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Masters History

Masters History

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History of the Masters

The Masters Golf Tournament, more commonly known as The Masters, is one of four major championships in professional golf. The tournament was started by Augusta National Golf Course designers Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones, who worked with architect Alister MacKenzie to design one of the most challenging courses in the nation. Bobby Jones initially had the idea to design the course, as he wanted to build a golf course after he retired. The Augusta National Golf Course was officially opened in 1933.

The first-ever Augusta National Masters Invitation Tournament was played in 1934. The tournament was won by Horton Smith, and the format of the first tournament was arranged so that golfers played holes 10-18 as the as the first nine, and 1-9 as the second nine. The very next year, the format was reversed, and has remained that way to present day.

In the 1935 tournament, Gene Sarazen hit a double eagle by sinking a shot from the fairway on the par 5 15th hole. Sarazen would go on to win the tournament in a 36-hole playoff with Craig Wood. Four years later in 1939, the Augusta National Invitation Tournament would switch names to become what we now know as The Masters. The Masters was not played from 1943-45 due to WWII. Instead, the Augusta National grounds were used to raise cattle and turkeys to help the war effort.

In the 1960's and 1970's, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus dominated the tournament. These three key players won the event 11 times during that span of 20 years. In 1975, Lee Elder became the first black player to qualify for the Masters. He would play in the tournament fifteen years before the first black player was admitted as a member to Augusta National.

Between the years of 1980 and 2000, non-American golfers took eleven victories in those twenty years. This was the longest streak for non-American golfers in any major U.S. tournament since the early U.S. Open years. In 1986, Jack Nicklaus became the oldest player to win the Masters, winning for a sixth time at the age of 46. In 1997, Tiger Woods won the Masters by twelve shots at the age of 21, breaking the long-standing scoring record and also breaking the record for youngest player to win the Masters.

The Augusta National Golf Course has been adjusted several times over the years. In 1998, the course measured 6925 yards from tee to pin on all holes. The course was adjusted to 7270 yards for 2002 and to 7445 yards in 2006. These adjustments have brought several criticisms, but most competitive players have defended the course as freshly challenging.

Tickets for the Masters tournament are not super-expensive - rather, they are hard to get. Even the practice rounds are difficult to get into, as applications for practice round tickets must be made almost a year in advance just to get your name in a random drawing pool. Tickets to the tournament are only sold to members of a patrons list, which is closed. A waiting list for patrons has opened and closed periodically since 1972. As of 2008, The Masters has allowed patrons to accompany a child between the ages of 8-16 to the tournament for free.

Masters Tournament Champions

1934 Horton Smith 284
1935 Gene Sarazen1 282
1936 Horton Smith 285
1937 Byron Nelson 283
1938 Henry Picard 285
1939 Ralph Guldahl 279
1940 Jimmy Demaret 280
1941 Craig Wood 280
1942 Byron Nelson1 280
1943-45 No Tournaments
1946 Herman Keiser 282
1947 Jimmy Demaret 281
1948 Claude Harmon 279
1949 Sam Snead 282
1950 Jimmy Demaret 283
1951 Ben Hogan 280
1952 Sam Snead 286
1953 Ben Hogan 274
1954 Sam Snead1 289
1955 Cary Middlecoff 279
1956 Jack Burke 289
1957 Doug Ford 283
1958 Arnold Palmer 284
1959 Art Wall, Jr. 284
1960 Arnold Palmer 282
1961 Gary Player 280
1962 Arnold Palmer1 280
1963 Jack Nicklaus 286
1964 Arnold Palmer 276
1965 Jack Nicklaus 271
1966 Jack Nicklaus1 288
1967 Gay Brewer, Jr. 280
1968 Bob Goalby 277
1969 George Archer 281
1970 Billy Casper1 279
1971 Charles Coody 279
1972 Jack Nicklaus 286
1973 Tommy Aaron 283
1974 Gary Player 278
1975 Jack Nicklaus 276
1976 Ray Floyd 271
1977 Tom Watson 276
1978 Gary Player 277
1979 Fuzzy Zoeller1 280
1980 Severiano Ballesteros 275
1981 Tom Watson 280
1982 Craig Stadler1 284
1983 Severiano Ballesteros 280
1984 Ben Crenshaw 277
1985 Bernhard Langer 282
1986 Jack Nicklaus 279
1987 Larry Mize1 285
1988 Sandy Lyle 281
1989 Nick Faldo1 283
1990 Nick Faldo 278
1991 Ian Woosnam 277
1992 Fred Couples 275
1993 Bernard Langer 277
1994 Jose Maria Olazabal 279
1995 Ben Crenshaw 274
1996 Nick Faldo 276
1997 Tiger Woods 270
1998 Mark O'Meara 279
1999 Jose Maria Olazabal 280
2000 Vijay Singh 278
2001 Tiger Woods 272
2002 Tiger Woods 276
2003 Mike Weir1 281
2004 Phil Mickelson 279
2005 Tiger Woods1 276
2006 Phil Mickelson 281
2007 Zach Johnson 289
2008 Trevor Immelman 280
2009 Ángel Cabrera 276
2010 Phil Mickelson 272
2011 Charl Schwartzel 274
2012 Bubba Watson1 278
2013 Adam Scott1 278
2014 Bubba Watson 280
2015 Jordan Spieth 270

1. Winner in playoff.

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11/29/2015 2:18:01 AM on TCWEB2