In my early junior days I was told to read Harvey Penick's Little Red Book. It still ranks as one of my favourite golf books. The story in 1995 was a great feel good story and so fitting when Crenshaw battled his emotions to win his second green jacket.
9. 2001 - Tiger Woods
I absolutely loved seeing someone win all four major titles in a row. Something we may never see again. In 2000, I was at the Canadian Open when Tiger became only the second person to win all three National Titles (U.S. Open, British Open, & Canadian Open). It was the peak of one of the greatest and most dominant stretches in golf history.
8. 1996 - Nick Faldo
Most people would argue this as being one the best Masters in the last 25 years, as it was the most epic collapse in Major history. Greg Norman started with a 6 shot lead and his final round 78 left Nick Faldo with a 5 shot win and his third green jacket. I wish people would remember the great final round Faldo put together... 67.
7. 2004 - Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson found a way to finally win and did it in style. Birdie on the final hole to finish one shot ahead of Ernie Els and capture his first green jacket. This of course was the sight of probably the worst celebratory jump in the history of golf.
6. 1989 - Nick Faldo
I remember sitting with my dad and brothers watching the playoff between Nick Faldo and Scott Hoch. We were certain that Hoch would make the downhill 2 footer and become a very unlikely winner of the event. However, we were shocked when he missed the putt and even more shocked when Faldo made a 30 footer on the 11th to win his first Masters Tournament. The name still lives on in our household and around many golf courses.... Scott Choke.
5. 1997 - Tiger Woods
Not much I can say here. Total dominance and a record breaking performance. This was the start of my favourite era in golf. However, we almost forget of the wonderful performance by Tom Kite. He finished in a distant second 12 shots behind.
4. 1992 - Fred Couples
At 12 years old I was in love with golf. Fred Couples was such a great player to watch and learn from. His tempo and demeanor were exactly what you wanted to emulate. He was the best player on the planet in 1992. With Raymond Floyd putting the heat on early in the back nine, Couples came to the par three 12th. He hit his shot slightly heavy and drifted right and short. The ball came to rest on the side of the bank mere inches from Ray's Creek. He proceeded to hit one of the most famous shots in Masters history, made par and eventually won by two strokes.
3. 2005 - Tiger Woods
This might have been the last nail biter or edge of your seat Masters in the last 10 years. The unlikely battle between Chris Dimarco and Tiger Woods has to rank up with Bob May and Tiger Woods at the 2000 PGA Championship. After 45 holes, Dimarco had a four shot lead over Tiger. But at the conclusion of the third round Tiger was leading by 3 shots. In the final round on 16, Tiger hit probably the most advertised shot in golf, with his Nike ball hanging on the lip for seconds before it finally dropped for birdie. On the final hole, Tiger was leading by one shot. Dimarco hit his approach 15 yards short while Tiger was in the greenside bunker. Dimarco pitched up, hit the flag, and finished 10 feet from the hole. Tiger blasted from the bunker to 14 feet and missed his par attempt. Dimarco made the 10 footer for par and force a playoff. Tiger dashed Dimarco's dream by making a birdie on the first playoff hole and win his fourth Green Jacket.
2. 2003 - Mike Weir
As a Canadian, this might have been the most patriotic moment for many since the 1972 Summit Series. For me, watching Mike Weir playing as an amateur in the 1992 Canadian Open, to the Canadian Tour, and finally on the PGA Tour was extremely exciting to see him win in 2003. His putting performance was by far the best we ever saw from him that Sunday afternoon. The final round that Len Mattiace put together was remarkable and if not for a bogey on 18, he would be a Masters Champion. However, after Weir made the biggest 6 foot putt of his life on the 18th, the duo went to a playoff. On the first playoff hole (10th), Mattiace pulled his approach far left and proceeded to make a double bogey 6. Weir had three putts to win and made 5 to become the first Canadian to win a Major Championship.
1. 1986 - Jack Nicklaus
Between the 2003 and 1986 Masters, I didn't know which of these to choose as number one. However, i had to consider that every time I watch the highlights of 1986, I get incredibly mesmerized. There's no question, Jack's final triumph was one of true style. Every year when Masters Week gets close, we are always reminded of that great Sunday afternoon where Nicklaus shot 30 on the back nine. We see the "Yes Sir!" putt and hear Verne Lundquist's call in the opening of every Sunday at The Masters. I wish I could go back in time and listen to the roars the other players were hearing as Jack made birdie after birdie. It was my first memory of The Masters Tournament and truly believe we will never see a storied win like that again. Tom Watson nearly did the unthinkable at the 2009 Open Championship, but there's just something about 1986. It still inspires me and as a junior I can remember making putts on the putting green late in the evening replicating that magical putt on 17. So for pure adrenaline and sentimental reasons, I ranked it as number 1 in my memories.