AUGUSTA, Georgia – A timeline of key victories at the Masters, starting Thursday at Augusta National:
Five years ago (2005): Tiger Woods won the Masters for the fourth time, the first time in a playoff. His signature shot came from the behind the 16th green, when his chip made a U-turn at the top of the slope, rolled back toward the hole and hung on the edge of the cup for two full seconds before falling for birdie. He bogeyed the last two holes, however, to fall into a playoff with Chris DiMarco, beating him on the 18th with an 8-iron to 15 feet for birdie. It was the first time the sudden-death playoff began on the 18th.
Ten years ago (2000): Vijay Singh won the only major Tiger Woods did not in 2000. He built a three-shot lead going into the final round, then held off one charge from David Duval and a late charge from Ernie Els. The key moment came on the par-4 11th, where Singh hit his approach into the water. Because of the hole location, he was able to take his drop on the edge of the green instead of behind the pond, and escaped with bogey. Singh sealed the victory with a 4-iron to 20 feet for a two-putt birdie on the 15th. He won by three shots over Els.
Twenty years ago (1990): Nick Faldo joined Jack Nicklaus as the only repeat winners of the Masters, and he remains the only player to win a major consecutive years in a playoff. Faldo made three birdies over the last six holes to close with a 3-under 69 to force a playoff against Raymond Floyd. In the playoff, Floyd missed a 15-foot birdie at No. 10 for the victory, while Faldo saved par from the bunker with a testy 4-foot putt. On the second extra hole, Floyd pulled his approach into the water left of the 11th green, and Faldo made par to win.
Thirty years ago (1980): Seve Ballesteros, at 23, became the youngest Masters champion in history and introduced his amazing flair to an American audience. The Spaniard opened with a 66 to share the lead, and no one caught him for the rest of the week when he followed with rounds of 69-68. Ballesteros was so dominant that he took a 10-shot lead to the back nine, only to throw shots away with his daring. He closed with a 72 and still won by four shots.
Forty years ago (1970): Billy Casper defeated Gene Littler in an 18-hole playoff to win his only Masters, adding to his two U.S. Open titles. The previous year, Casper was atop the leaderboard in all three rounds until closing with a 74 to finish one behind George Archer. He again had a 54-hole lead only to close with a 71 and fall into a playoff. Casper shot 69 in the playoff to defeat Littler by five shots.
Fifty years ago (1960): Arnold Palmer won the second of his four green jackets, and the most thrilling of his Masters titles. The record shows that Palmer led from start to finish, opening with a 67. He had to rally, however, because Ken Venturi finished well ahead of him and posted at 5-under 283. Palmer’s long birdie putt rattled off the pin—there was a rule then that it could be left in the hole—and he had to settle for par. He birdied the 17th to tie Venturi, then won with a 6-iron into 6 feet. Palmer became the first Masters champion to birdie the last two holes to win by one.
Seventy-five years ago (1935): With what became known as the golf shot heard ‘round the world, Gene Sarazen holed a 4-wood from 235 yards on the par-5 15th for an albatross that helped to put him into a playoff with Craig Wood, who had already finished his round and was being congratulated for winning. In the 36-hole playoff on Monday, Sarazen shot 144 to win by five shots, making Wood the runner-up for the second straight year.