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10 Best Golfers Who Never Won the Masters


Lee Trevino

Lee Trevino won six majors, but he never came close to winning The Masters.

David Cannon/Getty Images
The Masters has been won by most of golf's greatest players ... but not by all of them. Who are the best golfers in the sport's history without a victory at The Masters? We count down the Top 10.

(Note: The Masters was first played in 1934, so obviously, golfers whose careers ended before 1934 are not eligible. Only golfers with at least three Masters appearances were considered. Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones and Tommy Armour were specifically excluded from consideration because their careers were near their ends by the time The Masters was founded. Jones had retired from competition in 1930, although he played in more than 10 Masters.)

10. Julius Boros
Boros won 18 times on the PGA Tour, including three majors. His last major came at age 48 at the 1968 PGA Championship. In 25 appearances at The Masters, his best finish was a tie for third.

9. Lloyd Mangrum
A 36-time winner on the PGA Tour, with one major championship, Mangrum had many great years at Augusta. He just never won the thing. Mangrum finished second twice, third twice and fourth twice. From 1947 to 1956, he finished no lower than 8th.

8. Hale Irwin
The three-time U.S. Open champion wore some of the best plaid pants of the 1970s. But he never wore the crown as Masters champ, despite finishing in the Top 10 seven times. From 1974-77, Irwin finished no lower than 5th at Augusta National.

7. Nick Price
Price won the British Open once and PGA Championship twice. But his best finish at The Masters was fifth place. He finished sixth three other times. He was, however, the first golfer to shoot 63 in The Masters, doing so in the final round in 1986.

6. Greg Norman
Norman's heartbreaks at Augusta are legend. In 1986, Jack Nicklaus' last charge beat him. In 1987, Larry Mize's chip-in beat him. In 1996, his own mighty collapse and Nick Faldo's great round beat him. That sort of thing happened a lot to Norman, and not just at Augusta. He still managed to put together Hall of Fame win totals, though.

5. Johnny Miller
Miller was involved in one of the great Masters, 1975, when Jack Nicklaus' back-nine surge powered him past Miller and Tom Weiskopf. Miller is one of those guys whose game seemed perfect for Augusta, but he had surprisingly few Top 10 finishes: only four in 19 Masters appearances. But three of those (1971, 1975, 1981) were second-place showings.

4. Ernie Els
There's still a chance that Els will remove himself from this list, but as he moved into his 40s time is growing short. Els' combination of power and touch is tailormade for Augusta National. Els has won four majors, most recently the 2012 British Open. He's finished second at The Masters twice, but never won it.

3. Peter Thomson
The great Australian was one of the best links golfers ever, winning the British Open five times. But in eight Masters appearances, he finished in the Top 10 just once. He could have played The Masters more often, but chose not to, concentrating on the less manicured golf courses he preferred in Europe and Australia. Thomson is one of the few golfers to publicly admit his dislike of Augusta National.

2. Bobby Locke
Locke won the British Open four times. One of the first great international players to play full-time on the PGA Tour, Locke proved his greatness in the U.S. On the PGA Tour in the late 1940s, Locke played 59 tournaments and won 11 of them; he finished in the Top 4 in 34 of those 59 events. But in 1949, Locke and the PGA Tour got into a fight over playing commitments and the tour wound up banning him. That ban was lifted a couple years later, but Locke rarely returned to America. He played The Masters only four times, his best finish a tie for 10th.

1. Lee Trevino
Trevino won 29 times on the PGA Tour (and another 29 times on the Champions Tour), and that figure includes two wins in each of the other three majors: the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship. Those numbers would probably be even more impressive but for injury woes that started after Trevino was struck by lightning in 1975.

Injury wasn't Trevino's problem in The Masters, though. Trevino, his contemporaries say, psyched himself out of winning the Masters. He believed his game wasn't suited to the golf course, and he even skipped a couple Masters during his heyday in the early 1970s. He never felt comfortable at Augusta National, often avoiding entering the clubhouse, heading straight from his car to the driving range. Trevino's best finish in a Masters was 10th in both 1975 and 1985.

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