons to rest — admitting the club’s first black member in 1990.

Tiger Woods Generation: Masters Winners 1997-2019

When 21-year-old Tiger Woods arrived at Augusta National for his first Masters as a professional, the buzz was whipping through the Georgia pines. Woods didn’t disappoint, dominating the 1997 tournament, winning by 12 strokes. It would be his first of five green jackets.

 

After Woods won in 1997, he went on to capture four more tournaments, and finish in second-place twice. Golfers such as Ernie Els and Retief Goosen attempted to assert their place, too, but fell short on multiple occasions.

Year Winner  Runner Up 
1997 Tiger Woods Tom Kite
1998 Mark O’Meara Fred Couples, David Duval
1999 Jose Maria Olazabal Davis Love III
2000 Vijay Singh Ernie Els
2001 Tiger Woods David Duval
2002 Tiger Woods Retief Goosen
2003 Mike Weir Len Mattiace
2004 Phil Mickelson Ernie Els
2005 Tiger Woods Chris DiMarco
2006 Phil Mickelson Tim Clark
2007 Zach Johnson Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini, Tiger Woods
2008 Trevor Immelman Tiger Woods
2009 Angel Cabrera Chad Campbell
2010 Phil Mickelson Lee Westwood
2011 Charl Schwartzel Jason Day, Adam Scott
2012 Bubba Watson Louis Oosthuizen
2013 Adam Scott Angel Cabrera
2014 Bubba Watson Jonas Blixt, Jordan Spieth
2015 Jordan Spieth Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose
2016 Danny Willett Jordan Spieth, Lee Westwood
2017 Sergio Garcia Justin Rose
2018 Patrick Reed Rickie Fowler
2019 Tiger Woods Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele
2020 ??? ???

Only Phil Mickelson was able to challenge Woods stature. It took  more than a decade of frustration before Mickelson finally joined the green jacket club. The lefty captured his first Masters title in 2004, then won two more in 2006 and 2010.

After 2010, it seemed like a new generation was coming of age at Augusta. But before that could happen, Woods took down his 5th Masters last year, after more than a decade-long Augusta dry spell, telling golf fans his day wasn’t done.

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