In a year unlike any other, it’s time for a sports event unlike any other: the 2020 Masters Tournament. Golf’s grandest Tournament takes place this week, and our sister station CBS 1500 will provide live coverage of the action every day of the event (Thursday through Sunday). Can Tiger Woods repeat the magic he conjured up in 2019 and capture his record-tying sixth green jacket?
Here are 10 interest facts about the Masters:
♦ The Masters Tournament was first played in 1934. The event was founded by golf legend Bobby Jones, who three years earlier purchased an arboretum/plantation for $70,000 and turned it into a golf course, Augusta National. The Masters was originally named the Augusta National Invitational.
♦ The first Masters Tournament was won by Horton Smith, who was one of the leading golfers on the PGA Tour at the time. Known as the “Joplin Ghost,” Smith pocketed $1,500 for his first-place finish. He would also win the event two years later, in 1936.
♦ The tradition of awarding the Masters champion the prestigious “green jacket” first started in 1949. A golfer who wins the tournament multiple times is given the exact same jacket (unless he needs to be refitted for a different size).
♦ Jack Nicklaus was recorded the most Masters victories, claiming the event six times. Tiger Woods, who captured the event in 2019, has won the Masters five times.
♦ In 1961, South Africa’s Gary Player became the first non-American to win the Masters. He beat defending champion Arnold Palmer by a single stroke after Palmer double-bogeyed the final hole.
♦ Ben Hogan, considered one of the greatest golfers of all time, won the Masters twice. However, he is the only golfer to lose the tournament in the playoffs twice.
♦ Woods won his first Masters Tournament at the age of 21. He remains the youngest champion in the event’s history. His overall tournament score of 270 (18 under par) broke the tournament record that had stood for 72 years. His 12-shot victory margin set yet another record.
♦ Tom Kite has the distinction of being the only golfer to finish as the runner-up to both Jack Nicklaus (1986) and Tiger Woods (1997).
♦ The popular phrase used to describe the tournament, “A Tradition Unlike Any Other,” was originally coined by CBS television announcer Jim Nantz. Augusta National has since trademarked the phrase.
♦ Jordan Spieth is the last Masters champion to lead the event wire to wire. He achieved this feat in 2015. Prior to that, the last golfer to do it was Raymond Floyd in 1976.
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