What’s the average age of Masters winners at Augusta National?

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Jason Lusk
·5 min read
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Much has been made over the decades that there have been only three players to win the Masters in their first attempts: Horton Smith winning the first playing of the event in 1934, Gene Sarazen in 1935 and Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

Clearly, experience matters at Augusta National Golf Club. But how much is the right amount of experience? Let’s take a look at the average age of the winners for some insight.

In the 83 playings of the Masters, the average age of the winner has been 32 years – 32.2 to be precise.

Despite some wild swings in age in recent years – Jordan Spieth was 21 years old when he won in 2015, and Tiger Woods was 43 when he won in 2019 – the average age of winners in the past 10 years also is 32 years – 32.1 to be precise.

Going back 20 years, the average age of winners was 31.8 years.

Clearly, 32 is a good number – as well as being the mean, it’s also the median age for winners. But it’s worth noting that only two winners in the past 20 years have been 32: Mike Weir in 2003 and Adam Scott in 2013.

Over those 20 years, eight winners were in their 20s: Woods in 2001, 2002 and 2005; Trevor Immelman in 2008; Charl Schwartzel in 2011; Spieth in 2015; Danny Willett in 2016; and Patrick Reed in 2018.

Tiger Woods after winning the 2019 Masters at age 43 (Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports)

Over those 20 years, only Woods was in his 40s when he won, in 2019.

That leaves 11 winners in their 30s: Vijay Singh in 2000; Weir in 2003; Phil Mickelson in 2004, 2006 and 2010; Zach Johnson in 2007; Angel Cabrera in 2009; Bubba Watson in 2012 and 2014; Scott in 2013; and Sergio Garcia in 2017.

And it’s worth noting that in the past 20 years the records for oldest and youngest winners in Masters history have held: Jack Nicklaus was 46 when he won in 1986, and Woods was 21 when broke through in 1997.

All this begs the question: Who has age on their side this year?

Rory McIlroy at the 2019 Masters (Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

Using the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking to winnow down the list of contenders, Rory McIlroy is the closest to that magic age of 32. The fifth-ranked player in the world and the winner of four previous major championships – who is trying to lock up the career Grand Slam at Augusta National this year – is 31 years old.

Again looking at the top 10 in the OWGR, the next closest to the average winners’ age of 32 are Webb Simpson at 35 and Tyrrell Hatton at 29.

It’s also worth noting that recent majors slayer Brooks Koepka, who has won four majors since 2017, is 30 years old. He is currently ranked No. 12 in the world after missing several months rehabbing injuries.

None of the top 10 in the world are in their 40s. The trend is younger for the top players, with seven of the top 10 in their 20s: No. 2 Jon Rahm at 25 (his 26th birthday was Nov. 10), No. 3 Justin Thomas at 27, No. 4 Collin Morikawa at 23, No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau at 27, No. 8 Xander Schauffele at 27, No. 9 Hatton at 29 and No. 10 Patrick Cantlay at 28.

PGA Championship
PGA Championship

Collin Morikawa was 23 years old when he won the 2020 PGA Championship. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

In keeping with that trend of young players in majors, Morikawa won the PGA Championship in August at age 23, and Bryson DeChambeau won this year’s U.S. Open just days after his 27th birthday. Morikawa will play his first Masters this year, while DeChambeau has played it three times with a best finish of T-21 in 2016.

With all that said, here are the ages of all Masters winners, with information from Masters.com:

Year

Winner

Age

1934

Horton Smith

25

1935

Gene Sarazen

33

1936

Horton Smith

27

1937

Byron Nelson

25

1938

Henry Picard

30

1939

Ralph Guldahl

27

1940

Jimmy Demaret

29

1941

Craig Wood

39

1942

Byron Nelson

30

1946

Herman Keiser

31

1947

Jimmy Demaret

36

1948

Claude Harmon

31

1949

Sam Snead

36

1950

Jimmy Demaret

39

1951

Ben Hogan

38

1952

Sam Snead

39

1953

Ben Hogan

40

1954

Sam Snead

41

1955

Cary Middlecoff

34

1956

Jack Burke

33

1957

Doug Ford

34

1958

Arnold Palmer

28

1959

Art Wall

35

1960

Arnold Palmer

30

1961

Gary Player

25

1962

Arnold Palmer

32

1963

Jack Nicklaus

23

1964

Arnold Palmer

34

1965

Jack Nicklaus

25

1966

Jack Nicklaus

26

1967

Gay Brewer

35

1968

Bob Goalby

39

1969

George Archer

29

1970

Billy Casper

38

1971

Charles Coody

33

1972

Jack Nicklaus

32

1973

Tommy Aaron

36

1974

Gary Player

38

1975

Jack Nicklaus

35

1976

Raymond Floyd

33

1977

Tom Watson

27

1978

Gary Player

42

1979

Fuzzy Zoeller

27

1980

Seve Ballesteros

23

1981

Tom Watson

31

1982

Craig Stadler

28

1983

Seve Ballesteros

26

1984

Ben Crenshaw

32

1985

Bernhard Langer

27

1986

Jack Nicklaus

46

1987

Larry Mize

28

1988

Sandy Lyle

30

1989

Nick Faldo

31

1990

Nick Faldo

32

1991

Ian Woosnam

33

1992

Fred Couples

32

1993

Bernhard Langer

35

1994

Jose Maria Olazabal

28

1995

Ben Crenshaw

43

1996

Nick Faldo

38

1997

Tiger Woods

21

1998

Mark O’Meara

41

1999

Jose Maria Olazabal

33

2000

Vijay Singh

37

2001

Tiger Woods

25

2002

Tiger Woods

26

2003

Mike Weir

32

2004

Phil Mickelson

33

2005

Tiger Woods

29

2006

Phil Mickelson

35

2007

Zach Johnson

31

2008

Trevor Immelman

28

2009

Angel Cabrera

39

2010

Phil Mickelson

39

2011

Charl Schwartzel

26

2012

Bubba Watson

33

2013

Adam Scott

32

2014

Bubba Watson

35

2015

Jordan Spieth

21

2016

Danny Willett

28

2017

Sergio Garcia

37

2018

Patrick Reed

27

2019

Tiger Woods

43