Missouri native Horton Smith claimed victory on this date at the inaugural Augusta National Invitational, which later became known as The Masters. 

The 25-year-old from Springfield was one of the favorites in the field to win the four-day tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club. And win he did, by a slim one-stroke margin. Smith won the event again two years later – also making him the first two-time winner of the Masters Tournament.

There have been eight two-time winners since: Byron Nelson (1937, 1942), Ben Hogan (1951, 1953), Tom Watson (1977, 1981), Ben Crenshaw (1984, 1995), Seve Ballesteros (1980, 1983), Bernhard Langer — 1985, 1993), Jose Maria Olazabal (1994, 1999), and Bubba Watson (2012, 2014).

The record-holder for most wins in The Masters is, of course, Jack Nicklaus, aka the “Golden Bear.” His first Masters’ win occurred during his second year as a pro golfer, in 1963. He got it started at the 1963 Masters. It was his second major championship win, coming in his second year as a pro golfer.

At the 1986 Masters, at the age of 46, Nicklaus donned the Green Jacket for his sixth and final time. 

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

Image from Unsplash