9 Oldest and Youngest Masters Champions
On Sunday in Georgia, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth won the 2015 Masters. Born in 1993, our current Masters champion has never lived in a world without Quentin Tarantino or Nirvana, and he has only been able to (legally) drink beer since last July. However, while Spieth is among the youngest Masters champions, he is not the only one to surprise Masters viewers due to his age. So today we’re going to take a look at the other youngsters and juxtapose them with the oldest Masters champions.
These nine golfers stood out from the pack when they took home the Masters championship thanks to their talent and skill, but also because of their ages. So both the oldest and youngest Masters champions are noteworthy. And a couple of golfers actually qualify for both parts of our list—oldest and youngest.
We’ll have to wait a long time to see if Jordan Spieth achieves that honor.
Youngest and Oldest Masters Champions
In 1961, South Africa's Gary Player won the Masters despite his tender age of just 25. It wouldn't be the only Masters win for the golf legend, and in 1978 he also made the list of the oldest Masters champions with a win at 42.
He didn't make it onto both lists like Gary Player, but Byron Nelson was a trailblazer in the field of young Masters champions, having won the tournament at the age of 25 years, two months way back in 1937.
The other athlete on this list to be both a youngest and an oldest Masters champion is Jack Nicklaus, who first won the tournament back in 1963 when he was just 23 years old. But that isn't quite as impressive as what he did in 1986, when his win at 46 makes him the single oldest Masters champion to this day.
Seve Ballesteros might not be a household name like Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus, but his mark on the game of golf is undeniable, as is the prestige of his 1980 Masters win at 23 years old, which for a time ranked him as the second youngest Masters champion in the tournament's history.
As I mentioned in the intro, Jordan Spieth's recent 2015 Masters win places him among a lot of famous golfers. He's only 21 years old, which makes him the second youngest Masters champ to date.
When it comes to golfers, it's hard to imagine anyone ever surpassing the impact that Tiger Woods has on the game or on the culture at large. And a big part of his mystique stems from his 1997 Masters win when he, like Jordan Spieth, was just 21 (Tiger edges him out by months).
After Tiger Woods, we move on to the oldest Masters champions in tournament history. Not counting Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player (since they've already been featured), the third oldest Masters champion since the tournament began is Mark O'Meara, who won in 1998 despite his 41 birthday candles.
Next up is Sam Snead, who was eight months older than 1998 Masters-era Mark O'Meara when he won the tournament back in 1954. If some kind of cosmic time-traveler ever decides to hold a golf tournament between young and old champions of all different eras, you can expect Snead to make the elder squad.
If it hadn't been for Jack Nicklaus gumming up the statistical works with his aforementioned 1986 Masters win, Ben Crenshaw would be the oldest Masters champion in history, having won in 1995 at the relatively young age of 43.