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Dawg Sports Poll: What Is Your Favorite Masters of All Time?

Augusta National Archive Photo by Augusta National/Getty Images

We at Dawg Sports take Masters Week seriously. And why not? If we’re a beer, bourbon, and barbecue blog that occasionally covers things like football national championships, we certainly have the pedigree and inclination to cover the most famous golf tournament in the world. Which happens to be located metaphorically, and mostly geographically, in our collective backyard.

In years past we’ve polled the readership on favorite traditions and favorite food, and we’ve covered most of the many facets Augusta National displays. This year, we’d like to hear what your favorite Masters tournament is. It may be simply the champion himself because you’re a big fan. It may be because of a particular shot he hit. It could be because of the totality of the performance. And it sure can be because you were there in person and witnessed something spectacular. Or even better, that you shared it, either in person or on TV, with a special person in your life.

Whatever the reason, let us know what is your favorite Masters of all time? I’ve provided a few examples below, but I have limited it to the more recent modern era. I mean, if you are a Dow Finsterwald fan and resent Palmer’s victory in ’62, that’s fine. You might think De Vicenzo was robbed in 1968 by an unfair technicality. And possibly you think 1947 was the greatest of Jimmy Demaret’s 3 Green Jackets. So even if I didn’t list the one you like, give us the story in the comments below.

Personally, the 1975 win by Nicklaus is in my top 3. I’m probably older than most of you, but as a youngster I watched on TV as Jack buried his 40 footer on 16 and run off in celebration (“he left bear tracks”). That’s my earliest memory of the Masters.

Limiting this is tough, and you can probably tick them off faster than I can type them. And love him or hate him, Tiger has done some things around these acres thus no list is valid without including him. So vote in the poll, and tell me where I’m wrong and what I’ve left off.

2019 – Tiger Woods. His 5th green jacket (14 years since his 4th in 2005), his 15th major win (11 years since his 14th in 2008), and holding off one of the best leaderboards you’ll ever see on a Sunday.

2015 – Jordan Spieth. Only the 2nd player to win the Masters before turning 22 (Woods), tying the tournament scoring record of 18 under par (Woods), record number of birdies during the four rounds (28), first player to reach 19 under par at any point. All these heralded what became the year of the Jordan.

2012 – Bubba Watson. Holding off South African Louis Oosthuizen, who earlier scored double-eagle on the par 5 2nd hole, Bubba shot 68 Sunday to force a playoff. After a wayward drive in the right trees on #10, Bubba hit a wedge shot to the green that just cannot be appreciated until you’ve stood on that spot and seen the lie, the trees, the pitch of the green, and imagine the pressure. But Bubba did, saved par, and captured his first Masters and the first major by a former UGA golfer.

2005 – Tiger Woods. Charging from behind, Tiger caught Chris DiMarco (go gatuhs) with one of the most iconic chip shots in history. Long left on the par 3 16th hole, Woods pitched the ball well above the hole but used the slope, on purpose, to bring the ball back and the Nike logo flashed momentarily on TV before the ball dropped. Verne’s call of “in your LIFE have you ever seen anything like that?” isn’t on Mount Rushmore, but he nailed the call.

2004 – Phil Mickelson. It’s hard to believe, but this was Phil’s first major win. Yet another player to keep Ernie Els out of the winner’s circle, Mickelson birdied 5 of the last 7 holes, including the famous downhill slider on 18 to win by 1. His celebratory jump is now recognizable, but it was no feat of prowess.

2001 – Tiger Woods. Was this his most dominant win? Nope. But it was the 4th straight major win for Tiger, the only person to hold all four major professional trophies at the same time (2000 US Open, 2001 British Open, 2000 PGA Championship, 2001 Masters). And thus the “Tiger Slam” was born. It really is almost unfathomable how difficult an achievement this is.

1997 – Tiger Woods. In just his 3rd appearance, and his first since turning professional, Tiger shot 40 on his opening 9 holes and was buried on the leaderboard. Then he proceeds to shoot 30 on the second nine (70 in total), and followed that by a Friday 66, at which point he captured his first lead in the Masters. A weekend of 65-69 gave Tiger the tournament scoring record of 270 (18 under par). That means on his final 63 holes, Tiger shot 22 under par. He also became the youngest Masters champion. Second place finisher Tom Kite (!!) was 12 shots behind him (!!!), which is the record for largest margin of victory.

1996 – Nick Faldo. This was all but over, as world #1 Greg Norman started the final round 6 shots ahead of 2nd place Faldo. But Norman couldn’t catch a break, made plenty of errors himself, shot a Sunday 78 while Faldo played an incredible 67 and beat Norman by 5. This was painful to watch in person – each scoreboard update produced groans that could be heard across the grounds.

1987 – Larry Mize. Joining the list of players to thwart Greg Norman, the Augusta native tied Norman and Seve Ballesteros in regulation, then made it to the second playoff hole at #11. Having taken the safe bail-out approach to the par 4 (far right of the green, away from the pond), Mize holed a miraculous chip to birdie the hole and deny the Great White Shark once again.

1986 – Jack Nicklaus. What can I say about the Golden Bear’s 6th Green Jacket? Books have been written, documentaries filmed, artists have rendered in all mediums… it is just a wonderful moment in golf. And really one that could only happen with the tradition, history, and backdrop of Augusta National.

So those are a few of the more famous Masters of the last few decades. Use the comments to include the ones I forgot or the ones that mean the most to you. And as always…


What is your favorite Masters tournament of all time?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    2019 - Tiger’s Return
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    2015 - Jordan Speith dominates
    (2 votes)
  • 17%
    2012 - Bubba wins in a playoff
    (16 votes)
  • 5%
    2005 - Tiger’s chip seen ‘round the world
    (5 votes)
  • 8%
    2004 - Phil breaks through
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    2001 - the Tiger Slam
    (1 vote)
  • 5%
    1997 - Tiger wins one for the ages
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    1996 - Faldo thrives, Norman collapses
    (0 votes)
  • 43%
    1986 - Nicklaus and "Yes SIR!"
    (39 votes)
  • 3%
    1987 - Larry Mize chips in for the win
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    Other - Tell us in the comments
    (3 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now