History of the Masters
Founding of the Masters Tournament
After retiring from golf in 1930, legendary competitor Bobby Jones still wanted to be involved in the sport. Teaming with Clifford Roberts, who later became the Chairman of the event and the Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, and course architect Alister MacKenzie, Jones founded what was originally called the Augusta National Tournament. Jones finally got over his fears that the "Masters Tournament" was too pretentious, and the name was changed to that after five years. Jones played in 12 Masters, but his best finish was just 13th.
The first Masters
Horton Smith had 32 PGA Tour victories, but his most notable came at the Masters in 1934, the first year the event was played. Smith won again at Augusta in 1936.
"Shot 'heard round the world"
The 1935 Masters was highlighted by what is known in golf as "the shot heard 'round the world." Gene Sarazen's shot from the fairway on the 15th hole found its mark. The double eagle tied him for the lead and forced a playoff. Sarazen topped Craig Wood by five strokes in the subsequent 36-hole playoff.
1942 battle between Hogan and Nelson
The Masters was cancelled from 1943-1945 due to World War II. Fortunately for golf fans, they still had the memories of the stellar 1942 battle between Byron Nelson (right) and Ben Hogan. Nelson ultimately defeated Hogan in an 18-hole playoff, 69-70.
With his win in 1966, Jack Nicklaus successfully defended his 1965 Masters championship. No golfer prior to that point had been able to win back-to-back titles at Augusta National.
Nicklaus' last title
At the age of 46, Jack Nicklaus claimed his sixth -- and final -- Masters championship. His 1986 title was won by a one-stroke margin, the same margin of victory he enjoyed in 1963 when he captured his first green jacket.
Winning in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 and 1986, Jack Nicklaus has more green jackets than any other golfer in Masters history. Tied for second on that list are Arnold Palmer (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964) and Tiger Woods (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005) with four each.
Four times in Masters history a champion has led from start to finish, a feat accomplished most recently by Raymond Floyd in 1976. Craig Wood (1941), Arnold Palmer (1960) and Jack Nicklaus (1972) also have been wire-to-wire winners.
The four-day scoring record set by Jack Nicklaus in 1965 wasn't challenged for 32 years. Then 21-year-old Tiger Woods cruised to a 12-stroke victory in 1997, shooting a 70, 66, 65 and 69. His 18-under par score smashed the previous record and marked his first major championship win.
Woods at Augusta
The Masters holds some fond memories for Tiger Woods. With his green jacket in 2001, Woods won his fourth consecutive professional major. Holding all four major championships at the same time was then dubbed the "Tiger Slam." In 2002, he became just the third player to win consecutive Masters titles. And in 2005, Woods became the third person to win at least four Masters titles.
Twenty-four aces have been recorded on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National, with Jamie Donaldson (pictured) hitting the most recent hole-in-one on the 177-yard sixth hole.
In 2004, Padraig Harrington (pictured) stepped up to the tee on the 16th and holed his drive with a 6-iron. In the very next group, Kirk Triplett used his 6-iron to get his own hole-in-one. It is the only time in Masters history that there have been aces in consecutive groups.
Lowest 18-hole score
In 1996, Greg Norman (pictured) bested his score of 33 on the front nine with an outstanding back-nine score of 30 to ink his name in the Masters record book. His first-round 63 tied him with Nick Price (who recorded that score in the third round in 1986) for the lowest 18-hole score at Augusta National. Neither Norman nor Price, however, won the Masters those years.
Highest winning score
When Zach Johnson (pictured) earned the right to don the green jacket in 2007, he became the first golfer out of the top 50 in the world rankings to do so. His 1-over 289 finish also tied him with Sam Snead (1954) and Jack Burke Jr. (1956) for the highest winning score at the Masters.
Most career eagles and birdies
Jack Nicklaus has played in 45 Masters Tournaments, winning six titles and finishing in the top 10 22 times. With that kind of longevity, perhaps it's not surprising that he holds the records for the most eagles and birdies converted in a career. Nicklaus has 24 eagles, three of which came on par 4 holes and 21 on par 5 holes, and 506 birdies at Augusta National.
Record number of birdies in a single round
En route to shooting an impressive third-round score of 63, Nick Price sank 10 birdies. That record stands as the most birdies in a single round.
When Phil Mickelson earned his green jacket in 2001, he sank a record 25 birdies over the course of the tournament.
The record for consecutive birdies at the Masters stands at seven and is shared by Steve Pate (pictured) and Tiger Woods. Both of their streaks started on the seventh hole of their third rounds, with Pate hitting his in 1999 and Woods in 2005.
Record number of eagles in a single tournament
Bruce Crampton didn't win the 1974 Masters, but his performance in that tournament did earn him a spot in the Masters record books. He shot a record four eagles during 72 holes of golf. One was on the 13th hole in the first round, two were on the 15th hole (in the third and fourth rounds) and one was on the third hole in the fourth round.
Golfer Charles Coe never turned professional, playing in his 19 Masters starts as an amateur. He holds most of the amateur records at Augusta National, including cuts made (8), top-24 finishes (9), top-10 finishes (3), eagles (6), rounds played (67), best finish (second in 1961) and lowest 72-hole score (281 in 1961).
First time's the charm
Playing in his first Masters in 2001, Toshi Izawa finished with an overall score of 278 (71-66-74-67). It's the best score ever posted by a golfer in his first appearance at Augusta National.
Best score by a senior
At the age of 58 in 1998, Jack Nicklaus shot a 283 (73-72-70-68) at the Masters. Not only did his score earn him a tie for sixth place, but it also marked the lowest 72-hole score by a golfer over the age of 50.
Four golfers -- Arnold Palmer (1960), Sandy Lyle (1988), Mark O'Meara (1998, pictured) and Phil Mickelson (2004) -- have needed birdies on their final putts in regulation to win the Masters. Palmer's and O'Meara's performances late in the final round were even more impressive considering they needed birdies on both the 17th and 18th holes to earn their green jackets.
Best average: 100+ rounds
Among golfers who have played 100 or more rounds of golf at Augusta National, Jack Nicklaus has the best average score. In 163 rounds, with a best score of 64, Nicklaus' average is 71.98.
Making the cut
In the period of time since 1957, when the 36-hole cut was instituted, Jack Nicklaus has the honor of making the most cuts: 37. He made 15 straight cuts from 1968-1982, recording a top-10 finish 10 consecutive years from 1970-1979.
Consistently making the cut
Gary Player (pictured) and Fred Couples are tied for the most consecutive cuts made at the Masters with 23. Player's streak stretched from 1959-1982, and he earned three green jackets and has 15 top 10 finishes during that time. Couples had a chance to take sole possession of the record in 2008 at the Masters, but he shot a 4-over 148 after two rounds and missed the cut by one stroke.
A Masters tradition
From 1955 to 2004, Arnold Palmer (pictured with his wife Winnie) made 50 consecutive starts in the Masters. Twenty-five times he played all 72 holes, and 25 times he played fewer than 72 holes. Palmer won four Masters titles (1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964) during his career.