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Masters champions: Memorable moments from each Masters in the 21st century

The Masters
Tiger Woods receives his green jacket from '18 winner Patrick Reed. One of mnay indelible images from the past 20 years at Augusta National.

The 2020 Masters is upon us, and no matter who dons the green jacket this year, this edition will go down in history for its extenuating circumstances. With this Masters staged in November thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, golf fans always will remember the year the Masters was played in the fall. Aside from skipping the tournament during World War II, this will be the first time the Masters hasn’t been played in April in 81 years.

It has a tough act to follow. In 2019, Tiger Woods earned his fifth green jacket in unforgettable fashion. Will he win again this year? Did delaying the event until November help or hurt his chances? Time will tell.

As we prepare for this year’s tournament, we want to reminisce about other standout moments from Augusta National. Here are some of our favorite Masters memories from the past 20 years.

Most Masters wins in the 21st century:

1. Tiger Woods (4)

2. Phil Mickelson (3)

3. Bubba Watson (2)

The List (and a few fun memories):

2020 Masters Champion: TBD!

Major moments: Also TBD, but set against fall foliage.

2019 Masters champion: Tiger Woods finished 13 under to beat Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson by one stroke.

Major moment: Tiger Woods’ epic win in the early afternoon on Sunday (tee times were moved up to beat an incoming storm) was hailed as a comeback for the ages, and more than a year later that still feels like a fair characterization. Winning the green jacket in 2019 was his first major title in 11 years and first Masters win in 14 years.

2018 Masters champion: Patrick Reed shot 15 under to beat Rickie Fowler by one stroke.

Major moment: While Patrick Reed’s win was quite impressive, many golfers remember Tony Finau’s hole-in-one fiasco during the Masters Par 3 Contest when he dislocated his left ankle while celebrating (backpedaling) down the fairway. Not only did he pop his ankle back in on the spot, but he managed to hobble to the first tee the next day and finish T-10. No big deal.

2017 Masters champion: Sergio Garcia shot 9 under and beat Justin Rose in a sudden-death playoff.

Major moment: Garcia won his first major at age 37 and was the third Spaniard to claim the green jacket. A calm mind helped Garcia conquer Augusta National, especially after he forced a tense playoff with Justin Rose.

2016 Masters champion: Danny Willett shot 5 under to beat Jordan Spieth and Lee Westwood by three strokes.

Major moment: Willett’s win was overshadowed by a series of unfortunate events. Jordan Spieth experienced what history remembers as a major meltdown in Amen Corner, costing him the lead and the green jacket. Also, the 2016 Masters is the last one Arnold Palmer attended before his death later that year.

2015 Masters champion: Jordan Spieth shot 18 under to beat Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose by four strokes.

Major moment: At age 21, Jordan Spieth tied Tiger Woods’ scoring record. Meanwhile, Woods cracked the top 10.

2014 Masters champion: Bubba Watson shot 8 under to beat Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt by three strokes.

Major moment: Jordan Spieth had a chance to become the youngest Masters champion at age 20 (in his Augusta debut!), but Bubba Watson never wavered while pulling away from Spieth as they played together in the final grouping.

2013 Masters champion: Adam Scott shot 9 under and beat Angel Cabrera in a sudden-death playoff.

Major moment: Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera played brilliantly down the stretch, and their sudden-death playoff lasted two holes before Scott dropped a birdie putt to win it. When Scott won this tournament, he became not only the first Australian to slip into a green jacket, but also the first golfer to win at Augusta with a long putter. Scott attributed his win in part to Greg Norman. Aussie Aussie Aussie!

2012 Masters champion: Bubba Watson shot 10 under and beat Louis Oosthuizen in a sudden-death playoff.
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Major moment: Both contenders put on a show. Louis Oosthuizen became the fourth PGA Tour player in history to score a double eagle at Augusta (hole 2, 253 yards). However, that unforgettable moment wasn’t enough to stop Bubba Watson, who hit an equally impressive hook shot from the pine straw on No. 10 in sudden death that lives in history.

2011 Masters champion: Charl Schwartzel shot 14 under to beat Jason Day and Adam Scott by two strokes.

Major moment: Charl Schwartzel became the third South African to win at Augusta National after a thrilling final round during which eight players held at least a share of the lead. Fun fact: Hideki Matsuyama was the only amateur to make the cut this year, foreshadowing his successful career on the PGA Tour.

2010 Masters champion: Phil Mickelson shot 16 under to beat Lee Westwood by three strokes.
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Major moment: Mickelson went on a Sunday run to win his third green jacket. With his impeccable short game, and a fantastic shot from the pine straw between the trees on No. 13 that stopped about 3 feet from the hole, Mickelson shot a bogey-free final round.

2009 Masters champion: Angel Cabrera shot 12 under and beat Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry in a sudden-death playoff.

Major moment: This tournament was an emotional rollercoaster. Big names (Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson) failed to contend, and some fans felt this Masters was “anti-climactic." Winning a sudden-death playoff with par-par may seem subpar on the PGA Tour, but there’s no shame for battling with whatever game you have that day, and Angel Cabrera did just that.

2008 Masters champion: Trevor Immelman shot 8 under to beat Tiger Woods by three strokes.

Major moment: Trevor Immelman took the golf world by storm. Literally. Crazy winds created tough playing conditions, and Tiger Woods was breathing down his neck most of the weekend. Immelman held his own and became the second South African to win the Masters Tournament, joining three-time champion Gary Player.

2007 Masters champion: Zach Johnson shot 1 over to beat Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini and Tiger Woods by two strokes.

Major moment: While golf fans today are used to seeing scoring records threatened, including Woods and Spieth’s 18-under totals at Augusta National, fans are especially flabbergasted to see an over-par score win a major that isn’t the U.S. Open. For the second time in Masters history, 1 over won the tournament. This also was the last year Seve Ballesteros competed at Augusta National.

2006 Masters champion: Phil Mickelson shot 7 under to beat Tim Clark by two.

Major moment: Though Phil Mickelson won his second green jacket in 2006, most golf media sites were discussing his archrival’s unraveling. Tiger Woods, in an attempt to win one last major before his father passed away, played too aggressively and later called this 2006 major “the one that hurt the most.”

2005 Masters champion: Tiger Woods shot 12 under and beat Chris DiMarco in a sudden-death playoff. They finished seven strokes ahead of third place.

Major moment: One of Tiger Woods’ most iconic shots played out on the 16th hole: the chip-in. Though triumphant, Tiger Woods and other legendary golfers found the 2005 Masters to be the end of an era. Woods wouldn’t win another Masters tournament until 2019. And Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper and Tommy Aaron, all former Masters champions, made their final appearances as competitors at Augusta National.

2004 Masters champion: Phil Mickelson shot 8 under to beat Ernie Els by one stroke.

Major moment: This year was not only Phil Mickelson’s first Masters win, but also his first major victory. Mickelson sank a birdie putt on 18 to defeat Ernie Els by one, and his legendary status grew.

2003 Masters champion: Mike Weir shot 7 under and beat Len Mattiace in a sudden-death playoff.

Major moment: Mike Weir accomplished many firsts with his Masters win: Not only was this his first and only major title, but he was the first (and only) Canadian to win the Masters tournament. To top it off, Weir also was the first left-handed golfer to win the Masters, one year before Phil Mickelson.

2002 Masters champion: Tiger Woods shot 12 under to beat Retief Goosen by three strokes.

Major moment: Tiger Woods was the third golfer to win the Masters tournament back-to-back. While Jack Nicklaus slid the green jacket on himself, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods were assisted by the chairman of Augusta National.

2001 Masters champion: Tiger Woods shot 16 under to beat David Duval by two strokes.

Major moment: The 2001 Masters tournament was the crown jewel in what became known as the Tiger Slam. Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open, the British Open and then the PGA Championship in 2000. Because he won at Augusta National in 2001, a different calendar year, he did not officially join Bobby Jones as a golf Grand Slam honoree. However, winning four majors in a row (and within 365 days) is still an impressive feat, hence the new term “Tiger Slam.”

2000 Masters champion: Vijay Singh shot 10 under to beat Ernie Els by three strokes.

Major moment: Did you know that Vijay is Hindu for “victory"? Once Vijay Singh gained the lead on the 12th hole on Saturday, he never lost it, though he came close early Sunday. His winning score was impressive, considering the harsh weather conditions (only seven players shot under par on Saturday).