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Ranking Bubba Watson Among the 10 Best Masters Winners of All Time

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10 Greatest Masters Champions

Augusta National Clubhouse
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Bubba Watson pulled away on the back-nine at Augusta National Golf Club and became the eighth golfer to win two Green Jackets in a three-year span. Where does his brilliant 2014 performance put him in the ranks of the greatest Masters champions to ever tee it up?

10. Seve Ballesteros

Seve Ballesteros Augusta
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10. Seve Ballesteros

Seve Ballesteros Augusta
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When Ballesteros won his first Green Jacket in 1980, he set two notable records. At just 23 years old, he was the youngest player to ever win the tournament. The Spaniard was also the first European player to win a Green Jacket. His dazzling short game propelled him to his second Masters victory three years later, and many of today's current European stars name Seve as their inspiration for becoming professional golfers.

9. Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson Augusta
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9. Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson Augusta
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Gerry Lester Watson Jr., affectionately known to most as Bubba, won his first Green Jacket in 2012 after improbably finding the green from deep in the woods on the first playoff hole. Two years later, Watson broke through again. He was the only player near the lead on Sunday to break 70 and won by three shots.

8. Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan
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8. Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan
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After almost being killed in a car crash in 1949, Ben Hogan went on to win at Augusta National in 1951 and 1953. His flawless swing and tireless work ethic is what he is best remembered for, but his 14-under par finish in the '53 Masters was a tournament record for 12 years.

7. Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo Augusta
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7. Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo Augusta
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Faldo became the first Englishman to win The Masters in 1989, and he then became just the second golfer to ever win back-to-back at Augusta when he defended his title in 1990. After winning his first two Masters by way of a playoff, he won a third time in 1996, this time shooting a final round 67 to win by five shots.

6. Gary Player

Gary Player Augusta
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6. Gary Player

Gary Player Augusta
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Gary Player ended American dominance at Augusta in 1961, becoming the first international player to win The Masters. The South African won two more Green Jackets, coming away victorious in 1974 and 1978. He competed in The Masters more times than any other player, missing the tournament only once from 1957 to 2009.

5. Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson Augusta
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5. Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson Augusta
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After coming close many times at Augusta, Mickelson finally broke through with a win in 2004. He won again in 2006 and sealed his status as a legend with his third win in 2009. His shot through the trees on 13 during the final round of the 2009 tournament is the defining shot of Mickelson's career, embodying his aggressive style.

4. Sam Snead

Sam Snead
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4. Sam Snead

Sam Snead Augusta
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"Slammin' Sammy" won three Green Jackets between 1949 and 1954. His three victories at Augusta National make up three of his 82 career PGA Tour victories, which is still a record. From 1984 through 2002, Snead hit the honorary opening tee shot, signifying his importance to the tournament.

3. Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer Augusta
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3. Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer Augusta
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Palmer won his first Masters in 1958 and quickly became a crowd favorite. By the time he won his fourth Green Jacket in 1964, Palmer's popularity soared so high that his fan club had its own name, "Arnie's Army". Even though many now know him primarily for the drink with which he shares his name, Palmer was dominant in early 1960s and became the first golfer to win The Masters four times.

2. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods Masters
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2. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods Masters
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No golfer since Bobby Jones had a bigger impact on the actual golf course at Augusta National than Tiger Woods. In 1997, Woods shot 18-under par and won by 12 shots, both tournament records. In response, the course was significantly lengthened to prevent the winning score from getting even lower. It didn't seem to bother Tiger much, as he won the tournament three more times.

1. Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus Augusta
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1. Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus Augusta
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In 1963, Jack Nicklaus won his first Green Jacket. At the time, he was the youngest player to ever win the tournament. 23 years later, Nicklaus won at Augusta for his sixth time, becoming the oldest player to ever win the tournament. With no other player having won more than four Masters, the "Golden Bear" remains the gold standard at Augusta National.

Walter Bergeson is a writer for Rantsports.com.  Follow him on twitter @WalterBSports or add him to your circles on Google+