The Dawn of a new year means only one thing, golf’s major season is right around the corner. The first major of the year is, of course, The Masters. The annual golf extravaganza has been held at the Augusta National Golf Club since 1934 and is considered by many to be the most prestigious event in the sport.
Throughout its history, the Masters has been host to some of the greatest players in the game. From the early days of Bobby Jones and Sam Snead to more modern giants such as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson, the Masters has a long history of exciting and dramatic championships.
Should you be lucky enough to ever attend The Masters, there are several casinos within a stone's throw of the world-famous golf course. In the modern age, many prefer to use websites like Joe Fortune online casino purely for convenience. However, if you’re at Augusta, placing a bet locally could add to the experience, and with many tipping Rory McIlroy for success this year, the Northern Irishman could be worth a punt.
Last year, the 33-year-old shot a final round record of 64 (eight under par) however, he still finished some three strokes behind talented young American Scottie Scheffler. The Dallas, Texas native had threatened to win a major in recent years, and his time finally came last April when he secured the green jacket. This year, he will be looking to hold off McIlroy and become the first player to win back-to-back tournaments since Tiger Woods exactly two decades ago.
To get an idea of the greatest players in Masters history, we can look at the most successful players in terms of Masters victories. Here are the players who have won the most Masters titles:
Jack Nicklaus – 6 victories
Nicklaus is arguably the greatest golfer of all time, and he won a record six Masters titles. He also holds the record for most top-10 finishes at the Masters with 22. The American won a staggering 18 majors throughout his 24 years at the top of the sport, raking in $5.7m in prize money in the process.
Between 1963 and 1966, Nicklaus secured three green jackets in four years. His back-to-back successes in 1965 and 1966 made him the first player in history to successfully retain the green jacket, something Scheffler is looking to emulate this spring.
Nicklaus was made to wait six years for his fourth success, but that duly came in 1972. A fifth title came three years later before his sixth and final crown was sealed in 1986. His 11-year wait between his fifth and sixth successes was the second longest gap between Masters trophies, second only to Gary Players 13 year wait between 1961 and 1974.
Tiger Woods – 5 victories
That was until this man arrived. Tiger Woods now owns the record for the biggest gap between Masters successes. He was made to wait 14 years between what looked to be his final triumph in 2005, only for him to once again return to the mountaintop in 2019, much to the delight of golf fans the world over.
Tiger burst onto the scene at the turn of the millennium, winning his first major at Augusta at just 21 years of age in 1997. Four years later, he would pick up his second crown, before becoming the first man since England’s Nick Faldo over a decade prior to successfully win back-to-back Masters Tournaments.
Tiger Woods is arguably the most famous golfer of all time. He was the man to take golf into the mainstream, with a string of video games and other merchandise accompanying him on his money-spinning run at the top of the sport. Throughout his career he picked up 15 majors, second only to Nicklaus, however, the $121m he made in prize money is considerably more than that of his predecessor.
Arnold Palmer – 4 victories
Arnold Palmer is one of the most popular players in golfing history, and his four Masters wins put him in a tie for third on the all-time list. He picked up his first green jacket in 1958, before returning to Augusta and claiming the top prize once again two years later.
In 1962 he would add a third Masters trophy to his collection, before collecting his fourth and final crown in 1964.
Sam Snead – 3 victories
Snead was one of the first great players at the Masters and was a pioneer of the sport. He picked up his first trophy just four years after the culmination of the Second World War in 1949. Three years later, he would pick up his second, before completing the hat trick in 1954.
Phil Mickelson – 3 victories
If there was any player that could rival Tiger Woods throughout the mid-2000s, it was Phil Mickelson. The left-hander was, and no doubt still is, a great player in his own right. He picked up six majors throughout his career, and half of those successes came at Augusta.
He won his first green jacket back in 2004, before returning to the Masters two years later and regaining his crown. Four years would pass before his third and final success, but that duly came in 2010.
Mickelson would win The Open Championship in 2013, before having to wait eight years to taste major success again. That wait ended in 2021 however when he won the PGA Championship, taking his career earnings to $95m.