Who Was the First Golfer to Win The Masters Three Times?

After its founding in 1934, it didn't take long for The Masters Tournament to produce its first two-time winner: Horton Smith won in 1934 and 1936. But it was another 14 years until The Masters' first three-time champion emerged.

Jimmy Demaret was the first golfer to win The Masters three times. He earned that third victory in 1950, which was the 17th year of the tournament's existence. But, because the tournament skipped several years during World War II, it was only the 14th time the tournament was played.

Here is a snapshot of each of Demaret's three Masters victories:

  • 1940 Masters: Demaret took the lead in the second round and held it until the end, eventually winning by four strokes over runner-up Lloyd Mangrum. The margin of victory was a tournament record at the time.

  • 1947 Masters: Demaret's second win was earned with four rounds under par — he was the first golfer to do that in The Masters. He won by two strokes over runners-up Byron Nelson and amateur Frank Stranahan. At the time, Demaret was just the third golfer with two Masters wins, joining Smith and Nelson.

  • 1950 Masters: Demaret was four strokes behind leader Jim Ferrier after the third round. But in the final round Demaret shot 69 to Ferrier's 75 to win by two. With that, he was the tournament's first three-time champ.

Jimmy Demaret won no other majors in his World Golf Hall of Fame career. He had eight Top 10 finishes total in The Masters. After his third win, trying to become the first four-time champion, Demaret finished solo third in the 1957 Masters and, at age 51, tied for fifth place in the 1962 Masters.

Demaret's first win on the PGA Tour was in 1938, and his 1940 Masters victory was his seventh on tour. He wound up winning 31 times on the PGA Tour (last in 1957), which still ranks among the Top 20 PGA Tour win totals of all-time. At the time of Demaret's final PGA Tour win, only seven golfers had won more PGA Tour tournaments than he had.

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