Past US Masters Golf Champions

Any journey though the annals of golfing history will reveal the truly great players of their time. We take a look at some of these legends, the gritty rivalries, epic duels and the tales of triumph and defeat.

Perhaps the most famous past US Masters golf champions are the “Big Three”. Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus – the King, the Black Knight and Fat Jack!

But before we turn our attention to these fascinating personalities, we remember one of the first heroes of the US Masters. At the dawn of this illustrious event, a man called Gene Sarazen single-handedly put the championship into the record books with a magnificent shot on the 15th.

In 1935 he holed a shot from the fairway on the par 5 for a double eagle to force a 36-hole playoff. He subsequently won and became the second US Masters champion with a “shot heard ‘round the world”. He became the first man in history to win golf’s “Career Grand Slam” – holding all four major titles at one time.

American Sam Snead will always be part of US Masters history. He claimed the title three times and dominated world golf for most of four decades.

In the ensuing seventy-three years, the Masters has coughed up a host of celebrated stars from Arnold Palmer in the late 1950s to Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player in the 60s and 70s, Greg Norman in the 80s and 90s, through to our current day ‘master’, Tiger Woods.

Palmer, Player and Nicklaus won 34 majors between them and no fewer than 371 victories worldwide. “We always did have a big rivalry, and were all close friends,” said the elder statesman of the three, Arnold Palmer. “Jack was a great striker and had an ability to go out and play his game without letting anything bother him. Gary was very persistent. He never backed off a situation and never gave up,” he added.

The Black Knight responded in true competitive spirit, “Arnold Daniel Palmer was a legend who walked among us, but, God willing I sure as hell want to take his record from him next year”. Player is referring to Palmer’s record 50 appearances at the Masters, and at the 2008 tournament past US Masters golf champion Gary Player will have the opportunity of bettering it!