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Masters Winners Ages Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth of the United States speaks near the clubhouse after his four-stroke victory at the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia.  Ezra Shaw—Getty Images

See Where Masters Champion Jordan Spieth Fits Into Golf History

Apr 13, 2015

21-year-old Jordan Spieth drove himself into golf history Sunday, winning the Masters with a final score of 18 under par. Spieth tied Tiger Woods for the best tournament total and became the second 21-year-old to win the event, following Woods' 1997 performance.

Spieth's stellar performance at such a young age raises the question of whether golfers are tending toward the younger side. According to the Golf Channel, the answer is no: The median and mean age of major champions has remained stable for decades at 32 years of age. Spieth's win doesn't change that magic number, but it does fall nicely into a trend of Masters winners' ages rising and falling, as shown in the chart above.

Some observers attribute the periodic trends to repeat-champions in different generations in golf history. Jack Nicklaus, for example, has the most Masters victories, with five between 1963 and 1975 — and a sixth in 1986. Four-time champions include Arnold Palmer (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964) and Tiger Woods (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005).

Though age might not be changing among Masters winners, the champions do seem to be getting better. Masters winners' final scores have trended upwards since the first tournaments in the 1930s, with over half of the 10-under-par totals being scored by champions in the last 20 years:

See Sports Illustrated's 100 Best Masters Photos

Masters Golf Best Photos Sports Illustrated
Adam Scott celebrates his playoff win at the 2013 Masters with caddie Steve Williams.Simon Bruty—Sports Illustrated
Masters Golf Best Photos Sports Illustrated
Masters Golf Best Photos Sports Illustrated
Masters Golf Best Photos Sports Illustrated
Masters Golf Best Photos Sports Illustrated
Masters Golf Best Photos Sports Illustrated
Masters Golf Best Photos Sports Illustrated
Masters Golf Best Photos Sports Illustrated
Adam Scott celebrates his playoff win at the 2013 Masters with caddie Steve Williams.
Simon Bruty—Sports Illustrated
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