The best golfers who never won the Masters There have been many elite golfers who have failed to win the Masters. Taming the Augusta National course is certainly no easy task, even for the best of the best. Here’s our ranking of 20 great golfers, some still searching, who haven’t won the Masters.
The best golfers who never won the Masters
20. Denny Shute
One of the greatest golfers of the 1930s and 1940s, a native of Cleveland, Shute won the 1933 US Open and was twice crowned PGA Championship champion (1936, ’37). He also finished second at the 1941 US Open, finishing in the top 10 six times in that event. However, the Masters was not so good for Shute, who recorded just one top 10 finish – fifth in 1935 – over 25 starts. Some courses just don’t play to a certain golfer’s game, and Augusta seemed to be the one for Shute.
19. Gene Littler
During a Hall of Fame pro career with 54 wins, including the 1961 U.S. Open, Littler finished in the top 10 at the Masters eight times, making 24 cuts in 26 appearances. He recorded the most on any major. Three of those finishes were in the top five, with the best of the group coming in second in 1970. That’s when Billy Casper outlasted Littler in an 18-hole playoff in what has long been considered one of the greatest stretches in the history of the story. tournament.
18. John Rahm
Sure, Rahm has only been playing major golf since 2016 and finally won one at the 2021 US Open. But during that relatively small sample of significant events, the Masters has become completely elusive for the former world No. 1 player. Rahm finished tied for 27th in his Master’s debut in 2017. In the four seasons since, Rahm has finished fourth, T9, T7, and tied for fifth at Augusta. So will this be the year Rahm gets over the hump and dons the green jacket?
17. Nick Price
Price is a three-time major champion, but the US Open and Masters have consistently proved elusive for the big South African. Specifically, at Augusta, Price had 11 top-25 finishes and four top-10 finishes in 20 career appearances. Price finished fifth in 1985, only his second time playing the Masters. However, it was as close as he would come to winning the green jacket, although he finished sixth in his penultimate Master’s start in 2004.
16. Brooks Koepka
Koepka’s four major triumphs have been split between the PGA Championship and the US Open. His last major win came in 2019; since then, he has recorded six top-seven finishes at such events. The three arrived in 2021 along with his first cut at Augusta, where Koepka had tied for second and seventh the previous two years. Like Jon Rahm, we think Koepka is young and talented enough not to go too long without a Masters win.
15. Hale Irwin
Irwin was a three-time winner of the US Open (1974, ’79, and ’80) and one of the few to repeat as champion. During his prime on the PGA Tour, it also seemed like a matter of time before Irwin added a Masters victory to his resume. From 1974-78, Irwin finished eighth or better during that stellar five-year stretch – with T4s in 1974 and ’75. Irwin also finished tied for sixth in 1983, the last time he finished in the top 10 at Augusta.
14. Julius Boros
Boros, a two-time US Open champion (1952, ’63) and winner of the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48, was once again inducted into the Hall of Fame. Still, the Masters is the only American major – he played the Open Championship just once (1966) – that Boros failed to capture. He made 18 of 25 cuts at Augusta and had seven top-10 finishes. However, of the four times, he finished in the top five, Boros’ best finish was a tie for third in 1963.
13. David Duval
When Duval’s career is discussed, the thought of what “might have been” often comes up. Duval, a former world No. 1, won 13 PGA Tour events and his only major title at the Open Championship in 2001. But the rest of his career was hampered by a spate of injuries and a struggle with mental attitude. However, during one four-year stretch from 1998-2001, Duval finished in the top six at the Masters every season. In the 1998 tournament, Duval was tied for second with Fred Couples as they watched Mark O’Meara sink a 20-foot putt for birdie on Sunday’s 18th for his first major victory. Then in 2001, Duval fired a final-round 67 at Augusta but couldn’t catch Tiger Woods and finished 2 shots behind.
12. Davis Love III
It’s one of his 21 major top-10 finishes during a stellar PGA Tour career. Six of Love’s top 10s came at Augusta, all from 1995-2004. On two occasions, Love placed second. In 1995, he was one stroke back of champion Ben Crenshaw. The Masters was the only major Davis played and he finished second.
11. Ernie Els
All four of Els’ major wins came at the US Open and the Open Championship. Speaking of the Masters, Els was runner-up twice during a five-year run from 2000 to 2004 where he finished in the top six each season. In 2000, Els finished the tournament at 7 under par, the closest competitor to winner Vijay Singh, who placed at 10 under. Four years later, Els fell even short of the Master’s title, finishing second after Phil Mickelson birdied the final hole on Sunday to beat him by one shot.
10. Justin Rose
It’s still somewhat hard to believe that as big as Rose was throughout the 2000s, he only has one major win (the 2013 US Open) to his credit. As for the Masters, Rose has finished in the top 10 six times (in 16 attempts) – the most of any major he’s started. He finished second at Augusta in 2015. He couldn’t recover and Garcia birdied to finally declare himself a major champion – at Rose’s expense.
9. Tom Kite
Kite, the 1992 US Open winner, has finished in the top 10 at the Masters 12 times – the most of any of his major appearances. Kite finished in the top five nine times and was runner-up three times at Augusta (1983, 1986, 1997). Two of those second places came in tournaments that are among the most memorable in the event’s history. 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus won in 1986 and Tiger Woods’ dominant winning margin of 12 strokes from 1997.
8. Johnny Miller
Miller, the winner of the 1973 US Open and 1976 Open Championship champion, finished tied for second at the Masters three times during his distinguished career. In 1971, Miller shot a weekend of 68s to take a two-shot lead after 14 holes on Sunday, but did not hold on and finished tied for second place behind Charles Coody. He led 65-66 at the weekend in 1975, but eventually fell a stroke to Jack Nicklaus. Then came the 1981 event, when Miller shared the lead after the first round but again finished second – two shots behind Tom Watson.
7. Tom Weiskopf
Weiskopf recorded his 16 PGA Tour victories from 1968 to 1982. This included his only major triumph at the Open Championship in 1973. Also during that stretch, Weiskopf finished tied for second at the Masters, a total of four times. In 1969, Weiskopf was part of a second group that finished one shot behind champion George Archer. Jack Nicklaus defeated Weiskopf and Co. in 1972 and again in 1975, while he and Dave Stockton were two shots back of 1974 winner Gary Player.
6. Walter Hagen
Hagen was an 11-time major winner between the Open Championship, the US Open, and the PGA Championship, and definitely an icon in the history of the game. Although Hagen never won the Masters, he was 40 years old and on the downside of his competitive golf career when the tournament debuted in 1934. So his chances of winning on this challenging track were not so favorable. In six starts at Augusta under the Masters banner, Hagen’s best finish came in 1936 when he tied for 11th.
5. Tommy Armor
Armor recorded 27 professional victories, including the 1927 US Open, the 1930 PGA Championship, and the 1931 Open Championship. However, Armour’s pursuit of golf’s Grand Slam wins in each of the four majors never materialized due to his tournament play. Masters. He played at Augusta seven times and only finished in the top 10 once – a tie for eighth in the 1937 tournament. Frankly, like Walter Hagen, Armor was at the end of his stellar competitive career when the Masters hit.
4. Bobby Jones
Augusta National Golf Club designer and Masters co-founder Jones, a five-time US Open champion and three-time Open Champion, had already retired from competitive golf by the time the tournament began. However, the Masters was the only real competitive event that Jones, still an amateur, would play. Between 1934–1948, Jones played in the Masters 12 times (the tournament was not played in 1943–1945 due to World War II), with his best finish being a tie for 13th in the inaugural event.
3. Lee Trevino
The great Trevino is one of the most successful golfers of all time, with two wins at the PGA Championship (1974, ’84), the US Open (1968, ’71), and the Open Championship (1971, ’72). Still, it was the Masters that prevented the Hall of Famer from getting a grand slam. While Trevino has made it to three of his 20 starts at Augusta, he has only managed two top-10 finishes at the event. Both finished 10th in 1975, then 10 years later in 1985.
2. Rory McIlroy
Rory has four major titles to his credit, but none since 2014 when he won the Open Championship and the PGA Championship in the same season. McIlroy, who has won the latter twice and has the 2011 US Open title under his belt, is still wearing the green jacket. And it’s not like he doesn’t have his chances at Augusta. Despite finishing no better than fourth at the Masters (2015), McIlroy finished in the top eight at every Augusta stop from 2014-18. His missed cut in 2021 was only the second time that has happened at Augusta.
1. Greg Norman
Norman won the Open Championship twice (1986, 1993), but it’s his near miss at the Masters that golf fans usually remember Shark the most. He finished outright or tied for second three times at Augusta (1986, ’87, ’96) and was excruciating to watch. Not to mention that Norman had to live with scarcity. In 1986, Norman held a one-shot lead after three rounds but fell after a double bogey on the 10th. However, with four birdies in a row, he rallied to tie for the lead at the 18th. gallery and settled for T2. A year later, Norman lost to Larry Mize and his legendary birdie chip in a three-game playoff. Then in 1996, he led after each of the first three rounds, but Sunday’s 78 and Nick Faldo’s 67 left Norman five strokes back of the victorious Englishman.