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Rookies to win the Masters

Which players won the Masters at the first attempt?

It is incredibly tough to win the Masters in your first appearance as history shows…

 

Since the tournament began in 1934, there have only been three rookies to win the Masters, although some others have come close…

Rookies to win the Masters

Horton Smith

When the first Masters tournament took place, it was Horton Smith who came out on top, with a two-shot victory.

Granted, as this was the first staging of the major championship, the whole field was technically rookies, but it still counts in the record books.

Gene Sarazen

Rookies to win the Masters

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Sarazen made his debut the following year, in 1935 and etched his name in Masters history thanks to a play-off victory over Craig Wood.

Fuzzy Zoeller

Rookies to win the Masters

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The most recent rookie to win the Masters did so in 1979, and again successfully came through a play-off.

Zoeller got the better of Ed Sneed and two-time Masters champion Tom Watson to claim the first of his two major championship titles.

Has anyone else come close?

In 2014, Jordan Spieth made his Augusta debut and shared the 54-hole lead with the eventual champions, Bubba Watson.

Spieth would have become the first rookie to win the event for more than 30 years and despite his near miss in 2014, he did collect a Green Jacket the following year.

NOW READ: What are the perks of winning the Masters?

NOW READ: How to qualify for the Masters

Fuzzy Zoeller was the last rookie to win the Masters! Who could follow in his footsteps? Tell us on X!

Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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