Next Thursday sees the start of the first major golf tournament of the year, as The Masters gets underway.
This will be the 80th edition of the tournament, which is the only event of the majors that never moves course – the par 72 Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
Last year’s Champion was American Jordan Spieth, who by triumphing in Augusta picked up his first major title (he actually won his second at the very next event (the U.S. Open)). He started the first day with a superb 8 under round, and never looked back, leading the next three days and finishing on -18, which was 4 shots clear of his nearest challenger.
It is the one event on the calendar that has never been kind to the British players, with only 3 British Champions in the history if the tournament; Sandy Lyle (1988), Ian Woosnam (1991), and Nick Faldo with the last of his 3 victories coming in 1996.
It should be noted that an Irishman never won the tournament, which is surprising considering how well the likes of Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, and Rory McLlroy have done in majors in recent years.
The Masters has the smallest field out of the major championships, and unlike the others there are no qualifying tournaments. It is an invitational event, with invitations largely issued on an automatic basis to players who meet published criteria.
The good thing about being invited to play The Masters is that you are guaranteed $10,000 even if you finish last. Prize money increases with every higher finishing position (out of a prize pot that stands at $10 million), with the winner of the tournament will picking up a cool $1.8 million, as well as the iconic green jacket, which tradition dictates is presented by the previous year’s winner, the trophy, and bizarrely gets to select the menu for the Champions Dinner the next year.
The holes of the Masters course.
1. Tea Olive 445 yards Par 4
2. Pink Dogwood 575 yards Par 5
3. Flowering Peach 350 yards Par 4
4. Flowering Crab Apple 240 yards Par 3
5. Magnolia 455 yards Par 4
6. Juniper 180 yards Par 3
7. Pampas 450 yards Par 4
8. Yellow Jasmine 570 yards Par 5
9. Carolina Cherry 460 yards Par 4
10. Camellia 495 yards Par 4
11. White Dogwood 505 yards Par 4
12. Golden Bell 155 yards Par 3
13. Azalea 510 yards Par 5
14. Chinese Fir 440 yards Par 4
15. Firethorn 530 yards Par 5
16. Redbud 170 yards Par 3
17. Nandina 440 yards Par 4
18. Holly 465 yards Par 4
Total yards = 7435 Par 72
For further information please check out the official site here.