Wire-to-Wire Winners of The Masters Tournament

How many golfers have won The Masters Tournament wire-to-wire? That is, won it by leading after the first round, second round, third round and at the end? Not many! So far, only five golfers have won wire-to-wire in The Masters.

But what a quintet it is. The five wire-to-wire guys include Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, who between them won 10 Masters. And the other three are golfers who each won additional major championships on top of their Masters win. Four of them are Hall of Famers, and the fifth, currently active, will also be in the World Golf Hall of Fame some day.

These are all the wire-to-wire winners of The Masters:

  • Craig Wood, 1941 Masters: Wood opened with a 66 and led by five following the first round. His lead was no lower than three after any following round. Wood won by three over runner-up Byron Nelson. Wood had previously lost in extra holes all four majors, but he won two majors this year (adding the 1941 U.S. Open).

  • Arnold Palmer, 1960 Masters: This was the second of Palmer's four Masters victories, and although he led after each round, he didn't have much breathing room. Palmer's lead after the first round was two, and after each additional round was just one. That was his winning margin over runner-up Ken Venturi, too. Palmer had to birdie the last two holes to get the victory.

  • Jack Nicklaus, 1972 Masters: Nicklaus shot 68 for the first-round lead, led by one after 36 holes, led by one again after 54 holes, and won by three over the trio of Bruce Crampton, Bobby Mitchell and Tom Weiskopf. It was the fourth of Nicklaus' six Masters wins.

  • Raymond Floyd, 1976 Masters: A first-round 65 sent Floyd on his wire-to-wire win, although he led only by one after that first round. But after the second round, Floyd's lead was five. And it was eight strokes after both the third and final rounds. His winning total of 271 tied the then-Masters scoring record.

  • Jordan Spieth, 2015 Masters: It took almost 40 years after Floyd's 1976 victory before the next wire-to-wire champ. And Spieth, like Floyd, also tied the then-tournament scoring record, a 270 total for Spieth. His lead was three after opening with 64, five following the second round, four after the third, and Spieth won by four over runners-up Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose.
Note that The Masters only includes golfers who held the outright lead after each round (no ties) as its wire-to-wire winners. Other tournaments, including the U.S. Open, often choose to also include golfers who had at least a share of the lead after each round. The five golfers above led outright after each round.

Related articles:

Popular posts from this blog