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Most runner-up finishes in Masters history

Most runner-up finishes in Masters history

We all know that Jack Nicklaus's six Masters wins are more than any player in tournament history.

But which players have the most runner-up finishes?

Believe it or not, three players -- including Nicklaus -- have finished second at the Masters on four occasions. Can you imagine if those four had gone the other way for Nicklaus? That'd be 10 Masters titles and 22 majors overall. And, don't forget, along with his record 18 major wins, Nicklaus was also a runner-up a record 19 times in the majors.

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Here's a look at all the players with at least two runner-up finishes in Masters history:

Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan: 4 runner-up finishes

Hogan -- a two-time Masters winner -- finished runner-up at Augusta National in 1942, 1946, 1954 and 1955. 

In 1942, Hogan lost by one stroke in an 18-hole playoff to Byron Nelson. With the victory, Nelson joined Horton Smith as just the second two-time winner in Masters history.

Herman Keiser's loan major win came at the 1946 Masters, where he slipped past Hogan by one stroke.

Sam Snead won his seventh and final major championship at the 1954 Masters, downing Hogan -- the defending champ -- in an 18-hole playoff by a single stroke. 

Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus: 4 runner-up finishes

Nicklaus had runner-up finishes in the 1964, 1971, 1977 and 1981 Masters. 

Though Nicklaus tied for second in 1964 with Dave Marr, the tournament really wasn't close. Arnold Palmer ran away from the field with a convincing six-stroke victory. It was the fourth and final Masters victory for the King.

Charles Coody emerged as the champion of the 1971 Masters, finishing two strokes ahead of runners up Nicklaus and Johnny Miller. 

In 1977, Tom Watson earned the first of his two Masters wins, finishing two strokes clear of Nicklaus.

Watson -- in 1981 -- again denied Nicklaus at Augusta National, finishing two strokes ahead of the Golden Bear and Miller.

Tom Weiskopf

Tom Weiskopf: 4 runner-up finishes

Of the three players with four runner-up finishes in the Masters, Weiskopf is the only one who never went on to win a green jacket.

The first of Weiskopf's four bridesmaid finishes came in 1969. That's where George Archer prevailed by one over Weiskopf, Billy Casper and George Knudson.

Nicklaus won his fourth Masters in 1972, finishing three strokes ahead of Weiskopf, Bruce Crampton and Bobby Mitchell. 

Gary Player won the second of his three Masters titles in 1974, defeating Weiskopf and Dave Stockton by two strokes.

A year later, Weiskopf and Miller were runners up by one stroke to Nicklaus, who become the only player in Masters history with five titles that year (he'd win a record sixth 11 years later).

Greg Norman

Greg Norman: 3

In 1986, 1987 and 1996, the Shark finished as a runner up in the Masters.

Norman led by one after 54 holes in 1986 -- four strokes ahead of Nicklaus. But Jack's Sunday charge was good for a one-stroke victory over Norman and Tom Kite. Norman missed out on a playoff when he bogeyed the final hole after making four consecutive birdies.

Augusta native Larry Mize famously beat Norman and Seve Ballesteros in a playoff in 1987. Ballesteros was out after the first playoff hole and then, on the difficult par-4 11th, Mize chipped in for the unlikeliest of birdies. When Norman couldn't match, Mize took the green jacket. 

Finally, who can forget 1996? That year, it looked as though once and for all, Norman would win that elusive green jacket. He established a seemingly insurmountable six-stroke lead through 54 holes.

But that Sunday was anything but a formality for the Aussie. Instead, Norman's biggest rival -- Nick Faldo -- fired a final-round 67 to Norman's 6-over 78 to win by six strokes. It was arguably the most crushing loss in Masters history.

Tom Watson

Tom Watson: 3

Watson was a runner up in 1978, 1979 and 1984.

Entering the 1978 Masters as the defending champ, Watson ultimately finished tied for second with Hubert Green and Rod Funseth, one stroke behind champion Gary Player.

Fuzzy Zoeller won his only Masters in 1979, defeating Watson on the second hole of a playoff that also included Ed Sneed. Nicklaus finished that Masters one shot out of a playoff.

Ben Crenshaw won the first of his two Masters titles in 1984, defeating Watson by two strokes.

Raymond Floyd

Raymond Floyd: 3

In 1985, 1990 and 1992, Floyd was the runner up at Augusta National. 

Floyd, Ballesteros and Curtis Strange all finished runner-up to two-time Masters champ Bernhard Langer in 1985. That win was the first of Langer's two Masters titles. He would get his second in 1993.

At the 1990 Masters, Faldo defeated Floyd on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Finally, in 1992, Floyd finished two strokes behind champion Fred Couples. 

Tom Kite

Tom Kite: 3

Kite finished runner up at the 1983, 1986 and 1997 Masters.

Ballesteros won that 1983 Masters, finishing four shots clear of Kite and Crenshaw.

Kite joined Norman as a runner up in 1986 when Nicklaus won by a shot.

In 1997, Kite was the runner up to Tiger Woods. It probably didn't feel great, however, as Woods finished a massive 12 shots ahead of Kite at 18-under par.

In all, 17 players have two, runner-up finishes in Masters history: Seve Ballesteros, Harry Cooper, Ben Crenshaw, Ernie Els, David Duval, Retief Goosen, Ralph Guldahl, Davis Love III, Lloyd Mangrum, Cary Middlecoff, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Sam Snead, Ken Venturi, Craig Wood and Tiger Woods.

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