Emotion, history and exclusivity are the ingredients of one of the biggest golfing events – The Augusta Master; The first of four major tournaments of the season, and probably the most important, symbolic tournament due to its international fame. Spanish golfers have had particularly good luck with this tournament, being the 3rd ranking country with four victories, only topped by South Africa and the spectacular United States having over 50 victories.
One of the most distinguishable features of the Master is the reward, as well as the fame itself; after 72 shots and 18 holes, the winner takes home 1.6 million dollars, although the monetary reward can in no way compare to the prestigious, symbolic ‘Green Jacket’.
This piece of clothing, has been given to winners of the tournament since 1949, and has been an historical unique prize. Sam Snead was the first winner to don this jacket, and like everybody else since, only wore it for a limited amount of time, as it gets returned to the club waiting for a new owner.
Among the privileged considered kings of the Masters, people are invited to participate in the remaining majors over the next five years, the possibility of playing the famous ” The Players ” or a direct subscription to the PGA Tour, allowing them to participate in this lifetime event, with one of the most coveted awards available from a sporting event.
The Augusta tournament is one of the most eccentric tournaments, being held by an administrative council consisting of 300 anonymous partners, that take care of all aspects of the tournament, such as maintenance of the grass etc.
Each year 200 million spectators watch this event live on CBS, a television channel that ruled by legality, is only allowed to show the game between holes 10 and 18. Broadcasters must adjust both advertising breaks and location of the cameras according to the demands of the club, since its members are the only ones who have the rights to the stated parameters.
There is a lot of history behind the Augusta tournament; the competition was constantly in a state of interrupted development until the Second World War, when it was stinted for 3 years. Decades later, it would make an historical return and witness an historic milestone double, starring Gary Player, South Africa’s first player to overcome this challenge and only player who refused to return the jacket and despite various attempts from the club asking him to, is still held firmly in his grasp.
It was around these dates that US Jack Nicklaus would start his rain of victories, which would finish with him conquering five Masters. Nicklaus is considered one of the outstanding victors of this tournament, when in again in 1966, he revalidated his title in a row.
Ballesteros and Olazabal, The Geniuses of The Augusta Master
Spain has always had a strong presence within the Augusta Master, with famous players such as Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Álvaro Quirós, Sergio García, and Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, even so, only two have managed to make an impact on the American tournament – These being Ballesteros and Olazabal.
Severiano Ballesteros donned the jacket on two occasions, 1980 and 1983, when he surprised everyone with his spectacular control of the game; Jose Maria Olazabal left the public just as shocked when he mastered the tournament in 1994 and 1999.
None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the help of the federation, national tournament or the various golf associations, not forgetting summer golf camps which could be helping the future champions of this tournament right now; the Augusta Master is not just a tournament, it’s the best representation of international golf.