Who Was the First International Golfer to win The Masters Golf Tournament®?

    The Masters Tournament® has a long-lived legacy as one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments. Starting back in 1934 and progressing on today, Augusta National® has seen many champions walk onto its course.

    These Green Jacket Champions are nothing short of legendary and as we count down to The Masters® 2019, we will uncover the story behind them all.

    Gary Player

    Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Gary Player entered the world of professional golf at the age of 17. He played his first round of golf at the young age of 14 and the more he played during his teenage years the more he was determined to become one of the greatest in the game of golf. In 1974, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Game and in the year 2000, Player was named “Sportsman of the Century” in South Africa.

    In addition to being a legend on the golf course, he also contributed to the creation of golf courses, executing over 300 projects in 35 countries on 5 continents. Throughout his career, Gary Player had many professional wins including two PGA Championships, two Open Championships, and one U.S. Open, in addition to three total Masters Tournament wins. 16 years ago, Player participated in his final Masters Tournament but it was the 1961 Masters that really left a mark on his career.

    The Masters®, 1961

    Arnold Palmer took the lead during the first two rounds of the 1961 tournament and it wasn’t until the third round that Gary Player took control. Player had a four-shot lead over Palmer but had to wait a day to play the final round due to heavy rain.

    It wasn’t until the 15th hole that Player gave up his lead and Arnold Palmer took it back on the back nine as Gary Player found the par-5’s difficult. Palmer’s confidence got the best of him on the 18th hole and he had to make a 15-foot putt to avoid a bogey and a playoff. Palmer missed the shot and Gary Player became the first international golfer to wear a Green Jacket.

    The Masters®, 1974

    Winning two strokes ahead of Dave Stockton and Tom Weiskopf, Gary Player clinched his second win at The Masters® 10 under. Due to a leg and abdominal injury, Player did not participate in The Masters Golf Tournament® in 1973, but came back in full force for the 1974 tournament. Tommy Aaron, the 1973 champion missed the cut by two strokes. Player solidified his two-stroke win on the 17th hole with a tap-in birdie.

    The Masters®, 1978

    Gary Player ended the first round of the tournament tied for tenth. The weather at Augusta National® in 1978 was uncharacteristically warm and threw many golfers off. Player overcame a seven shot deficit to achieve his third and final win at The Masters® at a record-tying 64 (-8). He had to wait over 40 minutes to find out he won and to be crowned The Masters Champion 1978  for the third time. During the final round he shot a 30 on the back nine, holing seven puts ranging from 10 and 30 feet. His final shot on the 18th hole was a 15 foot putt for birdie, setting him up to be the 1978 champion! 

    Secure Access to The Masters® 2019

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    About the Bloggers

     Victoria Barnett

    QE-2016_Headshot-Victoria-Barnett.pngVictoria Barnett is originally from High Point, NC. She received her B.A. in Communication Studies and minors in Business and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys watching baseball, baking and hanging out with her golden retriever, Kaaya. She loves to travel to Florida and is a die-hard Miami Hurricanes fan. 


    Darragh Farrelly

    410-Blogger-Darragh-Farrelly-48eb94555a7e887e43b7859670f8fa79Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Darragh made the move to North Carolina a little over three years ago. An avid sports fan, he earned his BA in Journalism from Griffith College Dublin, which led him to various roles covering sports in Ireland. When he's not watching the New England Patriots win, Darragh enjoys going to concerts and following the English Premier League.

    Kristen Doolan

    Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 

    Jazzy Morgan

    Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011. She attended Winthrop University where she received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading Vogue & Cosmo, keeping up with fashion trends and watching her favorite soccer team, Manchester United.


    Evan Chronis

    Evan Chronis was born in Omaha, Nebraska but has made his home in south Charlotte for almost two decades. A Tar Heel born and bred, Evan received his B.A in Media and Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is an avid Boston sports fan thanks to his family’s New England roots, and a fanboy of Wes Anderson films.