April 8th, 2013 by Matt Keller
The Masters is right around the corner. Check out our preview for some insight into who will take home the green jacket.
Augusta National Golf Club
Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, GA, was founded in 1933 by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. The course was designed by Alister MacKenzie. McKenzie died shortly after the completion of the course. Augusta National has hosted one of the most prestigious events in golf since 1934, The Masters Tournament. Augusta National’s immaculate condition and picturesque scenery make it one of the most famous facilities in the world.
Favorites to Win the 2013 Masters
As usual, there is a very interesting storyline heading into the 2013 Masters Tournament: who is the favorite to win the 2013 Masters? A few players stand out, first beginning with the current No. 1 ranked player in the world, Rory McIlroy. McIlroy has severely struggled since switching to Nike, yet he stands with 8/1 odds of wearing the green jacket at the conclusion of Sunday’s round. With 3 green jackets, Phil Mickelson is always a safe pick and currently holds a 12/1 odds of earning a fourth green jacket. Although he has played inconsistently thus far, he nearly shot a 59 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Brandt Snedeker, arguably the hottest player in the world, sits at 15/1 odds of earning his first major victory. Snedeker won the AT&T and earned four top 3 finishes so far in 2013. Ironically, Tiger Woods is the odds on favorite to earn his fifth green jacket at this year’s Masters with 5/1 odds. While Tiger is always a safe bet, don’t be surprised to see one of the talented European Tour players win the 2013 Masters. Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oozthuizen, Justin Rose, and Charl Schwartzel all sit with 25/1 odds, while defending 2012 Champion Bubba Watson is at 30/1 odds of defending his championship.
Augusta National is filled with a rich history and tradition. The private club holds approximately 300 members. The only way to join Augusta National is by invitation. When members are on the property, they wear a green jacket. The winner of the Masters Tournament receives a green jacket and becomes an honorary member.
While women were allowed to play the course, Augusta National was traditionally known as a facility that prohibited female members. However, that changed in August 2012 when Augusta National accepted its first two women members, Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State, and Darla Moore, a South Carolina businesswoman. The restrictive membership policies did not allow a black member until 1990.
The Masters Tournament
Augusta National Golf Club annually hosts the Masters Tournament. Arguably the most prestigious tournament in the world, it is the only major golf championship that does not rotate between different facilities.
There are a number of different ways to earn an invitation to participate in the Masters. Two of the most popular methods include the top 50 players of the final Official World Golf Ranking and top 30 players on the final PGA Tour Money List. If you win a PGA event from the time the previous Masters Tournament ended, you earn a spot. And when you win the Masters Tournament, you earn a lifetime invitation.
Past champions and some board members attend a champions dinner held the Tuesday before the tournament. The previous year’s champion selects the menu. Often a past champion starts the tournament with an honorary tee shot. Players receive many different awards for accomplishments throughout the tournament, such as the daily lowest score, hole-in-one, eagle and a double eagle. In addition, there is a par 3 tournament held the day before the tournament begins.
Jack Nicklaus holds the record for the most Masters victories with six. Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer have each earned four Masters championships.
Augusta National plays to a par 72 and stretches to 7,435 yards from the championship tees. The USGA has never officially rated the course slope and rating. Each hole on the course is named after a tree or shrub. There have been over a dozen renovations that have changed the original design of the course. The course is known for its many landmarks, such as the big oak tree, Rae’s Creek, Ike’s Pond and the Eisenhower Tree. The difficult stretch of the 11th, 12th and 13th holes on the course are known as Amen Corner. Many tournaments have been lost on this difficult stretch of holes.
For more on The Masters see our infographic: Mastering The Masters.