The Masters is the event that every golfer on the PGA Tour is determined to win. Arguably, there is no higher honour than a triumph at Augusta to don the famous Green Jacket, after four days of competing on one of the most challenging courses in the world.
It takes a huge effort to win the event, although some victories are considered more special than others due to the intense heat of the competition. We’ll now look back at some of the greatest triumphs in the history of The Masters.
5. Sergio Garcia (2017)
Few players in golf have endured more heartbreak than Garcia. Fate always seems to conspire against the Spaniard in majors, with Garcia suffering final-day collapses at The Open and the PGA Championship. He is a player that has always managed to maneuver himself into contention, but was never able to get over the line to secure a major crown. That would change at The Masters in 2017, although in typical Garcia fashion, it was not without drama. He started his first round with a solid one-under performance, although Hoffman set the pace by carding a 65. The American dropped back on the second day and a three-under round from Garcia allowed him to earn a share of the lead.
Rose joined him at top spot on Saturday after another polished outing – with both men sitting on six-under. Rose appeared to be edging the final round, holding a two-stroke lead over the Spaniard after the turn. However, a birdie then an eagle brought Garcia back into the race before Rose dropped a stroke on the 17th, which was decisive in setting up a playoff. The Spaniard held his nerve to find the fairway and the green to notch a birdie, whereas Rose found the trees and carded a bogey. Garcia ended his wait at the 74th attempt to don the Green Jacket. Garcia’s best odds for the 2019 Masters are +5000, providing excellent value.
4. Jordan Spieth (2015)
If 1997 was the breakout of one star of the golfing scene, 2015 would prove to be just as pivotal for the next generation. Spieth put forward a fine performance in his first appearance at Augusta in the previous year’s competition, although he lacked the clinical edge to defeat Bubba Watson on the final round, ending three strokes off the pace of his compatriot. Spieth returned at the age of 21 and made a statement from the off, powering ahead of his rivals with an opening round of 64.
He continued to take the tournament by the haunches, producing a flawless round of six-under 66 to head into the weekend five strokes ahead of his nearest rival Charley Hoffman. Spieth broke The Masters’ record for the lowest score after 54 holes by one stroke courtesy of his two-under round on day three. Pressure was applied by Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson on Sunday, but Spieth displayed his maturity and composure to see out the victory, matching Woods’ record score of -18 under to claim the Green Jacket. Spieth can be backed for the 2019 Masters with odds of +2500.
3. Nick Faldo (1990)
Faldo won the event in 1989, securing the second major of his career. The Englishman became the second player in the history of The Masters to secure back-to-back triumphs. It did not appear that Faldo was on course to compete for the Green Jacket on day one. He was not in the frame, well down the field with a score of one-under. Faldo did not improve his score in his second round, heading into the weekend five shots off the leader Raymond Floyd.
Much like Woods and Nicklaus, Faldo was to make his move on day three. He carded a six-under round of 66 to shift up the leaderboard into third, although he was still three strokes off the pace of Floyd. The Englishman made a terrible start to his final round, dropping two shots on the first hole. However, he was flawless from that point onwards, holding his composure on the back nine to birdie the 13th, 15th and 16th holes. Floyd lost his nerve when he bogeyed the 17th, while the two men could not be separated on the 18th. The American found the water on the second playoff hole, allowing Faldo to notch a simple par to win The Masters.
2. Jack Nicklaus (1965)
Before Woods’ magnificent effort, Nicklaus had held the course record for the lowest score in The Masters. The American had claimed his first Green Jacket in 1963, but he missed out the following year, placing in second as Arnold Palmer won the event. At the age of 25, Nicklaus returned to Augusta for the 1965 Masters Tournament and made a strong start, finishing five-under on day one – two strokes behind leader Gary Player. He moved into a joint lead alongside the South African on day two as Nicklaus and Palmer joined their rival at the top.
However, Nicklaus made his charge on day three to pull away from the rest of the field. He was flawless, displaying the quality that would carry him to 14 further majors. His power was evident on the course, taming Augusta with an eight-under round of 64. Nicklaus held a five-shot lead heading into the final day and he extended his advantage to clinch the Green Jack for the second time, finishing nine strokes ahead of Palmer and Player.
1. Tiger Woods (1997)
Woods made his breakthrough on the major stage with a brilliant performance to claim the first of his four Green Jackets. At the age of only 21, he produced one of the finest performances seen at Augusta, finishing well ahead of the rest of the field. Woods’ start to the competition was underwhelming, to say the least, as he was four-over through the opening nine holes. However, he battled back to end day one two-under – three strokes off the lead. Woods took control of the competition on the second day, powering ahead with a six-under round of 66.
The American all but ensured that he would claim the Green Jacket on day three, demolishing the field with a seven-under round of 65 – starting day four nine shots ahead of his nearest rival. Woods got over the line with a solid performance on the last day, finishing 18-under and 12 shots ahead of Tom Kite to claim The Masters crown. Now, at the age of 43, Woods is preparing for another crack at winning his fifth Green Jacket and can be backed at a best price of +1200.