From the most wins and appearances to the best and worst scores, and all the holes in one, we bring you every fact from the 85 playings of The Masters at Augusta National, the year’s first men’s golf Major.
Today’s Golfer’s 2022 Majors coverage is brought to you in association with TaylorMade
As we head into the 86th Masters we wanted to arm you with the very best conversation starters to wow your mates during the tournament, allow you to do your best Ewen Murray impression, or ensure you’re walking away with the cash at the next golf quiz.
THE MASTERS: Who’s in the field for the Masters
For starters, did you know that The Masters hasn’t always been called The Masters? In 1934 it was initially named ‘The Augusta National Invitational’, with all players personally invited by Bobby Jones Jnr. Clifford Roberts, Augusta’s co-founder, had proposed ‘The Masters Tournament’ but the named was rejected as “pretentious”.
THE MASTERS: The untold story of Bobby Jones
However, Jones relented and it became ‘The Masters Tournament’ in 1939. Despite being the most recently created of golf’s men’s grand slams, it is arguably the most popular and is traditionally the first Major Championship of the year.
Let’s delve into more Masters facts…
Who has won The Masters the most times?
Unsurprisingly the man who has won the most Majors – Jack Nicklaus – has also won the most times at Augusta, closely followed by Tiger Woods, the man who is second in the list of Major wins. Augusta awards a variety of different trophies for achievements during the Masters including an albatross, eagle, hole-in-one, and lowest score on each day. Nicklaus also holds that record with an incredible 53!
Jack Nicklaus – 6 (1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986)
Tiger Woods – 5 (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019)
Arnold Palmer – 4 (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964)
Jimmy Demaret – 3 (1940, 1947, 1950)
Sam Snead – 3 (1949, 1952, 1954)
Gary Player – 3 (1961, 1974, 1978)
Nick Faldo – 3 (1989, 1990, 1996)
Phil Mickelson – 3 (2004, 2006, 2010)
Horton Smith – 2 (1934, 1936)
Byron Nelson – 2 (1937, 1942)
Ben Hogan – 2 (1951, 1953)
Tom Watson – 2 (1977, 1981)
Seve Ballesteros – 2 (1980, 1983)
Bernhard Langer – 2 (1985, 1993)
Ben Crenshaw – 2 (1984, 1995)
Jose Maria Olazabal – 2 (1994, 1999)
Bubba Watson – 2 (2012, 2014)
What is the widest margin of victory at The Masters?
Tiger Woods’ first Masters win in 1997 remains the largest margin of victory. He beat Tom Kite by 12 shots, scoring 270 (-18).
THE MASTERS: Inside Tiger’s 1997 win
Who is the oldest player ever to win The Masters?
Jack Nicklaus was 46 years, 2 months and 23 days old when he won his sixth Masters and last of 18 Major titles in 1986. He beat Tom Kite and Greg Norman by a single shot.
Who is the youngest player ever to win the Masters?
Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth were both 21, but Tiger takes the prize. He was just 21 years, 3 months and 14 days old when he sealed his first Major title in 1997. Spieth was 21 years and eight months when he slipped on the Green Jacket in 2015.
Has anyone ever successfully defended The Masters?
Yes, but it’s a very exclusive club. Jack Nicklaus went back-to-back in 1965 and 1966. Augusta had to way another 24 years for another player to achieve the feat – three-time winner Nick Faldo victorious in 1989 and 1990. Tiger Woods completes the group having won his second and third titles in 2001 and 2002.
Has anyone ever gone wire-to-wire at The Masters?
Yes, five players have led the tournament after all four rounds. The first was Craig Wood in 1941, followed by Arnold Palmer in 1960 and Jack Nicklaus in 1972. Raymond Floyd did it in 1976 before a long gap to 2015, when a 21-year-old Jordan Spieth lifted his first Major with a dominant display.
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Have any left-handed golfers ever won the Masters?
It took until 2003 for the first left-hander to win at Augusta, but since then ‘lefties’ have slipped on the Green Jacket on five further occasions.
Mike Weir was the first, and was quickly followed by Phil Mickelson in 2004. Mickelson added his second title in 2006, and his third in 2010. Bubba Watson then picked up the mantel in 2012 and repeated the feat in 2014.
What is the lowest winning score at The Masters?
Dustin Johnson achieved the lowest winning score around Augusta to date when he shot 268 (-20) to win his second Major in 2020.
Before that Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth held the record having both scored 270 (-18) in 1997 and 2015 respectively. Spieth had the chance to break Woods’ record but bogeyed the 72nd hole as he went wire-to-wire for his first Major win.
Jack Nicklaus was the long-time record holder with his 271 (-17) in 1965.
What is the highest winning score at The Masters?
Three players have won at Augusta with a score of 289 (+1). Sam Snead was the first back in 1974, with Jack Burke Jnr taking the title with the same score in 1956. It was another 51 years before one-over-par proved good enough for victory with Zach Johnson coming out on top by two shots amid some terrible conditions and a tough course set-up in 2007.
THE MASTERS: Everything the champion wins
Has anyone won the Masters in their first appearance?
Yes. Horton Smith won on debut in 1934 and Gene Sarazen did the same just a year later. Fuzzy Zoeller was the last player to win the Green Jacket at the first attempt with his victory in 1979.
Who had made the most Masters appearances before their first victory?
Sergio Garcia won on his 19th start at Augusta. He was leading amateur on his debut in 1999, but his best finish before his victory in 2017 was a T4 in 2004. Aside from his win, Garcia has just two other top 10s at The Masters and has missed the cut eight times, including in all three appearances since his victory (he missed the 2020 tournament due to Covid).
Lee Westwood would break his Ryder Cup teammate’s record if he can win at Augusta before the end of his career. The Englishman, who made his debut in 1997, finished runner-up in 2010 and 2016 and has six top-10s to his name.
Which player had the biggest gap between their first and last Masters victories?
Jack Nicklaus’ six wins at Augusta came an incredible 23 years apart. His victory in 1963 was the second of his 18 career Major wins, with his unexpected triumph in 1986 the last.
Gary Player, who won the tournament three times, had a 17-year gap with his first win in 1961 and final win in 1978.
Who has the most top fives at The Masters?
Jack Nicklaus. Incredibly, as well as winning The Masters six times, the Golden Bear achieved a further nine top-fives at Augusta, including four runners-up finishes (1964, 1971, 1977, 1981).
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Who has the most top 10s?
It’s that man Jack Nicklaus again. He has 22 top-10 finishes at Augusta!
What about the most top 25 finishes?
And it’s Jack Nicklaus… again. He has an incredible 29 top-25 finishes from his 45 appearances and missed the cut just seven times, including on his final four appearances (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005).
Who has made the most consecutive appearances in The Masters?
Arnold Palmer played in the Masters for 50 successive years, from 1955 to 2004. He won it on four occasions, was runner-up on two more and finished in the top-10 12 times.
What has been the highest-scoring cut at The Masters?
154 (+10) in 1982. Craig Stadler won the tournament with a 4-under-par 284, beating Dan Pohl in a play-off.
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And what about the lowest?
144 (E) in 2020 – the same year Dustin Johnson broke the tournament’s scoring record with 268 (-20).
Who has made the most cuts at The Masters?
Jack Nicklaus made an astonishing 37 cuts in his 45 appearances at Augusta.
Which player has made the most consecutive cuts at The Masters?
There are two players who made 23 consecutive cuts. Fred Couples did so from 1983 to 2007, and Gary Player did so from 1959 to 1982.
Has anyone ever birdied the final hole to win The Masters?
Yes, they certainly have. In fact, six players have achieved the most dramatic of victories. Art Wall did it in 1959, Arnold Palmer in 1960, Gary Player in 1978, Sandy Lyle in 1988, and Mark O’Meara in 1998. Phil Mickelson was the last to do so in 2004, beating Ernie Els after one of the most exciting back-nine duels in Master history.
Has anyone ever managed four rounds in the 60s at The Masters?
Just one player has achieved the feat, and it took until 2020 for it to happen. Australia’s Cameron Smith shot rounds of 67 (-5), 68 (-4), 69 (-3), 69 (-3) for a 15-under-par total of 273, but it was only good enough to finish in a tie for second place as Dustin Johnson blitzed the course record to win by five shots.
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What are the lowest Masters scores on each of Augusta’s nines?
Six players have scored 30 (-6) on the front nine at The Masters. Tony Finau did it in the third round in 2019, with Gary Woodland doing it in the same round in 2014. Phil Mickelson shot 30 in 2009’s final round, with K.J. Choi making the score in his second round in 2004. Greg Norman did it in his final round in 1988, but Johnny Miller was the first to achieve the feat in his third round back in 1975.
Two players have gone one better on the back nine. Mark Calcavecchia and David Toms both blitzed their way down the stretch during their final rounds in 1992 and 1998 respectively, shooting 7-under-par 29s.
What is the lowest ever round at The Masters?
63. South Africa’s Nick Price was the first to shoot nine-under during his third round in 1986. Ten years later and Aussie Greg Norman did the same in his first round. Both players went out in 33 (-3) and came back in 30 (-6). Norman’s 63 is also the lowest-ever first-round score at The Masters. Which leads us to…
What is the largest 54-hole lead to have been lost at The Masters?
It’s the record no-one wants, but it belongs to Greg Norman. Having made a blistering start in 1996 as he matched the course record before shooting 69 and 71 in rounds two and three to take a six-shot lead into the final round. And that’s where it famously went wrong.
Playing alongside Nick Faldo on the final day, the Great White Shark snap-hooked his opening tee shot and his lead was down to just three shots after eight holes.
Holes 10-12 proved key as a four-shot swing saw Faldo take a two-shot lead and never look back. Norman bogeyed 10, three-putted from 12 feet to bogey 11 and lose his lead, and then found Rae’s Creek on his way to a double-bogey at 12.
Norman found the water again on 16 as he made another double. Faldo closed with a 67 to seal his third Green Jacket with an astonishing five-shot win.
What’s the lowest ever 36-hole score at The Masters?
Jordan Spieth holds this record, firing rounds of 64 (-8) and 66 (-6) to reach the weekend in just 130 shots. He completed a wire-to-wire victory in blistering fashion, finishing four shots clear at 18-under-par.
Raymond Floyd had held the record until then thanks to rounds of 65 and 66 in 1976.
What is the lowest 54-hole score at the Masters?
200 (-16). Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth share this record. DJ fired rounds of 65-70-65 on his way to the overall tournament record in 2020, while Spieth shot 64-66-70 across his opening three rounds on his way to victory in 2015.
Spieth broke the long-time 54-hole scoring record of 201 (-15), held by Tiger Woods (1997) and Raymond Floyd (1976).
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What’s the lowest-ever final-round score at The Masters?
64 (-8) has been posted in the final round on eight occasions. Most recently Rory McIlroy posted the score as he charged through the field to a runners-up finish behind Scottie Scheffler in 2022. McIlroy made six birdies and an eagle on his way to the only bogey-free round of the tournament.
Prior to McIlroy, Jordan Spieth shot 64 in 2018 to finish T4, while Bo Van Pelt did so in 2012 to finish 2012.
David Toms did it in 1998 (T6), Greg Norman in ’88 (T5), Gary Player in 1978 (1), Hale Irwin in ’75 (T4) and Maurice Bembridge in 1974 (T9).
How many holes in one have there been at The Masters?
Since 1934 there have been 33 aces, and they haven’t all come at the 16th in the final round. Everyone who makes a hole in one at The Masters receives a crystal bowl.
4th: Jeff Sluman (1992)
6th: Leland Gibson (1954), Billy Joe Patton (1954), Charles Coody (1972), Chris DiMarco (2004), Jamie Donaldson (2013), Corey Conners (2021).
12th: Claude Harmon (1947), William Hyndman (1959), Curtis Strange (1988).
16th: Ross Somerville (a)(1934), Willie Goggin (1935), Ray Billows (1940), John Dawson (1949), Clive Clark (1968), Corey Pavin (1992), Raymond Floyd (1996), Padraig Harrington (2004), Kirk Triplett (2004), Trevor Immelman (2005), Ian Poulter (2008), Nathan Green (2010), Ryan Moore (2010), Bo Van Pelt (2012), Adam Scott (2012), Shane Lowry (2016), Davis Love III (2016), Louis Oosthuizen (2016), Charley Hoffman (2018), Bryson DeChambeau (2019), Justin Thomas (2019), Tommy Fleetwood (2021), Stewart Cink (2022).
Has anyone ever made an albatross at The Masters?
Yes, but they’re far rarer than a hole-in-one. Just four players have holed out for albatross (double-eagle for our US audience), and there hasn’t been one for a decade.
Gene Sarazen’s in 1935 is the most famous and known as the “shot heard around the world “. Sarazen’s shot took him from three behind leader Craig Wood into a tie and he then won the tournament in a play-off, becoming the first man to achieve the Career Grand Slam.
It was another 32 years before Bruce Devlin holed his 4-wood from 248 yards at the 8th, and then we had to wait un 1994 when Jeff Maggert found the cup with his 3-iron from 22 yards at the 13th.
Louis Oosthuizen achieved the feat most recently as he crushed a 4-iron from 253 yards at the 2nd hole during his final round. Unfortunately for Oosthuizen he went on to miss out on the Green Jacket, losing a play-off to Bubba Watson.
Harry Higgs was millimetres away from holing out for albatross at the 2nd in the final round of 2022’s tournament.
An albatross at The Masters earns the player an engraved crystal bowl.
Who has made the most career eagles at The Masters?
It’s another honour for six-time champion Jack Nicklaus who has made 24 tournament eagles at Augusta (3 on par 4s, 21 on par 5s).
Who has made the most birdies in one Masters tournament?
That record belongs to Jordan Spieth, who made 28 on his way to victory in 2015. Prior to that Phil Mickelson had made the most with his 25 in 2001.
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Who has made the most eagles in one Masters tournament?
Three players have made four eagles in a single Masters, but none of them went on to win the tournament. Tiger Woods was the most recent in 2010, just a year after Dustin Johnson had done the same. Bruce Crampton was the first to record four eagles in 1974.
Any player who makes an eagle at The Masters receives a pair of crystal goblets.
Who has made the most career birdies at The Masters.
It’s Jack Nicklaus, again, who has made a staggering 506 birdies. No wonder he won it six times!
Who has made the most birdies in one round at The Masters?
Anthony Kim (remember him!) made 11 on his way to a second-round 65 (-7) in 2009, while playing alongside Rory McIlroy and Ryo Ishikawa. It was the low round of the day and landed Kim a crystal trophy, but he couldn’t build on it and finished outside the top 10.
Nick Price had been the previous holder, making 10 birdies as he broke the course record with a third-round 63 (-9) in 1986. He finished 5th.
Who has made the most consecutive birdies at Augusta?
Both Tiger Woods and Steve Pate birdied the same seven consecutive holes – the 7th to the 13th. Woods did it in 2005 and Pate in 1999.
How many times has The Masters been decided by a play-off?
There have been 18 play-offs since the tournament began in 1934 to 2021. The most recent saw Sergio Garcia win his first Major by beating European Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose.
The last 11 play-offs have been sudden-death (1979, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1990, 2003, 2005. 2009, 2012, 2013, 2017). Before that there were five 18-hole play-offs (1942, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970), and one that was played over 36 holes (1935).
There could have been many more play-offs down the years with the Green Jacket having been won by a single shot on 23 occasions.
Which Masters has seen the most under par rounds?
There were 178 sub-72 rounds in 1992, the year that Fred Couples won his second only Major.
And what about the fewest under-par rounds?
Low scores were hard to find back in 1956 with just 34 round breaking 72.
What are the worst scores ever recorded on a single hole at The Masters?
Unofficially that honour belongs to Billy Casper, the 1970 champion. Playing in 2005, 73-year-old Casper made a 14 on the par-3 16th but, as we explain in the next question, the American didn’t hand in his card and was disqualified from the tournament.
Three players have made a 13 on a single hole. Tsuneyuki ‘Tommy’ Nakajima was 8-over on the par-5 13th in 1978, Tom Weiskopf was ten-over at the par-3 12th in 1980 and, most recently, defending champion Sergio Garcia repeatedly found the water at the 13th.
There have been a host of 11s – Herman Barron at the par-3 16th in 1950, Masahi ‘Jumbo’ Ozaki at the par-5 15th in 1987, Ben Crenshaw at the 15th in 1997, and Ignacio Garrido, again at the 15th. in 1998.
Three players have made a 10, including Tiger Woods at the par-3 10th in 2020 – the worst single-hole score of his career. Sam Byrd and David Duval have also both scored 10s on the par-5 2nd in 1948 and 2006 respectively.
What is the worst-ever round at The Masters?
As we mentioned above, this is unofficial as he didn’t submit his card and was disqaulified, but Billy Casper shot 106 (34-over-par) in the first round in 2005. Casper’s round included the unofficial worst single-hole score (14 at the par-3 16th).
Speaking of the round, Casper said: “I was only going to play 18 holes – I just had to get it out of my system. I wanted to do it again. A lot of my grandchildren were here.”
Among ‘returned’ scores, the worst score is a 95 (23-over) by Charles Kunkle in the final round in 1956.
Has a player ever won the Par 3 Contest and The Masters in the same year?
No. While the contest around Augusta’s short course is something of a tradition, it is also seen as a curse by many. In fact a lot of Masters entrants will purposefully get themselves disqaulified, hoping to avoid the event’s ‘jinx’.
The par-3 event is played the day before the main tournament begins but was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.
England’s Matt Wallace won the last playing in 2019… and then missed The Masters cut with rounds of 75 and 77.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rob Jerram is the Digital Editor of todaysgolfer.co.uk
He has been a journalist for more than 20 years, starting his career with Johnston Press where he covered local and regional news and sport in a variety of editorial roles across ten years.
Rob joined Bauer Media in 2010 and worked as the Senior Production Editor of Today’s Golfer and Golf World magazines for ten years before moving into the Digital Editor’s role in July 2020.
He has been playing golf for almost three decades and has been a member at Greetham Valley in Rutland for eight years, playing off a 12 handicap.
You can contact Rob here.