Starting the first full week of April, the Masters Tournament is played at Augusta National Golf Club, although 2020 saw the tournament being played in November with no spectators. Since 1934, the par 72 course has been hosting the top players in men’s golf (and more recently the world’s best amateur women the week before the men’s professional tournament). Originally called the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, the name was changed in 1939 to what we know today, the Masters Tournament.
For golf fanatics and enthusiasts alike the Masters is another holiday celebrated. Players drive their balls through blooming azaleas, towering pine trees, and flowering dogwoods. We’re taking a closer look at what watches are on the wrists of some of the top players.
Here’s a list of golfer’s, click any of their names to jump directly to see what watch brand they are affiliated with!
- Dustin Johnson
- Jon Rahm
- Justin Thomas
- Xander Schauffele
- Rory McIlroy
- Rickie Fowler
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Sergio Garcia
- Jason Day
- Paul Casey
- Henrik Stenson
- Phil Mickelson
- Adam Scott
- Danny Willett
- Bubba Watson
- Branden Grace
- Jordan Spieth
- Justin Rose
- Ian Poulter
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Andrew “Beef” Johnston
- Tiger Woods
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2021 Masters Winner: Hideki Matsuyama
Congratulations to Hideki Matsuyama who won the 2021 Masters with a one-point lead over newcomer Will Zalatoris. Matsuyama makes history in the 85th annual event as the first Japanese man to win the event. He said he was feeling nervous going into the final round on Sunday but he would “just go out and do my best for 18 holes.” Matsuyama can be seen wearing a steel Rolex Submariner watch under his new green jacket and holding the iconic Masters trophy.
For many, the week turns into a celebration where nothing else matters and eyes are glued to the screen, of course, if they’re lucky enough to attend. Comments will be made, and sometimes “Get in the hole!” will be shouted at the TV during intense putts of favorite players.
Originally, the course was a plant nursery. To pay homage to the green history, each hole is named after a tree or shrub. Since 1940, the course has grown 675 yards, beginning at 6,800 yards and most recently measuring 7,475 yards. There are four par 3, ten par 4, and four par 5 holes, with the longest being hole number 2, “Pink Dogwood”, measuring 575 yards.
Over the years, the course has seen many changes. Greens have been reshaped and occasionally redesigned. The water hazards have been extended, trees have been planted, and even new bunkers (sand traps) have been added. A new tournament practice range was used for the first time in 2010.
Sudden-death was first used in 1979 by playing the final nine holes if no winner had been produced. The current sudden-death arrangement was amended in 2004. Players will begin at No. 18 and then move on to No. 10. If necessary, they will alternate between holes until a winner is determined.
Traditions at the Masters
The first “Augusta National Invitational,” or the original name of the Masters, was played in 1934 and won by Horton Smith. The course had only opened a year before the first tournament was played, and while the Masters Tournament name was originally considered, co-founder Bobby Jones objected, thinking it too presumptuous.
The current name, The Masters Tournament, was introduced just 5 years later in 1939. Beginning in 1952, on the Tuesday before the tournament begins, the Champions dinner is held. Only past champions and board members are invited to dine at this exclusive event. On this same Tuesday, when players reach hole 16, there is a tradition to skim, or skip, the ball over the water. Few players have even managed a hole-in-one, with the latest being Jon Rahm on November 10, 2020.
— The Masters (@TheMasters) November 10, 2020
On the Wednesday before the tournament, the legendary Par 3 Contest is played, which was started in 1960. Today’s Par 3 Contest has become a family affair where wives, girlfriends and children (or other family members) serve as caddies wearing the Augusta National jumpsuit (sometimes even in miniature sizes). The players compete in a short, nine-hole layout where many see a hole-in-one, with 94 recorded since the inception.
Starting in 1963, legendary golfers, typically past champions, hit an honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round to commence play.
The Masters is the only PGA tournament to be played at the same course every year. Other PGA events rotate between different courses.
The Green Jacket
In 1937, the Augusta National members started wearing green jackets to stand out. Today, the jackets are assembled in Cincinnati with the wool coming from Georgia, the custom brass buttons from Connecticut, and the iconic breast pocket patch from North Carolina.
The iconic green jacket has been awarded to the champion every year since 1949 when Sam Snead was the first to wear the Champion’s Jacket. Meanwhile, they were then retroactively given to previous winners. During the jacket ceremony, the winner puts on a member’s jacket that is similar in size. A few weeks later, the champion receives a custom-made jacket.
The jacket is kept by the winner for one year. In this year when they keep the jacket, the winner is allowed to wear it whenever they leave the house for an event. Phil Mickelson is known for wearing his jacket on a Krispy Kreme run.
After one year passes, the winner must return the jacket to the club where it will be available for them to wear for the Champions Dinner.
Every year, the previous years’ winner puts the green jacket on the new winner. When Jack Nicklaus was the first to win a consecutive year, he donned the jacket himself. Since then, the Chairman of Augusta National puts the jacket on consecutive year winners.
These Green Jackets are just as valuable as a regular trophy and are highly sought after. In 2013, a jacket from 1934 and 1936 winner Horton Smith was put up for auction and set a record price for golf memorabilia.
Of course, there is also the permanent trophy, depicting the clubhouse on a pedestal where the winner and runner-up names are engraved. In 1993, a replica of the trophy was first awarded to the champion along with the Gold Medal which features a view of the Founders Circle and clubhouse.
Top Masters Wins
Leading the way is legendary player Jack Nicklaus who has six Masters wins between 1963 and 1986. Closely following behind him are Tiger Woods with five wins, the latest in 2019, and Arnold Plamer with four wins. Gary Player, a South African golfer, was the first non-American to win in 1961.
Tiger Woods won the Masters by 12 shots at the age of 21, breaking records that had been in place for 32 years. Woods is also the record holder for the youngest winner, who was just 21 years and 108 days old when he won.
Jordan Spieth became the second-youngest in 2015. He was 21 years and 8 months old when he took home his green jacket. Both Tiger Woods (1997) and Jordan Spieth (2015) held the record at 18 strokes under par but were passed in 2020 by Dustin Johnson who scored 20 below par.
Leading Watch Ambassadors
Currently leading the golf rankings at world number one, Dustin Johnson wears a Hublot watch. In 2016, Johnson had quite the year with his first Major title after winning the US Open. Just days after winning the WGC Mexico City in March 2017, Hublot and Johnson announced his partnership with the sporty watch brand.
“I am honored to join the distinguished list of Hublot Ambassadors, especially since I have always been such an admirer of their timepieces. Each one is so unique…”
In 2020, Johnson won his first Masters Tournament by five strokes for a total of 268, two strokes better than the previous low-stroke-record. While the jacket sleeves were a little long at the awards ceremony, you can just spot a Hublot Big Bang.
Currently ranked as world number 2 in the PGA rankings, Jon Rahm held the world amateur No. 1 ranking for 60 weeks. He has since won 12 professional wins across the PGA Tour and European Tour. In 2018, he placed 4th in the Masters Tournament. He finished the 2019 year as the leading European Tour player, the first Spaniard since Seve Ballesteros.
When he’s not on the golf course, Jon Rahm wears a Rolex. He can be seen wearing a number of different models, including a white dial ceramic Daytona, blue dial Sky-Dweller, two-tone black dial Daytona, and a white gold Meteorite GMT-Master II.
After starting to play golf when he was two, it’s no surprise that Justin Thomas currently sits in position number three in the world rankings. He became the third-youngest player to make the Wyndham Championship cut in 2009 with a first-round score of 65.
He made the jump from an amateur player to pro in 2013 and has played in over 75 different events including his debut at the Masters in 2016. He is also the fourth golfer to win a major before his 25th birthday and the third youngest play with 13 PGA Tour titles.
Thomas can be spotted wearing a number of different Rolex watches. He sports a Yacht-Master and Daytona and a Sea-Dweller and Submariner and other models from the brand.
Currently ranked world number 5, Xander Schauffele joined the Audemars Piguet “Dream Team” at 24 years old in September 2017. The young player had gone professional in 2015. Schauffele won two PGA tour wins in the 2018-19 season, and tied for second with Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka in the Masters Tournament in 2019. At that Masters, he became the third player to have 25 or more birdies in a single Masters.
Another leading golfer, and currently ranked world number six, is Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irish golfer held the world number one spot for 95 weeks before Jordan Speith slid in and took it over.
Rory McIlroy has been an Ambassador for Omega the last few years. He has rotated his watches during this time, and most recently he helped design the Aqua Terra “Ultra Light”. The watch was designed with athletes in mind, made with two kinds of titanium and a touch of aluminum. On the wrist, it weighs just 55 grams. The crown is also unique, it can be stowed within the case when not in use to avoid it getting in the way.
He previously has been known to wear the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Golf. This unique piece was inspired by the greens, transferring the green color onto the Seamaster name, minute track and central seconds hand. The watch features the Co-Axial calibre 8500 which is anti-magnetic up to 15,000 Gauss. McIlroy’s collection doesn’t end there, he also owns a Speedmaster Aventurine and has a special Speedmaster “Rory McIlroy” Edition, which he also helped design.
Another golfer with eclectic style on the golf course, he is also known for his collection of Rolex watches. He has been sponsored by Rolex for a few years and has quite the collection.
The current world number eight has three Milgauss, two Submariners, one Deep Sea and one Daytona! He has been known to show off various pieces from his collection across his social media accounts.
The English golfer plays on the European and PGA tour, winning 5 times on the European tour. In 2018, he played in the winning Ryder Cup team. He also won the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour.
Tyrrell Hatton joins the ranks of other top players in a partnership with Audemars Piguet. What sets his watch apart from some others on this list? He’s not afraid of some color. He wears the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver with “Round-the-Clock” Purple Mega Tapisserie dial and matching purple rubber strap.
Between 2000 and 2009, Sergio Garcia spent over 300 weeks in the top 10 rankings. Even with being a strong player and winning the Omega Dubai Desert Classic 2017, Garcia had yet to win a Major title until he finally took home the Green Jacket at the Masters in 2017.
His win concurrently came when he became a brand ambassador for Omega. He can be seen wearing a “Black Black” Dark Side of The Moon. With his Dubai win in 2017, Garcia became the owner of a Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m with a rose gold case and brown leather strap which he won alongside the trophy and winner’s check.
Congratulations to Sergio Garcia on his first Major win in 2017! He first played Augusta in 1999 as an amateur and finally took home the Green Jacket after a playoff round against Justin Rose. Garcia was spotted wearing a blue Seamaster Professional GMT from Omega as he put on his new jacket.
Since the big win in 2017, Garcia has been seen wearing the green Seamaster Aqua Terra “Golf.” He can now be spotted wearing the watch McIlroy helped design, the lightweight Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light.” Thanks to the titanium, aluminum and recessed crown, Garcia has even been seen wearing the watch on the golf course.
Hailing from Australia, Jason Day is another golfer sporting a Rolex watch. For the 2016 Masters, he was battling a bulging disc in his back. Day slid in front of Spieth just a week and a half before the Masters in 2016 when he won the WGC – Dell Match Play. Even with struggling with back issues over the last few years, he has continued to play, winning the Wells Fargo Championship in 2018 and the MGM Resorts The Challenge: Japan Skins in 2019, beating out Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
When he’s not swinging a club, Day can be seen wearing a Rolex Sea-Dweller. This extreme watch can reach a depth of 4,000 feet (1,220 meters). The distinctive black dial allows for easy readability. The unidirectional rotatable bezel is engraved with 60 minute graduations, allowing for accurate and safe dive monitoring.
Another top player who sports a Rolex is Paul Casey. After turning Pro in 2000, the English golfer has 20 wins under his belt across the PGA, European and Asian tours.
Off the course, Paul Casey wears a variety of Rolex models from Deepsea Sea-Dwellers, Explorers and Datejusts. He has been collecting watches for over 20 years. He even bought a Rolex at auction that was owned by Seve Ballesteros, another Rolex Ambassador who won 87 titles during his career and passed away in 2011.
The Swedish golfer has been a pro since 1999. Over the years, he gained the nickname “Iceman” on the greens because of his nerves of steel. He has had 21 professional wins over the years, including the 2016 Open Championship.
To match his nerves of steel, he wears an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in steel. Both Audemars Piguet and Henrik Stenson have nothing but good things to say about their partnership. Stenson pushes the limits in his golf game while Audemars Piguet pushes the limits in watchmaking.
Phil Mickelson is one of just 16 golfers to have won at least three of the four professional majors, including three Masters titles in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
Phil Mickelson can be seen wearing a Rolex Cellini Danaos, one of the more formal watches not only for Rolex but also worn by athletes. His Cellini is a manual wind watch. Being manually wound, the watch is not as affected by the shock produced by striking a club against the golf ball. In the early tournaments of 2018, Phil has been spotted wearing the only Rolex with an exhibition case back, the Prince.
Winning the Masters in 2013, Adam Scott represents one of the elite golfers. Currently ranked at world number 21, the Australian is not only a role model for other golfers, but he is also deeply involved with philanthropy and supporting Australian children.
Found on his wrist is a Rolex. When he won his first Masters, and was the first Australian with this honor, he was seen wearing a Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller. The Deepsea is designed to reach a depth of 12,800 feet (3,900 meters). While he doesn’t need the water resistance on land, the Deepsea is another watch perfectly complementing the green Masters jacket. He also wears a GMT Master II “Rootbeer” and Daytona with Panda dial.
Congratulations to Danny Willett on his win at the Masters on Sunday April 10th, 2016. This win brought Willett his first title in the United States and the first major of his career. The 2016 Masters was only his second appearance, tying at 38 in his debut in 2015.
Willett almost didn’t play the 2016 Masters. His wife was due to give birth to their first child on April 10th. He had announced that he was not going to play while his wife was still pregnant but the baby was born early. With his win, Willett became the second Englishman to win the Masters. Legendary Nick Faldo was the first Englishman to carry the title.
Danny Willett is an ambassador to Audemars Piguet. He wore a Steel Royal Oak Chronograph and embraces the Audemars Piguet philosophy, “To break the rules, you must first master them.” In the past few years, Willett has continued to improve his game and refine his style by combining power and technique.
After winning the Masters Tournament twice (2012 and 2014), Bubba Watson has become a fan favorite. Watson is one of the few golfers who wears his watch while on the course. His watch of choice? A Richard Mille RM038, nicknamed the Bubba Watson Victory Watch.
This Richard Mille watch is white with a skeleton dial with a green inner flange designed to match the green of the golf course. The watch features a G-Sensor which is able to measure his swing. He also has one with a green bezel to match his Masters green jacket. He wears a Richard Mille watch while playing because they are known to be extremely light and shock-resistant. The two have been paired since 2011 and Richard Mille has designed three watches for Watson.
In 2016, Branden Grace partnered with Audemars Piguet to help fill out the brand’s “Dream Team” of golf ambassadors. The South African won his first four European Titles in 2012 and went on to win two Majors in 2015. In 2017 he shot a 62 at the Open Championship, the first male player to score that low in a major. He repeated that 62 in 2020 at the South African Open, scoring him his 10th Tour victory.
In 2017 Grace added a brand new Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph to his collection of watches. Grace was also one of the 10 players who played in the “Midnight Masters” video produced by Audemars Piguet showcasing a unique way to play the game.
Jordan Spieth was a previous world ranked number one player and held the title for a total of 27 weeks. The young player has won both the Masters and the US Open, although he had a famous flop at the 2016 Masters.
Speith can be seen sporting a white dial Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer II when he is not playing golf. The modern Explorer II features a large orange 24-hour hand, mirroring the original Explorer II from 1971. This timepiece was designed to exceed in extreme conditions but is stylish enough to wear anywhere. For Speith, the white dial and orange hand pair perfectly with his green Masters jacket.
Justin Rose finished in a tie for second in the 2015 Masters Tournament and picked up other wins throughout 2015 and 2016. He won various international events in 2017 and was the host of the 2018 British Masters, taking the event to Walton Heath. In 2019, Rose slid into the World Number 1 position, and went on to win the Farmers Insurance Open and tie for 3rd at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Not forgetting his 2013 U.S. Open win at Merion.
While he may not be in the current top ranking, Rose can be seen wearing a Hublot Big Bang Unico in King Gold. The watch features a skeleton dial, ceramic bezel and King Gold case. He has also been seen wearing the Unico Golf, featuring a lightweight carbon fiber case. The Unico Golf is unique as it features a hole counter at 9 o’clock, a shot counter in yellow at 3 o’clock and a total stroke counted at 6 o’clock. He also wears a black ceramic Big Bang. Rose was thrilled to partner with Hublot and has said that the brand “is [his] number one choice as a consumer” making the pairing very authentic.
Ian Poulter is no stranger to the golf world, he started playing when he was just four years old. He was an assistant pro and gave golf lessons at two different clubs in England growing up. Poulter turned professional in 1996 and has 17 professional wins, including winning against beau Hossler in the 2018 Houston Open in a playoff.
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Similar to a few other players on our list, Poulter is sponsored by Audemars Piguet. His love of watches doesn’t end with his partnership, he has a genuine interest. For those who follow him on Instagram, you not only see his fun personality but you also get to see his extensive watch collection, both in pictures and also featured in trick shots including a Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. His collection continues, he owns a ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, Royal Oak Concept, and ceramic Royal Oak Tourbillon.
Another Englishman playing on the European Tour with five career wins, Tommy Fleetwood turned pro in 2010 and won his first European tour title in August 2013. During the 2015 BMW PGA Championship, Fleetwood scored an albatross on the par 5 4th hole.
In January 2020, Fleetwood ended his partnership with Omega, where he could be seen wearing a gold Speedmaster and the Aqua Terra “Ultra Light.” It was announced on January 11th that he joined the TAG Heuer family, now wearing the TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition. This smartwatch is able to show over 40,000 courses in 3D while also tracking shots, measuring the distance to greens and hazards and acting as a scorecard.
But that’s not all! The Connected has a full watch feature and has SMS, calendar and call notifications. In talking about his new partnership, Fleetwood was excited to join, calling Tag Heuer “an amazing and iconic brand driven by high quality, precision and performance…”
Hideki Matsuyama is a Japanese golfer, with 5 PGA Tour wins and 8 Japan Golf Tour wins. He turned professional in 2013, winning his second tournament on the Japan Golf Tour and a top 10 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open. In 2016, he won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a playoff against Rickie Fowler. He defended this title in 2017 in another playoff against Webb Simpson.
Andrew “Beef” Johnston
A fan favorite who may not be playing The Masters is Andrew Johnston. He won over the hearts of Audemars Piguet in early 2017. Johnston seduced the brand’s CEO Francois-Henry Bennahmias “by his infectious smile and enthusiasm for the game.” He can be seen wearing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph and an all yellow gold Royal Oak Chronograph.
One of the most well-known golfers, became the Masters’ youngest winner ever when he was just 21 years old in 1997. His skill and style helped bring attention back to the golfing world and drive up the spirit of competition. He holds the record for world number one with 683 weeks, followed by Greg Norman at 331 weeks.
Woods joined other top golfers as a Rolex ambassador in October of 2011. He can be seen wearing the Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller. The watch has become his trademark timepiece off the course. While holding onto world ranking #104, Woods is still a fan favorite when he is on the course.
In 2018, Woods made a strong comeback in the early tournaments and is making his first start at Augusta for the first time since 2015. This appearance made the 2018 Masters one of the most anticipated. He went on to win the 2019 Masters with an emotional scene on the 18th, winning by just one shot.
The Big Three
The association between Rolex and Golf extends past the players currently on tour and reaches back to the 1960s. It was in the 60s that Rolex sponsored the “Big Three” players. These players include: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
Between these three players, they have a combined 34 Majors, including 13 wins at the Masters. The rivalry between the three players helped commercialize golf and bring in fans, making golf into the sport we know today.
All three golfers sport the Rolex Day-Date, one of the most iconic models from the brand, which lines up with the three iconic golfers. The Day-Date model has been long associated with important and influential people in the world.
Part of the Big 3 players, Arnold Palmer not only wore the iconic Day-Date, but he also opted for the sporty Submariner, GMT Master II and Sky-Dweller before he passed away in September of 2016. Arnold had an aggressive unorthodox style of playing golf which bolstered a legion of fans known as Arnie’s Army. He will be missed in the golfing world.
Be sure to tune in to the 85th Masters Tournament to see the top golfers, and their watches, beginning April 5th, 2021 for the practice rounds and April 8th for the tournament days. The final round will be played on Sunday, April 11th so be sure to watch the intense last few holes of the top players. If nothing else, watch the winners ceremony after the last hole when the iconic Green Jacket is presented!