Originally called the ‘Augusta National Invitational’, the Masters has become one of the events that golf fans all across the world look forward to. Not only is the tournament held at one of the world’s top golfing venues, Augusta, but the competition is also the most unpredictable of all the majors. Since 2007, there have been 11 different winners from six different nations.
The 2019 Masters promises to be another fascinating tournament, with the likes of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy all looking to acquaint or re-acquaint themselves with the green jacket. With this year’s event almost upon us, here are some stats, facts and records that you should know:
Who has the most wins at the Masters?
The famous Jack Nicklaus won the Masters no fewer than six times during a venerated career spanning more than 20 years. He first won the competition in 1966 and would win it exactly 20 years later when, at the age of 46 years, 2 months and 23 days, he became the oldest player to ever taste victory at the tournament.
How have the top players fared at the Augusta National?
Amazingly, as we head into the 83rd edition of the competition, none of the 11 current top players in the world have won the Augusta National. The highest-ranked player to have been victorious in the competition is 43-year-old Tiger Woods, currently ranked at 12.
Rory McIlroy comes into this one as the favorite, currently at a best price of +750 to win, with Woods himself also quite fancied at +1800. The reigning champion Patrick Reed will be looking to defend his title at +8000.
Who is the youngest winner of the Masters?
In 1997, Tiger Woods became a world sensation by becoming the youngest player to ever win the Masters. Woods was just 21 years, 3 months and 14 days old when he picked up his first green jacket. He has won the competition three times since then (2001, 2002 and 2005) and heads into this year’s tournament in good form.
What is the history of the Green Jacket?
The Masters is famous for the Green Jacket handed out to the winner. Members of the Augusta National first started wearing the garments in 1937, which were purchased from New York’s Brooks Uniform Co. It wasn’t until 1949, however, when tournament winner Sam Snead was given one, starting a tradition that continues to this day.
The player gets to keep the Jacket for one year and returns it thereafter. A multiple-time champion only has one green jacket unless their size changes dramatically.
What is Augusta's link with plant life?
The course was originally a plant nursery known as Fruitland Nurseries, until it was purchased by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts for $70,000. The 365-acre-plot golf course was designed by Jones and Alistair Mackenzie of Scotland. Construction began in 1931 and the course was formally opened in January 1933.
Each hole is named after the plant that adorns it. Hole number 3, for example, is named ‘Flowering Crab Apple’.
There are many different species of tree present across the course, with the pine being the most abundant. ‘The big oak tree’ on the golf course side of the clubhouse was planted in the 1850s and is between 140 and 150-years-old. The road up to the clubhouse is lined on both sides with 61 large magnolia trees.
How many bridges does Augusta have?
The course has three dedicated bridges, each named in honour of a player from the past. Sarazen Bridge at hole 15 was named to commemorate Gene Sarazen’s double eagle there in 1937. The bridge at the number 13 tee, Nelson Bridge, is named after Byron Nelson for his performance at hole 12 and 13 of the 1937 Masters. There is also a bridge to the green at hole 12 named Hogan Bridge in honour of Ben Hogan’s then record score of 274 at the 1953 Masters.
What are some of the records held at the Masters?
The lowest winning score came at the Masters 1997, when Tiger Woods won by 12 strokes with a score of 270 (-18). In 2015, Jordan Spieth equalled that record, while the highest score ever to win came in 1954, when Sam Snead shot to victory with a 289 (+1). The course record of 63 is jointly held by Nick Price and Gregg Norman in 1986 and 1996, respectively.
The youngest player to ever make the cut at the tournament was Chinese golfer Guan Tianlang, who qualified for the last three days at the age of 14 years, 168 days old in 2013. The players to make the most consecutive cuts are Gary Player and Fred Couples (23). Player holds the record for most appearances with 52.
Now you are equipped with the facts, all you have to do now is sit back and enjoy the 2019 Masters.