About the US Masters
Year after year The Masters provides golf fans with the most exciting
final day finishes on the golfing calendar, and 2013 was no exception,
with plenty of talking points and amazing highlights coming from a week
on the fine fairways of Augusta National.
As always, Tiger Woods made the headlines; this time courtesy of a bad
break on the par 5 15th and the ensuing rules debate; the world was
treated to a simply stunning performance from 14 year old Tianlang
Guan, who defied his age – and a harsh slow play penalty – to make
history as the youngest ever player to make the cut at The Masters,
and yet another nerve-jangling, sudden death playoff was required to
decide the winner.
As usual over the back nine at Augusta, there were plenty of players
in the mix, making their moves and then falling back out of contention.
One minute Jason Day looked a dead cert to claim the Green Jacket. The
next, Adam Scott looked to have sewn things up with a dramatic last
hole birdie and before you knew it Angel Cabrera had hit the shot of
his life to force a playoff. Cue a few more close misses in the
ensuing two holes before Scott finally hit the nail into the Argentine's
coffin with a birdie on the second playoff hole to secure his, and
Australia's, first Masters title.
The Masters, it seems, never fails to deliver and in all likelihood
will be the tournament to watch in 2014.
The US Masters 2014 will take place in the second week of April. The
first practice round will take place on Monday the 8th of April 2014
with the champion being crowned on the evening of Sunday the 14th of
April 2014 when we will hopefully have witnessed something along the
lines of this year's tournament at the finest golfing arena in the
game; Augusta National.
The Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones, who
designed Augusta National with legendary course architect Alister
MacKenzie, but at first one of the world's most famous and beautiful
golf courses was nothing more than 365 acres of simple farming land.
Due to the foresight of Bob Jones and Clifford Roberts, Fruitlands
Nurseries purchased the land for $70,000 in 1931 and it is now home
to the revered Augusta National Golf Course.
After the course was completed, its creators came up with the idea
of organizing an annual tournament drawing all the best players from
across the world. For the first five years of the tournament, it was
called the Augusta National International Tournament but in 1939,
its name changed to The Masters.
In line with the other majors, winning the Masters gives a golfer
several privileges which make his career more secure. Masters champions
are automatically invited to play in the other three majors (the U.S.
Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship) for the next
five years, and earn a lifetime invitation to the Masters. They also
receive membership on the PGA Tour for the following five seasons and
invitations to The Players Championship for five years. In 2006 the
prize fund was US$7 million.
European players collected eleven victories in twenty years in the
1980s and 1990s, by far the strongest streak they have had in any of
the three majors played in the United States since the early days of
the U.S Open. Jack Nicklaus became the oldest player to win the Masters
in 1986 when he won for the sixth time at age 46. In 1997, headlines
were made around the world when Tiger Woods won the Masters by twelve
shots at age twenty-one. Jose Maria Olazabal was the last European to
win the Masters in 1999.
Like many other courses, Augusta National's championship set-up has
been lengthened in recent years. In 1998, it measured approximately
6,925 yards from the Masters tees but in 2006 it was almost 500 yards
longer at 7,445 yards. As well as the course being extended, the
teeing positions have been altered. Some experts predict that Augusta
may now play as many as three shots more following the changes, which
would be approved by Jones and Roberts, whose vision was to challenge
the best players in the game of golf.