Golfers With Most 2nd-Place Finishes in The Masters

Which golfers have finished second most often in The Masters Tournament? Three very good golfers share that record, which is four second-place finishes.

Five more very good golfers also make the list that follows with three runner-up showings each. But not every golfer whose name appears below won The Masters.

The Record: 4 Runner-Up Finishes

The three golfers who share the Masters' tournament record for most second-place finishes include two of the biggest names in golf history, plus another guy who most golf historians believe should be in the Hall of Fame.

Ben Hogan

Hogan finished second in The Masters tournaments of 1942, 1946, 1954 and 1955. The 1942 Masters is probably the most-famous of those, because Hogan lost in an 18-hole playoff to Byron Nelson. In 1946 Hogan three-putted the final hole to lose by one to Herman Keiser. At the 1954 Masters, Hogan lost in another 18-hole playoff, this time to Sam Snead. (Both his playoff losses were by one stroke.) And in the 1955 Masters, Hogan was the distant runner-up to Cary Middlecoff, whose 7-stroke margin of victory was the tournament record for 10 years. Hogan won The Masters twice, in 1951 and 1953.

Jack Nicklaus

Nicklaus holds the tournament record with six wins, and shares the tournament record with four seconds. Ten times in the Top 2 — that's pretty good!

Nicklaus finished second in 1964, 1971, 1977 and 1981. In 1964, Nicklaus tied for second, six strokes behind Arnold Palmer. He had won in 1963, and then won in 1965 and 1966.

In the 1971 Masters, Nicklaus finished two behind Charles Coody. In 1977, it was Tom Watson who beat runner-up Nicklaus by two. And in the 1981 Masters, Watson again beat runner-up Nicklaus by two. Nicklaus' other Masters victories were in 1972, 1975 and 1986.

Tom Weiskopf

Of the three golfers who share The Masters record of four second-place finishes, Weiskopf is the one who never won the tournament. He did win the 1973 British Open and 16 total PGA Tour titles, but his best showings in The Masters were runners-up in 1969, 1972, 1974 and 1975.

Weiskopf bogeyed the 17th hole in the 1969 Masters to drop out of a tie for the lead, then finished one behind George Archer. In both 1972 and 1975, Weiskopf was runner-up to Nicklaus, by three in 1972 and by one in 1975. Gary Player won the 1974 Masters with Weiskopf two strokes back in second.

The Golfers With 3 Seconds in The Masters

Five other golfers have recorded three runner-up finishes each in The Masters:
  • Johnny Miller, 1971, 1975, 1981
  • Greg Norman, 1986, 1987, 1996
  • Tom Watson, 1978, 1979, 1984
  • Raymond Floyd, 1985, 1990, 1992
  • Tom Kite, 1983, 1986, 1997
Norman and Kite tied one another for second place behind Nicklaus in the 1986 Masters, where Nicklaus' back-nine charge resulted in his sixth win at age 46.

Norman is the most-famous (or is that infamous?) runner-up in Masters history. He lost to Larry Mize's famous 140-foot chip-in in sudden death at the 1987 Masters; and blew a 6-stroke lead in a final-round meltdown at the 1996 Masters.

Floyd would have become the tournament's oldest champion had he been able to pull off wins in either 1990 or 1992. But, at age 47, he lost to Nick Faldo in a playoff at the 1990 Masters; and, at age 49, finished two back of Fred Couples in 1992.

Of those golfers who finished second three times, Miller, Norman and Kite never won The Masters.

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