AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 04: A general view of the leaderboard next to the first fairway during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 04, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia.

As a golf fanatic, this week is my favorite of the year.  I love everything associated with The Masters and its home course, Augusta National Golf Club.  Living and working in Augusta for 5.5 years in the late 90s-early 2000s, fueled my fascination and obsession further.

One question I’ve been asked this year more than any other is, “What’s your favorite Masters?”  That’s like asking me to choose my favorite cookie or cake.  They’re all my favorite.  That being said, I’m going to give you my list (in chronological order) of the Top 10 most important/best Masters Tournaments.

  • 1964-Arnold Palmer's Last

    Arnold Palmer is arguably one of the 3-4 most important golfers in the history of the game.  He won 7 major titles-all between 1958 and 1964.  This was his fourth and final Masters.  This was his 7th and final major.  It had to be made all the sweeter by not only beating his rival Jack Nicklaus (finished 2nd by 6 shots), but by Jack having to place the green jacket on his shoulders at the trophy ceremony.

  • 1967-Hogan's Last Stand

    Okay, this is the only Masters Tournament on this list that I will admit to total bias.  Ben Hogan means a lot to me.  I named my son after him.  In 1967, at the age of 55, Hogan turned back the hands of time to shoot a third round 66 (6 under par total/30 on the second nine).  No one remembers Gay Brewer won the tournament.  Everyone remembers that for one final time on a Saturday in Augusta, Ben Hogan took a glorious walk in the Augusta sun.

  • 1968-Roberto De Vicenzo's Folly

    Nothing like this will ever happen again.  Bob Goalby shot a final round 66 (6 under par) and appeared to tie Roberto De Vicenzo and headed for a Monday, 18-hole playoff.  However, De Vicenzo made a 3 at the 16th hole, but signed a scorecard that said he made a 4.  Rules are rules.  He lost The Masters by that one stroke for signing an incorrect card.  Wow.  We lost Bob Goalby this last year.  He was a good man who was unfairly haunted and hounded by this moment.


  • 1975-The Magnificent Masters

    The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus makes his first appearance on this list.  Here he wins his 5th of 6 Masters Championships by one stroke over Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf with a duel down the stretch that is still breathtaking to watch.  Jack made a lot of famous putts over the years.  This one at 16 is definitely on the list.

  • 1980-The Swashbuckling Spaniard

    The 1980 Masters saw the emergence of one of the most charismatic golfers of all time, Spain’s Seve Ballesteros.  At age 23, he charmed and dazzled the golf world with his shot making wizardry winning the first of his two Masters titles.  Seve was/is the most important golfer in European history.  He is to golf on that continent as Arnold Palmer is to American golf:  an icon.

  • 1986-"Yessir!"

    Jack Nicklaus has the most major championships (18) and the most Masters Championships.  His sixth and final triumph at Augusta National came at age 46, in 1986.  His 65 (7 under par) on Sunday thrilled the sports world.  Earlier we had a big putt by Jack from 1975 on 16.  This one on 17 is one of the most famous calls ever by Verne Lundquist.  To this day, when Verne is on the grounds he is greeted by cries of “Yessir!” constantly.  He smiles and acknowledges every one.

  • 1987-A Hometown Boy's Dream Comes True

    Larry Mize grew up in Augusta, Georgia.  At best, he was a journeyman pro golfer.  BUT, for one shining moment, Larry Mize proved that a boy’s dreams can come true.  His chip-in birdie on the 11th hole in a playoff to beat Greg Norman remains one of the most iconic shots in Masters history.

  • 1996-Norman's Collapse

    Greg Norman is one of the greatest golfers of all time.  He is a two-time major champion and member of The World Golf Hall of Fame.  He is also one of the most “snake bit” golfers-ever-especially at Augusta National.  In 1996, he entered the final round of The Masters with a 6-shot lead over Nick Faldo.  His collapse and loss are the stuff of legend.

  • 1997-A Win For The Ages

    At 21, everyone in the golf world knew that Tiger Woods was “good.”  Everyone in the golf world had NO IDEA how good.  After an opening his tournament by shooting 40 (4-over par) on his opening 9 holes.  He shot 22-under for his final 63 holes to set a tournament record (18-under par) that held for twenty years+.  This victory inspired all the great players of today to get into golf and inspired so many to take up the game.  Tiger made golf cool; and this win started an unprecedented run of success.

  • 2019-The Return To Glory

    The Tiger Woods in his signature red and black couture in 2019, was a far cry from the one in 1997.  The 21-year-old phenom had been replaced by a 43-year-old man whose body was ravaged by injury.  Most people are pleased to still be walking after 5 back surgeries and 4 knee surgeries.  Tiger Woods wasn’t going to be satisfied until he bested a field of golfers that he inspired to the game in the first place.  All the young golfers spoke of how they wanted to “face Tiger.”  Be careful what you wish for.  The Big Cat plays no games.  And this, his 5th Masters title (15th major championship), was nothing short of amazingly spectacular-not unlike the athlete who authored it.