In focus: The last three Masters Tournament winners
Whether it be the sought-after Green Jacket, Augusta’s notoriously challenging course, or the elite honour roll of champions who have won it in years past – if you were to ask professional golfers the major they would most love to win – I think you’d find the Masters Tournament at the top of the majority of their lists.
For the past three years, there are three golfers who were fortunate enough to don their first Green Jacket – and with that in mind – read on as we take a look at how their tilt at a maiden win at Augusta panned out.
2022 – Scottie Scheffler
After a stellar opening to his 2022 campaign in which he won the WM Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer International and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, American Scottie Scheffler moved to world number one in the Official World Golf Rankings in the lead-up to the 2022 Masters.
While Scheffler would have been confident given the rich vein of form he was in, the pressure of being the world number one at golf’s most prestigious major is a heavy burden to bear. Couple that with the fact that Scheffler was yet to be victorious in any of the four PGA Tour majors up until that point – and Scheffler could have been forgiven if he were to faulter on the sport’s biggest stage.
However, faulter he did not. The then 25-year-old displayed maturity beyond his years to defeat multiple-time major winner Rory McIlroy by three strokes en route to his maiden Masters title. Scheffler has largely picked up from where he left off in 2023, taking out The Players Championship last month by five strokes – and in doing so – regained the world number one ranking and became just the third player to win the Masters Tournament and Players Championship in a 12-month span.
For those who believe Scheffler can join all-time greats Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo as the only golfers to reign supreme in back-to-back Masters Tournaments, the 26-year-old is the co-favourite in the Masters odds to do so at 8/1.
2021 – Hideki Matsuyama
In what was a considerable upset given he was the number 25 ranked player in the world heading into the Masters, Hideki Matsuyama’s victory at Augusta in 2021 showed just how unpredictable the tournament can be year in year out.
That’s not to say Matsuyama hasn’t been near the top at any point in his career, with the Japanese native ranked as high as world number two in 2017. Therefore, there’s no doubting that the potential has always been there – however, he just needed to be able to put it all together in the big moments. And he did just that in Georgia two years ago, shooting 1-over 73 in the final round to finish the tournament at 10-under 278.
His win was a historic one, as it marked the first time a Japanese player had donned the Green Jacket, and if you believe he is capable of becoming a two-time victor, the 31-year-old is paying a tempting 40/1 in the golf betting markets.
One of the most talented players professional golf has seen over the past couple of decades, America’s Dustin Johnson added to his laundry list of individual accomplishments by winning the Masters Tournament in 2020.
He was simply exceptional in his win, besting second place-getters Im Sung-Jae and Cameron Smith by five strokes. Johnson would go on to register a record 20-under par total of 268, two strokes better than the previous record that was jointly held by Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.
Johnson’s Masters triumph marked the second major trophy of his career, after he was victorious at the US Open in 2016.
However, despite his obvious talent, Johnson has failed to pick up another major for three years – and when you couple that with the fact that he defected from the PGA Tour last year to join the rebel LIV Golf league – the pressure on the 38-year-old to be competitive at Augusta this month will be significant.
He is considered an outsider when looking at the betting lines, as he currently sits at 28/1 – which is good for 14th favourite.