The first major of the year is finally upon us. Is anyone as excited as me? It’s April and it’s spring so that means it’s The Masters. One of the most prestigious and highly respected events on the planet is taking center stage from April 11th thru the 14th at Augusta National. The course was founded in part by the best amateur to ever play the game, Bobby Jones. Since its inception the Masters has been a landmark in the golfing world.
When the players tee off at Augusta National they will be playing a 7,435 yard course to a par of 72. There are many points during the round where the professionals can misstep and lose a shot or two but all will be focusing on “Amen Corner” (dubbed such in the 1958 edition of the Masters by Herbert Warren Wind in a Sports Illustrated article). “Amen Corner” refers to the 11th, 12th and 13th holes on the famed course. Much of the television coverage will focus here.
The 11th (White Dogwood) is a par four that plays 505 yards. A left-to-right downhill tee shot is key to this hole. In 1987 Larry Mize chipped in here during a playoff to defeat Greg Norman. The 12th (Golden Bell) is a par three that plays 155 yards. This is a short but challenging hole due to Rae’s Creek and often challenging winds. Navigation of this hole is crucial to Masters success but players should enjoy the walk over Hogan’s bridge. The 13th (Azalea) is a par five that plays 510 yards. If players can navigate the dogleg left off the tee they can challenge the green in two but need to make sure they clear Rae’s Creek. An incredible shot out of the trees here by Phil Mickelson in 2010 propelled him to victory.
YouTube Video Courtesy of itubeutude
If you can imagine a name that represents golf greatness they have played and some have won the Masters. Jack Nicklaus has won a record six green jackets while Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods are tied for second with four career Masters victories. Sam Snead, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Phil Mickelson and Ben Crenshaw have all won this event multiple times. Winning the Masters is like “getting the key to a golf city” and anyone that has ever played the game imagines what winning at Augusta National would be like. I spent some time breaking down my Top-10 Master Moments in a previous article but if you want to relive some great Masters Moments there is Tiger’s Chip in at 16 in the 2005 Masters and a couple other memorable shots to jog your memory:
Bubba Watson 2012:
YouTube Video Courtesy of pgatour
Larry Mize 1987:
YouTube Video Courtesy of golf365247
But who is going to win the 2013 edition of the Masters? Will Tiger win his fifth green jacket, Phil his fourth, will Rory win his first? Will a youngster have their moment in the sun or possibly a veteran finally break through? Let’s look at five logical win choices this week at Augusta National.
Up Next: The Contenders