The Masters Starts on Thursday – Who Will Win The Coveted Green Jacket?

Usually, The Masters tournament is the first Major golf tournament of the year, taking place around early to mid April in the Georgian spring. However, this year, the event was postponed in April and was moved instead to mid-November and now the tournament is almost ready to get underway.

There is no doubt that the Masters is one of the most important sporting events in the world each year and is widely regarded as the pinnacle of golfing achievement alongside the other three Majors. As such, it is a huge event for golf and sports fans alike and always attracts plenty of keen betting from enthusiasts.

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Let’s now take a look ahead to the Masters this week with a look at some of the more unusual traditions of this unique Major championship, including a look at some of the event’s past winners, its history and the course itself.

The Masters – A Brief History

The Masters was first competed for in 1934 at Augusta National and the inaugural tournament was won by Horton Smith, who landed two Green Jackets in his career. For many years, the tournament was generally an all-American affair, with he first non-American winner coming in 1961 in the shape of South African legend Gary Player.

Player won three Masters tournaments but it was 1980 until another non-American won the event, Severiano Ballesteros and his win ushered in a more cosmopolitan era in the event with winners from Australia, South Africa, England, Wales, Scotland, Fiji and Canada now added to the vast majority of American victors.

Jack Nicklaus holds the record for Masters wins with six, one ahead of Tiger Woods who has five and then Arnold Palmer with four. A glut of golfers have three wins to their name, Gary Player, Jay Demaret, Nick Faldo, Sam Snead and Phil Mickelson. A number of players have won twice too including Bubba Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Jose-Maria Olazabal, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Tom Watson, Ben Crensaw and Horton Smith.

The current champion is Tiger Woods.

The Masters – Augusta National

Augusta National was built on the site of a former plant nursery and in recognition of that fact, its famous holes are named after the different trees, flowers and shrubs that now adorn the course, or were grown in the nursery back then.

Located in Augusta, Georgia, the course is home to one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world and it was designed by Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie. Noe expanded from that original design, the course now plays at 7,768 yards for the Masters and the course record is 63, jointly held by South African Nick Price and Australian Greg Norman who achieved the feat in 1986 and 1996 respectively.

Some of the most famous holes are the Par 3 12th at Amen Corner, Golden Bell, the 13th par 5 Azalea and the long par four fifth hole Magnolia. The course is now par 72.

The Masters – Traditions

The Masters is also home to a number of unusual traditions.

  • Each tournament the defending champion will host their own Champions Dinner, where they get to select the menu. Only past Champions of the tournament are invited to attend the event.
  • Caddies are required to wear white jumpsuits not just for the tournament, but for the whole year round when working at the course.
  • One particular iconic part of the course was the Eisenhower Tree, which was located on the 17th hole and so named because President Dwight D Eisenhower hit the tree so often he proposed it was cut down. His request was denied in 1956, but in 2014 an ice storm caused extensive damage to the tree which was then removed.
  • Guest golfers are invited to play the first shots of the tournament. This usually features a number of famous ex-golfers, such as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and the late Arnold Palmer.
  • The bunkers at the Masters are not filled with sand but with a similar, whiter-coloured material from feldspar mines in North Carolina.
  • Any spectators that attend are called “patrons” and commentary teams on radio and television are obliged to follow this directive.
  • Masters winners are gifted a Green Jacket, but do not automatically become members of the club.

The Masters – Which Players Stand a Great Chance to Win in 2020?

My pick for the player to back to win The Masters this week is the American former world number one, Justin Thomas. The big-hitting American is already a Major Champion and he has been one of the most consistent players in the world but his Masters performances have been poor so far, only managing a best tied 12th finish in 2019. With solid form in 2020 and long overdue a good performance at Augusta I feel at 11/1 he offers good outright odds.

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