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The Masters Tournament, also known as The Masters, or The U.S. Masters outside of the United States, is one of the four major championships in professional golf. Scheduled for the first full week of April, it is the first of the majors to be played each year. Unlike the other major championships, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Clubmarker, a private golf club in the city of Augusta, Georgiamarker, USA. The Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones, who designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie. The tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour, the PGA European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, entry being controlled by the Augusta National Golf Club.

The tournament has a number of traditions. A green jacket is awarded to the winner of each tournament, which must be returned to the clubhouse after a year. The Champions dinner, inaugurated by Ben Hogan, is held on the Tuesday before each tournament, and is only open to past champions and certain board members of the Augusta National Golf Club. Beginning in 1963, legendary golfers, usually past champions, have hit an honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round. Such golfers have included Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, and Arnold Palmer, who has hit the tee shot the last two years. Since 1960, a semi-social Par 3 Contest, on a par-3 course on Augusta National's grounds, has been played on the day before the first round of each Masters Tournament.

Jack Nicklaus has won more Masters Tournaments than any other golfer, winning six times between 1963 and 1986. Other multiple winners include Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods, with four each. Gary Player, from South Africa, was the first non-American player to win the tournament in 1961. The tournament organizers regularly extend the length and layout of the course to meet developments in equipment technology and player skill.

Format

The Masters is the first acknowledged major golf championship of the year, and since 1940 has been played so that the final round is always on the second Sunday of April.

Because the Masters has a relatively small field compared to other golf tournaments, the competitors play in groups of three for the first 36 holes on the first two days. After 36 holes have been played by all players, players are eliminated to reduce the field. To "make the cut", players must be either within 44 places of the lead (ties counting) or within 10 strokes of the leader's score. These rules have applied since the 1961 tournament; from 1957 to 1960 the best 40 scores and ties and those within 10 strokes of the leader made the cut. Before 1957, there was no 36-hole cut.

Traditions

Awards

The total prize money for the 2008 tournament was $7,500,000, with $1,350,000 going to the winner. In the inaugural year, the winner Horton Smith received $1,000 out of a $5,000 purse. After Jack Nicklaus's first win in 1963, he received $20,000, while after his final victory in 1986 he won $144,000. In recent years the purse has grown quickly. Between 2001 and 2008, the winners share grew by $270,000, and the purse grew by $1,500,000.

In addition to a cash prize, the winner of the tournament is presented with a distinctive green jacket, awarded since 1949. The green sport coat is the official attire worn by members of Augusta National while on the club grounds; each Masters winner becomes an honorary member of the club. Winners keep their jacket for the first year after their first victory, then return it to the club to wear whenever they visit. The tradition began in 1949, when Sam Snead won his first of three Masters titles. The green jacket is only allowed to be removed from Augusta National by the reigning champion, after which it must remain at the club. The only exception to this rule is Gary Player, who in his joy of winning mistakenly took his jacket home to South Africa after his 1961 victory, although he always followed the spirit of the rule, and he has never worn the jacket.

By tradition, the winner of the previous year's Masters Tournament puts the jacket on the current winner at the end of the tournament. In 1966, Jack Nicklaus became the first player to win in consecutive years and he donned the jacket himself. When Nick Faldo (in 1990) and Tiger Woods (in 2002) repeated as champions, the chairman of Augusta National put the jacket on them.

There are several awards presented to players who perform exceptional feats during the tournament. The player who has the daily lowest score receives a crystal vase, while players who score a hole-in-one or a double eagle win a large crystal bowl. For each eagle a player makes they receive a pair of crystal goblets. The winner of the Par 3 competition, which is played the day before the tournament begins, wins a crystal bowl.

In addition to the green jacket, winners of the tournament receive a Gold Medal. They have their names engraved on the actual silver Masters trophy, introduced in 1961, which depicts the clubhouse. This trophy remains at Augusta National; since 1993 winners have received a sterling silver replica. The runner-up receives a Silver Medal, introduced in 1951. Beginning in 1978, a Silver Salver was added as an award for the runner-up.

In 1952 the Masters began presenting an award, known as the Silver Cup, to the lowest scoring amateur to make the cut. In 1954 they began presenting an amateur Silver Medal to the low amateur runner-up.

Design History of the U.S. Masters' "Champions Coat"

The tradition of awarding the now iconic, grass-green sport coat to the winner of each year’s U.S. Masters Tournament began with 1949's winner, Sam Snead.

Its design legacy, however, begins several years earlier. Not in Georgia. Nor even America. Instead, its story starts half-a-world away, in Londonmarker, Englandmarker, ironically.

In 1943, WW II’s then just-named, Allied Supreme Commander, General Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower was aggressively advocating an entirely new, GI battle field uniform to replace the long, mid-hip-length WWI-era "All-Purpose Service Coat," as well as the shorter, M-41 Parson’s Field Jacket. Front-line skirmishes in Europe and North Africa had proven both inappropriate for what was then, modern-era combat. As their replacement, Eisenhower requested a svelte, waist-cropped field jacket based on the styling and functional sensibilities of the then au courant English battle jacket, "but with more distinctive style," exhorted Ike.

Frustrated by the Army’s slow-grinding bureaucracy, Eisenhower, a no-nonsense military man, sent his Service Coat, along with a British battle jacket, to his longtime personal tailor, Arthur "Art" Ermilio, a Philadelphia-based, custom-bespoke tailor. Rather than wait for a prototype of the all-season combat uniform then being developed by the Office of the Quartermaster General (OQMG), Eisenhower tasked Ermilio with creating an all new, Army Field Jacket loosely modeled after the shorter, British battle jacket. For more information please visit the Eisenhower jacket page.

Like many of Savile Rowmarker’s earliest custom tailoring firms, L. R. Ermilio Custom Tailors had specialized in custom-bespoke military uniforms since its 1897 founding and included Eisenhower among its several, high-ranking officer-clients.

Eisenhower’s instructions to Ermilio were that it be "very short and very comfortable, even while raising a rifle or pistol." The practical-minded Eisenhower also insisted that it conserve on wool, then a war-rationed commodity. To Eisenhower’s delight, Ermilio’s design shaved away nearly one-and-a-half yards of wool. Still, Eisenhower’s most emphatic instruction was the its design be "very natty looking."

Hence was born the iconic " Ike Jacket." Broad shouldered and stylishly tailored, the Ike Jacket has since reigned one of fashion's chic-est and most influential designs. To this day, the visually powerful lines wrought by its minimalist design, broad shoulder silhouette and short, waist cropped styling continues to woo and sway the world’s top fashion designers.

Shortly after WW II’s end, Eisenhower was invited to join Augusta National Golf Clubmarker. In 1947, recalls Art Ermilio’s son, Robert "Bob" Ermilio, Augusta National’s membership, spearheaded by Club co-founder, Clifford Roberts, organized an awards committee. The committee, co-helmed by Roberts and Eisenhower, was tasked with finding a unique and distinctively identifiable "non-trophy" award that would metaphorically reference Augusta National and stand symbolic of its U.S. Masters Tournament.

Recalling the immediate and profound influence his Ike Jacket wielded on fashion and pop culture, Eisenhower suggested consulting with its co-collaborator, Arthur Ermilio. Ermilio suggested a simple, one-of-a-kind sport coat, its color, by contractual arrangement, could never be duplicated and would remain the exclusive provenance of Augusta National Golf Clubmarker.

Gold and royal purple were among the top color choices suggested by Augusta’s membership.

But it was Ermilio, who was later joined by Roberts and Eisenhower, that instead advocated a rich and vivid shade of green. Its hue, argued Ermilio, would evoke the course’s grass green pelt and the forest green of its surrounding woodlands. Tentatively named the "Champion’s Coat" by Augusta’s awards committee, Its deep and richly intense shade of green would itself become a distinctive and identifiable symbol of not only the U. S. Masters Tournament but of Augusta National Golf Club, itself, promised Ermilio and Eisenhower.

In early-1948, Augusta’s awards committee tasked Ermilio with sourcing a distinctive and proprietary shade of green that would reign symbolic of both Augusta National and its annually slated, April invitational. In late-1948, Ermilio submitted several sample swatches of green-colored fabric to the award’s committee. According to records, Ermilio originally sourced 55-yards of the committee’s final color choice from England’s Hunt & Winterbotham Mills. Shortly after, in early-1949, the 55-yards yielded 30 sportcoats, one for each member, including Eisenhower, as well as the annual Tournament winner’s "Champion’s Coat."

Since then, its proprietary shade of green has proven symbolic not only of the Augusta Nationalmarker and its annual U.S. Masters Tournament, but of the Ermilio design dynasty, itself.

In 2009, 23-year-old couture designer, Katie Ermilio, its fourth generation designer and great-granddaughter of founder, Louis Ermilo, captured the winning gown design in a Washington Post sponsored, Michelle Obama inaugural gown design challenge. From among the more than 200 contestants who submitted sketches – including several, globally famed couture designers -- The Post’s readership overwhelmingly voted Katie Ermilio’s gown the winner. Ironically, it was the gown’s deep, rich shade of forest green, itself reminiscent of the fabric her grandfather recommenced to Augusta National’s awards committee, 60-years earlier, that helped deliver Ermilio’s winning, coup de grace.

Other traditions

As 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.

Because the tournament was established by the amateur golfer Bobby Jones, the Masters has a tradition of honoring amateur golf. It invites winners of the most prestigious amateur tournaments in the world. Also, the current U.S. Amateur champion always plays in the same group as the defending Masters champion for the first two days of the tournament.

Since 1963 the custom in most years has been to start the tournament with an honorary opening tee shot at the first hole, typically by one of golf's legendary players. The original honorary starters were Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod; this twosome led off every tournament from 1963 until 1973, when poor health prevented Hutchison from swinging a club. McLeod continued on until his death in 1976. Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen started in 1981, and were then joined by Sam Snead in 1984. This trio continued until 1999 when Sarazen died, while Nelson discontinued in 2001. Snead hit his final opening tee shot in 2001, a year before he too died. In 2007, Arnold Palmer took over as the honorary starter. Palmer also had the honor in 2008 and 2009. At the 2010 Masters Tournament, Jack Nicklaus will join Palmer as a co-honorary starter for the event and it is widely expected that Gary Player will re-unite The Big Three in 2011.

The Champions' dinner is held each year on the Tuesday evening preceding Thursday's first round. The dinner was first held in 1952, hosted by defending champion Ben Hogan, to honor the past champions of the tournament. At that time fifteen tournaments had been played, and the number of past champions was eleven (including Hogan). Officially known as the "Masters Club," it includes only past winners of the Masters, although selected members of the Augusta National Golf Club have been included as honorary members, usually the chairman. The defending champion, as host, selects the menu for the dinner. Over the years, one of the most notable dishes was haggis, served by Scotsmanmarker Sandy Lyle in 1989.

The 9th hole on the par 3 course
The Par 3 Contest was first introduced in 1960, and was won that year by Sam Snead. Since then it has been played traditionally on the Wednesday before the tournament starts. The par 3 course was built in 1958. It is a nine-hole course, with a par of 27, and measures in length. There have been 67 holes-in-one in the history of the contest, with a record five of them in 2002. No Par 3 Contest winner has also won the Masters in the same year. There have been several repeat winners, including Pádraig Harrington, Sandy Lyle and Sam Snead. The former two won in successive years. In this event, golfers may use their children as caddies, which helps to create a family-friendly atmosphere. In 2008, the event was televised for the first time by ESPN.

Before 1982 all players in the Masters were required to use the services of an Augusta National Club caddy, who by club tradition was always an African-American. Since then, players have been allowed the option of using their own caddy. The Masters requires caddies to wear a uniform consisting of a white jumpsuit, a green Masters cap, and white tennis shoes. The surname, and sometimes first initial, of each player is found on the back of his caddie's uniform. The defending champion always receives caddy number "1": other golfers get their caddy numbers from the order in which they register for the tournament.

History

Masters logo on the club grounds


Augusta National Golf Club

The idea for Augusta National originated with Bobby Jones, who wanted to build a golf course after his retirement from the game. He sought advice from Clifford Roberts, who later became the Chairman of the club. They came across a piece of land in Augusta, Georgiamarker, of which Jones said: "Perfect! And to think this ground has been lying here all these years waiting for someone to come along and lay a golf course upon it."Jones hired Alister MacKenzie to design the course, and work began in 1931. The course formally opened in 1933, but MacKenzie died before the first Masters Tournament was played.

Early tournament years

The first "Augusta National Invitation" Tournament, as the Masters was originally known, began on March 22, 1934, and was won by Horton Smith. The present name was adopted in 1939. The first tournament was played with current holes 10 through 18 played as the first nine, and 1 through 9 as the second nine then reversed permanently to its present layout for the 1935 tournament.

Gene Sarazen hit the "shot heard 'round the world" in 1935, holing a shot from the fairway on the par 5 15th for a double eagle. This tied Sarazen with Craig Wood, and in the ensuing 36 hole playoff Sarazen was the victor by five strokes. The tournament was not played from 1943-45, due to World War II. To assist the war effort, cattle and turkeys were raised on the Augusta National grounds.

1960s-1970s

The Big Three of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus dominated the Masters from 1960 through 1978, winning the event eleven times between them during that span. After winning by one stroke in 1958, Palmer won by one stroke again in 1960 in memorable circumstances. Trailing Ken Venturi by one shot in the 1960 event, Palmer made birdies on the last two holes to prevail. Gary Player became the first international champion in 1961 and won again in 1974 and 1978. Palmer would go on to win another two Masters in 1962 and 1964.
Jack Nicklaus emerged in the early 1960s, and served as a rival to the popular Palmer. Nicklaus won his first Green Jacket in 1963, defeating Tony Lema by one stroke. Two years later, he shot a then-course record of 271 (17 under par) for his second Masters win, leading Bobby Jones to say that Nicklaus played "a game with which I am not familiar." The next year, Nicklaus won his third green jacket in a grueling 18-hole playoff against Tommy Jacobs and Gay Brewer. This made Nicklaus the first player to win consecutive Masters. He won again in 1972, again by three strokes. In 1975, Nicklaus was locked in a duel with Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller. In one of the most exciting Masters to date, he claimed the victory by one stroke over his two challengers.

Gary Player became the first non-American to win the Masters in 1961 beating Arnold Palmer, the defending champion. In 1974 he won again by two strokes. After not winning a tournament for four years, and at the age of 42, Player won his third and final Masters in 1978 by one stroke over three players. Player currently shares (with Fred Couples) the record of making 23 consecutive cuts, and has played in a record 52 Masters.

A controversial ending to the Masters occurred in 1968. Roberto DeVicenzo signed a scorecard (scored by playing partner Tommy Aaron) which incorrectly listed a 4 instead of a 3 on the 17th hole. This extra stroke cost him a chance to be in an 18-hole playoff with Bob Goalby, who won the green jacket. DeVicenzo's mistake led to the famous quote, "What a stupid I am."

In 1975, Lee Elder became the first African-American to qualify for the Masters, doing so fifteen years before Augusta National admitted its first black member.

1980s-2000s

Non-Americans 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.

During this period, no golfer suffered from the pressure of competing at Augusta more than Greg Norman. In 1987, Norman lost a sudden-death playoff to Larry Mize. Mize holed out a remarkable 45-yard pitch shot to birdie the second playoff hole and win the Masters. In 1996, Norman tied the course record with an opening round 63, and had a six stroke lead over Nick Faldo entering the final round. Norman shot a 78 while Faldo scored a 67 to win by five shots.Norman also suffered in 1986 when after birdieing four straight holes, and needing only a par to tie the leader, he badly pushed his approach to 18 and made bogey.

In 1997, Tiger Woods won the Masters by twelve shots at age 21, in the process breaking the tournament four-day scoring record that had stood for 32 years. Woods completed his "Tiger Slam", winning his fourth straight major championship at the Masters in 2001. The Masters was his again the next year, making him only the third player in history to win the tournament in consecutive years, as well as in 2005 when he defeated Chris DiMarco in a playoff for his first major championship win in almost three years.

More recently, the club was targeted by Martha Burk, who organized a failed protest at the 2003 Masters to pressure the club into accepting female members. Burk planned to protest at the front gates of Augusta National during the third day of the tournament, but was knocked back. A further appeal was also knocked back. In 2004, Burk stated that she had no further plans to protest against the club.

The 2003 tournament was won by Mike Weir, who became the first Canadian to win a major championship, and the first left-hander to win the Masters. The following year, another left-hander, Phil Mickelson, won his first major championship by making a birdie on the final hole to beat Ernie Els by a stroke.

Course adjustments

As with many other courses, Augusta National's championship setup has been lengthened in recent years. In 2001, the course measured approximately from the Masters tees. It was lengthened to for 2002, and again in 2006 to ; longer than the 2001 course. The changes attracted many critics, including the most successful players in Masters history, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Tiger Woods. Woods claimed that the "shorter hitters are going to struggle." Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson was unperturbed, stating, "We are comfortable with what we are doing with the golf course". After a practice round Gary Player defended the changes saying, "There have been a lot of criticisms, but I think unjustly so, now I've played it.... The guys are basically having to hit the same second shots that Jack Nicklaus had to hit [in his prime]".

Originally, the grass on the putting greens was the wide-bladed Bermuda. The greens lost speed, especially during the late 1970s, after the introduction of a healthier strain of narrow-bladed Bermuda, which thrived and grew thicker, slowing the speed of the greens. In 1978, the greens on the Par-3 course were reconstructed with bentgrass, a narrow-bladed species that could be mowed shorter, eliminating grain. After this test run, the greens on the main course were replaced with bentgrass in time for the 1981 Masters. The bentgrass resulted in significantly faster putting surfaces, which has required a reduction in some of the contours of the greens over time.

Just before the 1975 tournament, the common beige sand in the bunkers was replaced with the now-signature white feldspar. It is a quartz derivative of the mining of feldspar and is shipped in from North Carolinamarker.

Broadcasting

United States

CBS has televised the Masters in the United States every year since 1956, when it used six cameras and covered only the final four holes. Tournament coverage of the first 8 holes did not begin until 1993 because of resistance from the tournament organizers, but by 2006, over 50 cameras were used. USA Network added first- and second-round coverage in 1982, which was also produced by the CBS production team. The Masters is broadcast each year in high-definition television, one of the first golf tournaments to ever hold that distinction, and the early round coverage previously aired in that format on USA's sister network, Universal HD. In 2008, ESPN and ESPN HD replaced USA and Universal as the weekday coverage provider; coverage will continue to be jointly produced with CBS.

In 2005, CBS broadcast the tournament with high-definition fixed and handheld wired cameras, as well as standard-definition wireless handheld cameras. In 2006, a webstream called "Amen Corner Live" began providing coverage of all players passing through holes 11, 12 and 13 through all four rounds. This was the first full tournament multi-hole webcast from a major championship. In 2007, CBS added "Masters Extra," an hour's extra full-field bonus coverage daily on the internet, preceding the television broadcasts. In 2008, CBS added full coverage of holes 15 and 16 live on the web.

While Augusta National Golf Club has consistently chosen CBS as its U.S. broadcast partner, it has done so on successive one-year contracts. Due to the lack of long-term contractual security, as well as the club's limited dependence on broadcast rights fees (owing to its affluent membership), it is widely held that CBS allows Augusta National greater control over the content of the broadcast, or at least perform some form of self-censorship, in order to maintain future rights. The club, however, has insisted it does not make any demands with respect to the content of the broadcast.

There are some controversial aspects to this relationship. Announcers refer to the gallery as "patrons" rather than spectators or fans (gallery itself is also used), and use the term "second cut" instead of "rough" (however, the second cut is normally substantially shorter than comparable "primary rough" at other courses). Announcers who have been deemed not to have acted with the decorum expected by the club have been removed, notably Gary McCord. There also tends to be a lack of discussion of any controversy involving Augusta National, such as the 2003 Martha Burk protests. However, there have not been many other major issues in recent years.

The club mandates minimal commercial interruption, currently limited to four minutes per hour (as opposed to the usual 12 or more); this is subsidized by selling exclusive sponsorship packages to three companies. In the immediate aftermath of the Martha Burk controversy, there were no commercials during the 2003 and 2004 broadcasts, although international commercial broadcasters continued to insert their own commercials into the coverage. The Players Championship began imposing the same rule in 2007 and some of the other major championships have tried to follow suit in their most recent TV contracts.

The club also disallows promotions for other network programs, with the sole exception of an on-screen mention of 60 Minutes should the final round run long, or right before the coverage ends. Other broadcast material not allowed include sponsored graphics, blimps and on-course announcers. There is also typically no cut-in for other news and sports, either from CBS or its affiliates. CBS uses "Augusta" by Dave Loggins as the event telecast's distinctive theme music.

Significant restrictions have been placed on the tournament's broadcast hours compared to other major championships, perhaps to increase the tournament's Nielsen ratings, or to reward ticket-holders. Only in the 21st century did the tournament allow CBS to air 18-hole coverage of the leaders, a standard at the other three majors. Only three hours of cable coverage is scheduled for the early rounds each day. International broadcasters do not receive additional coverage, although they may take commercial breaks at different times from CBS or ESPN. As noted before, an additional hour of coverage each day is streamed online.

Westwood One has provided live radio play-by-play coverage in the U.S. since 1956. This coverage can also be heard on the official Masters website. The network provides short two to three minute updates throughout the tournament, as well as longer three to four hour segments towards the end of the day.

International

The BBC has broadcast the Masters in the UK since 1986, and it also provides live radio commentary on the closing stages on Radio Five Live. With the 2007 launch of BBC HD, UK viewers can now watch the championship in that format. BBC Sport currently holds the TV and radio rights through 2010. The BBC's coverage airs without commercials because it is financed by a licence fee. In Ireland, from 2008 Setanta Ireland will broadcast all four rounds live having previously broadcasted the opening two rounds with RTÉmarker broadcasting the weekend coverage.

In Canadamarker, the broadcast rights are held by a marketing company, Graham Sanborn Media, which in turn buys time on TSN (early rounds and weekend rebroadcasts), Global (weekend rounds live), and RDS (French-language coverage) to air the broadcasts. Graham Sanborn also sells all of the advertising for the Canadian broadcasts. The TSN / Global coverage is identical to the CBS / ESPN feed; RDS uses most of the U.S. video feed but provides commentary in French.

In most other countries, including much of Asia, Latin America, northern Africa and the Middle East, broadcast rights for the entire tournament are held by the ESPN International networks.

Ticketing

Although tickets for the Masters are not expensive, they are very difficult to come by. Even the practice rounds can be difficult to get into. Applications for practice round tickets have to be made nearly a year in advance and the successful applicants are chosen by random ballot. Tickets to the actual tournament are sold only to members of a patrons list, which is closed. A waiting list for the patrons list was opened in 1972 and closed in 1978. It was reopened in 2000 and subsequently closed once again. In 2008, The Masters also began allowing children (between the ages of 8 and 16) to enter on tournament days for free if they are accompanied by the patron who is the owner of his or her badge.

Field

The Masters has the smallest field out of the major championships at around ninety players. It is an invitational event, with invitations largely issued on an automatic basis to players who meet published criteria. The top fifty players in the Official World Golf Rankings are all invited.

Past champions are eligible to play in any edition, but since 2002 the Augusta National Golf Clubmarker has discouraged them from continuing to participate at an advanced age.

Invitation categories (as of 2010):

  1. Masters Tournament Champions (Lifetime)
  2. U.S. Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
  3. The Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
  4. PGA Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
  5. Winners of the Players Championship (Three years)
  6. Current U.S. Amateur Champion (6-A) (Honorary, non-competing after one year); Runner-up (6-B) to the current U.S. Amateur Champion
  7. Current British Amateur Champion (Honorary, non-competing after one year)
  8. Current Asian Amateur Champion
  9. Current U.S. Amateur Public Links Champion
  10. Current U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion
  11. The first 16 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Masters Tournament
  12. The first 8 players, including ties, in the previous year’s U.S. Open
  13. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Open Championship
  14. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s PGA Championship
  15. The 30 leaders on the Final Official PGA Tour Money List for the previous calendar year
  16. Winners of PGA Tour Regular Season and Playoff events that award at least a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters
  17. Those qualifying for the previous year’s season-ending Tour Championship
  18. The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
  19. The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament


Most of the top current players will meet the criteria of multiple categories for invitation. The Masters Committee, at its discretion, can also invite any golfer(s) not otherwise qualified, although in practice these invitations are currently reserved for international players.

Winners

The first winner of the Masters Tournament was Horton Smith in 1934. He repeated his win in 1936. The current champion, winning in 2009, is Ángel Cabrera, who won in a three-way playoff against Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell. The player with the most Masters victories is Jack Nicklaus, who won six times between 1963 and 1986. Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods have each won four, and Jimmy Demaret, Gary Player, Sam Snead and Nick Faldo have three titles to their name. Gary Player also became the tournament's first overseas winner with his first victory in 1961. Other notable winners include Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Ben Crenshaw, José María Olazábal, and Phil Mickelson, who have all won the Masters twice.

!Year||Champion||Country||To par||Margin
|-
|2009||Ángel Cabrera|| ||-12||Playoff (3)
|-
|2008||Trevor Immelman|| ||-8||3
|-
|2007||Zach Johnson|| ||+1||2
|-
|2006||Phil Mickelson (2)|| ||-7||2
|-
|2005||Tiger Woods (4)|| ||-12||Playoff (2)
|-
|2004||Phil Mickelson|| ||-9||1
|-
|2003||Mike Weir|| ||-7||Playoff (2)
|-
|2002||Tiger Woods (3)|| ||-12||3
|-
|2001||Tiger Woods (2)|| ||-16||2
|-
|2000||Vijay Singh|| ||-10||3
|-
|1999||José María Olazábal (2)|| ||-8||2
|-
|1998||Mark O'Meara|| ||-9||1
|-
|1997||Tiger Woods|| ||-18||12
|-
|1996||Nick Faldo (3)|| ||-12||5
|-
|1995||Ben Crenshaw (2)|| ||-14||1
|-
|1994||José María Olazábal|| ||-9||2
|-
|1993||Bernhard Langer (2)|| ||-11||4
|-
|1992||Fred Couples|| ||-13||2
|-
|1991||Ian Woosnam|| ||-11||1
|-
|1990||Nick Faldo (2)|| ||-10||Playoff (2)
|-
|1989||Nick Faldo|| ||-5||Playoff (2)
|-
|1988||Sandy Lyle|| ||-7||1
|-
|1987||Larry Mize|| ||-3||Playoff (3)
|-
|1986||Jack Nicklaus (6)|| ||-9||1
|-
|1985||Bernhard Langer|| ||-6||2
|-
|1984||Ben Crenshaw|| ||-11||2
|-
|1983||Seve Ballesteros (2)|| ||-8||4
|-
|1982||Craig Stadler|| ||-4||Playoff (2)
|-
|1981||Tom Watson (2)|| ||-8||2
|-
|1980||Seve Ballesteros|| ||-13||4
|-
|1979||Fuzzy Zoeller|| ||-8||Playoff (3)
|-
|1978||Gary Player (3)|| ||-11||1
|-
|1977||Tom Watson|| ||-12||2
|-
|1976||Raymond Floyd|| ||-17||8
|-
|1975||Jack Nicklaus (5)|| ||-12||1
|-
|1974||Gary Player (2)|| ||-10||2
|-
|1973||Tommy Aaron|| ||-5||1
|-
|1972||Jack Nicklaus (4)|| ||-2||3
|-
|1971||Charles Coody|| ||-9||2
|-
|1970||Billy Casper|| ||-9||Playoff (2)
|-
|1969||George Archer|| ||-7||1
|-
|1968||Bob Goalby|| ||-11||1
|-
|1967||Gay Brewer|| ||-8||1
|-
|1966||Jack Nicklaus (3)|| ||E||Playoff (3)
|-
|1965||Jack Nicklaus (2)|| ||-17||9
|-
|1964||Arnold Palmer (4)|| ||-12||6
|-
|1963||Jack Nicklaus|| ||-2||1
|-
|1962||Arnold Palmer (3)|| ||-8||Playoff (3)
|-
|1961||Gary Player|| ||-8||1
|-
|1960||Arnold Palmer (2)|| ||-6||1
|-
|1959||Art Wall, Jr.|| ||-4||1
|-
|1958||Arnold Palmer|| ||-4||1
|-
|1957||Doug Ford|| ||-5||3
|-
|1956||Jack Burke, Jr.|| ||+1||1
|-
|1955||Cary Middlecoff|| ||-9||7
|-
|1954||Sam Snead (3)|| ||+1||Playoff (2)
|-
|1953||Ben Hogan (2)|| ||-14||5
|-
|1952||Sam Snead (2)|| ||-2||4
|-
|1951||Ben Hogan|| ||-8||2
|-
|1950||Jimmy Demaret (3)|| ||-5||2
|-
|1949||Sam Snead|| ||-6||3
|-
|1948||Claude Harmon|| ||-9||5
|-
|1947||Jimmy Demaret (2)|| ||-7||2
|-
|1946||Herman Keiser|| ||-6||1
|-
| colspan=5 align="center" | 1943-45: Cancelled due to World War II
|-
|1942||Byron Nelson (2)|| ||-8||Playoff (2)
|-
|1941||Craig Wood|| ||-8||3
|-
|1940||Jimmy Demaret|| ||-8||4
|-
|1939||Ralph Guldahl|| ||-9||1
|-
|1938||Henry Picard|| ||-3||2
|-
|1937||Byron Nelson|| ||-5||2
|-
|1936||Horton Smith (2)|| ||-3||1
|-
|1935||Gene Sarazen|| ||-6||Playoff (2)
|-
|1934||Horton Smith|| ||-4||1


The number in parentheses indicates the number players involved in each playoff.

Records

The youngest winner of the Masters is Tiger Woods, who was old when he won in 1997. In this year Woods also broke the records for the widest winning margin (12 strokes), and the lowest winning score, with 270 (–18). Jack Nicklaus was old when he won in 1986, making him the oldest winner of the Masters. Nicklaus is the record holder for the most top tens, with 22, and the most cuts made, with 37. Gary Player holds the record for most appearances, with 52. Player holds the record for the number of consecutive cuts made, with 23 between 1959 and 1982 (Player did not compete in 1973 due to illness). He shares this record with Fred Couples, who made his consecutive cuts between 1983 and 2007, not competing in 1987 and 1994. Nick Price and Greg Norman share the course record of 63, with their rounds coming in 1986 and 1996 respectively. This score is also a record for all major championships. The highest winning score of 289 (+1) has occurred three times: Sam Snead in 1954, Jack Burke, Jr. in 1956, and Zach Johnson in 2007. Anthony Kim holds the record for most birdies in a round with 11 in 2009 during his second round.

Notes and references

External links




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