The 1981 Masters Tournament was the 45th Masters Tournament, held April 9–12 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Tom Watson won his second green jacket and fifth major title by two strokes over Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller.
Five-time champion Nicklaus shot a bogey-free 65 on Friday and led by four strokes after 36 holes, but a 75 on Saturday put him a stroke behind Watson entering the final round. It was the fourth runner-up finish for Nicklaus at the Masters and the third for Miller. Nicklaus won his sixth Masters five years later in 1986 at age 46.
Defending champion Seve Ballesteros shot 154 (+10) and missed the cut by six strokes; he also missed the cut as defending champion in 1984. Lee Trevino, needing a green jacket to complete the career grand slam, also shot 154 with an ailing back. His best finishes at Augusta were tenth place ties in 1975 and 1985.
Greg Norman, age 26, appeared in his first Masters and was fourth, the first of his eight top-five finishes at Augusta. He was runner-up three times, in 1986, 1987, and 1996.
This was the first Masters with bentgrass greens, which were formerly Bermuda and ryegrass.