Which LIV Golfers Have Won The Masters?
Six LIV Golf players have worn the Green Jacket after claiming victory in the Augusta National Major
Even though Masters champions can, in theory, play in the Major for life, there had been some doubt as to whether that would apply to LIV Golf players in 2023.
That question was finally answered in the months before the tournament when Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley confirmed LIV Golf players would be allowed to compete in the first Major of the year.
While that opened the door for 18 LIV Golf players to compete in 2023, six of those do so thanks to their previous victories in the tournament. Here's how they wrote their names into the history books.
Phil Mickelson – 2004, 2006, 2010
The LIV Golf player whose name is most synonymous with The Masters is Phil Mickelson. In fact, so regular had the American’s appearances been in the tournament that, even though he was mired in controversy at the time, it came as some surprise when, in 2022, he missed the tournament for the first time in 28 years.
Mickelson has worn the Green Jacket three times, first in 2004 after edging out South African Ernie Els by one shot after holing an 18-foot birdie on the 72nd hole. While Lefty failed to claim back-to-back victories after finishing 10th the following year, it wasn’t too long until he won again. In 2006, Mickelson had risen to the top of the leaderboard by the end of the third round and eased to a two-shot victory over Tim Clark despite bogeying the final hole.
The following three years brought a tie for 25th, a tie for fifth and an outright fifth before Mickelson claimed his hat-trick of Augusta National victories in 2010. Then, he beat another player who would eventually sign for LIV Golf, Lee Westwood, by three shots after pulling away from the Englishman on the back nine in the final round.
Charl Schwartzel – 2011
The year after Mickelson’s most recent Masters win, Charl Schwartzel claimed the title in only his second appearance in the tournament. The final round was a rollercoaster affair, with eight players sharing the lead at various points. However, Schwartzel came out on top, helped by an eagle on the third and four birdies to close out his round of 66.
Schwartzel became the third South African to wear the Green Jacket after Gary Player and Trevor Immelman. He came close again in 2017 but eventually had to settle for third behind Justin Rose and another eventual LIV Golf player, Sergio Garcia.
Bubba Watson – 2012, 2014
Schwartzel couldn’t replicate the previous year’s form in the 2012 tournament, finishing tied for 50th. Still, another eventual LIV Golf player, Bubba Watson, claimed his first Major win after beating Louis Oosthuizen – who would also one day play on the circuit – in a playoff. Watson had been in contention throughout the tournament and eventually slugged it out with Oosthuizen and Matt Kuchar over the final round. After Oosthuizen and Watson edged out Kuchar to head for a playoff, Watson took the honours after his opponent narrowly missed out on a par on the second hole.
Two years later, Watson was at it again. As in 2012, he was solid throughout and after a to and fro with Jordan Spieth on the front nine of the final round, he opened up a two-shot lead, which eventually became three, as he closed out the victory, leaving Spieth and Swede Jonas Blixt having to settle for a tie for second.
Sergio Garcia – 2017
It took Spaniard Garcia 19 attempts to win his first Masters, but he finally achieved the feat three years after Watson’s most recent win with a defeat of Justin Rose in a playoff. The final round was not without controversy, with some TV viewers thinking Garcia’s ball moved while he removed some pine straw on the 13th. Masters Officials looked into the incident but determined there would be no penalty, and eventually, he defeated Rose after a birdie at the first playoff hole.
That was Garcia’s only Major win to date, and he hasn’t come close to a second Masters title since, missing three out of four cuts in his five appearances between that win and the 2023 tournament.
Patrick Reed – 2018
One year after Garcia, another future LIV Golf player, Patrick Reed, claimed his only Major win to date. After taking a two-shot lead into the third round, the American strengthened his grip on the title thanks to a round of 67. That included four birdies and two eagles on the Saturday to head into the final day with a three-shot lead over career Grand Slam-chasing Rory McIlroy.
Reed was not nearly as assured on the Sunday, hitting a round of 71 that included three bogeys, but it proved just enough to hold off the challenge of Rickie Fowler by one shot.
Dustin Johnson – 2020
Dustin Johnson had already come close to winning The Masters before finally getting over the line in 2020. The American had amassed four top-10 finishes, including a tie for second the year before, which made an Augusta National triumph seem like an inevitability at some point.
Johnson got off to a blistering start with a round of 65 to leave him tied for the lead with Paul Casey and Dylan Frittelli. Then, a round of 70 saw him share the lead with four others going into the third day. Another 65 saw him ease into a four-shot lead that had become five by the end of the tournament. Sungjae Im and Cameron Smith were left trailing in his wake as Johnson claimed his second and, so far, most recent Major.
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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