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Golfers who have won the most green jackets

  • Golfers who have won the most green jackets

    “A tradition unlike any other,” the iconic words uttered by CBS commentator Jim Nantz tell you all you need to know about what is widely considered the crown jewel of the golfing world. The Masters first officially teed off in 1934 and is the youngest of the four major golf championships after The Open Championship, the U.S. Open, and the PGA Championship.

    The tournament, played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., is steeped in tradition. The course was designed by amateur golfing legend Bobby Jones and, since 1949, every winner has been awarded a green jacket that is stored at the golf club and worn by past champions at the annual Champions Dinner on the Tuesday before the tournament (past winners are invited to compete each year at the Masters, regardless of standing or ranking on the PGA Tour). The following day, before the traditional Thursday start, players and their families are invited to compete in a Par 3 competition that generally lightens the mood before the Masters officially gets underway.

    Since its inception, there have been 53 separate Masters champions, and each has an incredible story to tell. Stacker dove into the history by analyzing PGA Tour data through 2019 and ranked every winner by the number of victories in Augusta. Ties were broken by most recent wins. Notably, the Masters was not held between 1943–1945 because of World War II.

    With this year's Masters approaching on November 12 due to COVID-19, it's a great time to look back at the fabled course, the epic finishes, the gut-checking comebacks, and the heart-breaking losses that truly make this tournament unlike any other.

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  • #52. Gene Sarazen

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1935
    - Masters runner up: 0

    Gene Sarazen is always mentioned among the greatest golfers of all-time, as he won 39 PGA Tour events and seven majors, including the 1935 Masters. Sarazen's Masters win is well-remembered for when he double-eagled the 15th hole on the last day of the tournament to tie for the lead. That shot propelled him into a playoff, where he ultimately prevailed. Today, the Sarazen Bridge by the 15th green commemorates the achievement.

  • #51. Henry Picard

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1938
    - Masters runner up: 0

    A two-time major winner, including the 1938 Masters, Henry Picard is a World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, who also logged 26 wins on the PGA Tour. Beyond his success on the course, Picard was a golf instructor and players like Ben Hogan and Sam Snead credit him for helping straighten out their swings.

  • #50. Ralph Guldahl

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1939
    - Masters runner up: 2
    - Year(s) runner up: 1937, 1938

    Entering the 1939 Masters, Ralph Guldahl finished second in Augusta the previous two years and was the reigning U.S. Open champion. You could say Guldahl was due. He finally broke through and beat a litany of all-time greats in the process, with Sam Snead finishing second, Gene Sarazen coming in fifth, Byron Nelson landing at seventh, and Ben Hogan placing ninth. Guldahl ended his career with three major championships, 16 PGA Tour victories, and an induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

  • #49. Craig Wood

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1941
    - Masters runner up: 2
    - Year(s) runner up: 1934, 1935

    Craig Wood was a two-time runner up at the Masters in the mid-1930s (famously losing to Gene Sarazen in 1935 with the ‘shot heard round the world'), but his breakthrough at Augusta finally came in 1941, when he stormed past the field by three strokes, finishing ahead of Byron Nelson. Wood was the second player to ever lead the tournament after all four rounds, going wire-to-wire for the first place finish. Wood also won the U.S. Open in 1941 and became the first golfer to ever win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.

  • #48. Herman Keiser

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1946
    - Masters runner up: 0

    Like many professional golfers of his generation, Herman Keiser put his golfing career on hold for the military, spending three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After being discharged in 1945, Keiser shocked the golfing world by besting the legendary Ben Hogan in a wire-to-wire victory at the Masters. The win was the only major championship during Keiser's career.

  • #47. Claude Harmon

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1948
    - Masters runner up: 0

    Golfing insiders might be more familiar with Claude Harmon's son, Claude “Butch” Harmon Jr., a famous instructor to stars like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, and many others. Claude Harmon Sr.'s claim to fame is winning the Masters in 1948, destroying a packed field of golfing legends by five strokes, tying what was then the tournament record.

  • #46. Cary Middlecoff

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1955
    - Masters runner up: 2
    - Year(s) runner up: 1948, 1959

    Cary Middlecoff started his professional career as a dentist, but became one of the most successful golfers in PGA history. Middlecoff was a three-time major champion, winning the U.S. Open in 1949 and 1956, and the Masters in 1955, beating out Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. All in all, Middlecoff won 40 times on tour, currently tied for 10th most in tour history.

  • #45. Jack Burke, Jr.

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1956
    - Masters runner up: 1
    - Year(s) runner up: 1952

    Jack Burke Jr. entered the final round of the 1956 Masters eight strokes behind third round leader Ken Venturi. That's when 50-mile per hour winds picked up to change the tide of the tournament. Venturi ended up shooting an 80 to Burke's 71, just enough for Burke to win the tournament by a single stroke. Later that year, Burke also won the PGA Championship.

  • #44. Doug Ford

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1957
    - Masters runner up: 1
    - Year(s) runner up: 1958

    Doug Ford already had the Masters in the bag when he birdied the 18th hole in the final round in 1957. Ford ultimately won by three strokes that year for his first and only Masters. However, he achieved success elsewhere, as his Masters win fell in the middle of a 12-year span where he won 19 tour tournaments and a PGA Championship in 1955. Ford is another golfer whose career was altered by World War II. He served in the Coast Guard Air Division and didn't turn professional until the age of 26 in 1949.

  • #43. Art Wall Jr.

    - Masters wins: 1
    - Year(s) won: 1959
    - Masters runner up: 0

    In 1959, Art Wall Jr. had a magical year. He won four PGA tournaments that year, including the Masters, which earned him PGA Player of the Year honors as well as the Vardon Trophy (earned for lowest scoring average over a season). One of Wall's biggest claims to fame, however, is for the amount of holes-in-one he carded as a professional. While the total numbers are disputed, Wall likely had anywhere from 35 to 46 aces over his career, by far the most of any professional.