The Masters is the biggest stage in golf, and the only one of the four Majors to be played on the same course every year. Because of that, most casual sports fans likely already have an innate familiarity with Augusta National Golf Club. But with an influx of Masters content abound, there are plenty of interesting Masters stats and facts you may want to be aware of to either inform your Masters bets, or sound like the smartest person in the room at your Masters viewing parties!
With a loaded field in store, the 2023 Masters could be one for the record books. Below, find more interesting statistics and facts about The Masters tournament.
Ten facts and stats about The Masters you might not know:
- Augusta National will play to 7,545 yards in 2023, the longest in tournament history
In the inaugural 1934 Masters Tournament, Augusta National played to 6,800 yards. To adapt to modern technology, an additional 750 yards of real estate have been found over the years. For the first time this year, a new tee box has been built on the par-5 13th hole to add 35 yards (Golf Digest).
- The scoring record at The Masters belongs to Tiger Woods (-18 in 1997)
Woods’ performance in 1997 may go down as the most dominant in the sport’s history, as he also set the Masters record for the largest winning margin, defeating the runner-up, Tom Kite, by 12 strokes (The Masters). Not a bad bounce back after missing the cut the year prior.
- Tiger Woods was the youngest player to win The Masters at the age of 21
Tiger set many records with his 1997 victory (The Masters), but this one will seemingly last for a very long time. Tom Kim is one of the youngest contenders in this year’s field, with an opportunity to challenge this record.
- A debutant has not won The Masters since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979
There have been a total of three debutants to win The Masters over its 87-year history, including Horton Smith, the winner of the inaugural Masters tournament in 1934, and Gene Sarazen in 1935 (The Masters).
- Gary Player and Fred Couples share the record for most consecutive cuts made at the Masters (23)
We may witness some history in 2023 as Tiger Woods enters on a streak of 22 consecutive made cuts from his maiden 1997 victory to last year’s triumphant return from injury. Woods made it through the cut as a debutant in 1995, where he finished T41. His lone missed cut at The Masters came the following year in 1996 (The Masters).
- CBS’s Sunday broadcast of the 2022 Masters averaged 10.17 Million viewers
Scottie Scheffler’s 2022 victory drew a 7% year-over-year increase in viewership, peaking at 13.16 million viewers, the highest since Tiger Woods’ 2019 victory (GolfWeek). To put that into perspective, the 2023 Valspar Championship drew an average of 2.6 million Sunday viewers. There’s no question The Masters is golf’s biggest TV draw each and every year.
- Jack Nicklaus owns the record for most Masters victories with six
This record is technically also at stake this week, as Tiger Woods is lurking in the field with five career Masters victories, second most of all time. It would take a minor miracle for Tiger to win this week, given his current health state. Nicklaus picked up his sixth victory in 1986 at the age of 46, which still stands as the oldest age for a Masters champion (The Masters).
- Sergio Garcia set the record for most Masters starts before his first win at 19
Garcia won the 2017 Masters Tournament on his 19th try at 37 (The Masters). He had a pair of top-10 finishes over that span before winning, which give some hope to veterans like Justin Rose and Jason Day, who continue to chase their first green jacket.
- There have been 11 instances where The Masters has gone to a sudden death playoff
The most recent instance came in 2017 when Sergio Garcia defeated Justin Rose after two playoff holes (Golf Digest). In all 11 instances, the playoff has not lasted beyond two sudden-death holes.
- There have been five wire-to-wire winners at The Masters
Jordan Spieth was the most recent player to accomplish this back in 2015 (The Masters). He broke a 39-year drought, as Raymond Floyd was the last player before Spieth to lead The Masters from start to finish in 1976. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Craig Wood have also won wire-to-wire at The Masters.
(Note: Dustin Johnson’s lowest score record was set during the COVID-year Masters, when the tournament was played in November.)
Golf Digest: https://www.golfdigest.com/story/masters-2023-augusta-national-lengthens-13th-hole
Golf Week: https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2022/04/12/masters-tv-ratings-surge-sunday-augusta-national/
Sports Media Watch: https://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2022/04/masters-ratings-three-year-high-cbs-scheffler-tiger-viewership/