It’s a tradition unlike any other, and it’s right around the (Amen) corner.
Your friends here at Golfweek couldn’t be more excited about the 2019 Masters.
This year’s field is loaded with the likes of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas and so many more.
So in order to help get you in the right state of mind before Tiger Woods and company stroll down Magnolia Lane and tee it up at Augusta National Golf Club, we went through every Masters tournament and picked out one notable piece of information.
We’ll start with the inaugural tournament:
The first Masters was officially known as the “Augusta National Invitation Tournament” for the first five years. Host and co-founder Bobby Jones finished T-13. The tournament purse was $5,000, with the winner Horton Smith taking home $1,500.
The nines at Augusta switched to their present order, with the finishing hole at “Holly.” In the final round, Gene Sarazen holed a double eagle (235 yards, 4 wood) to tie Craig Wood and force a 36-hole playoff. You might know that second shot at “Firethorn,” the par-5 15th hole, as the “shot heard ’round the world.” Sarazen went on to win the Monday playoff.
For the second year in a row, the Masters (still officially Augusta National Invitation Tournament) was decided with 36 holes on Monday, but not because of a playoff. Heavy rains postponed the first round until Friday. Sunday’s play was also postponed, leaving the third and fourth rounds to be played on Monday. Horton Smith won his second Masters.
Byron Nelson opened with a 6-under 66, but a Saturday 75 dropped him to a tie for third. On the back nine on Sunday, Nelson gained six strokes on leader Ralph Guldahl over two holes and won. Nelson played Nos. 12 and 13 birdie-eagle, and in 1958, the bridge near the 13th tee was dedicated as The Nelson Bridge.
The great Ben Hogan makes his Masters debut, finishing T-25. For the second and final time, tournament host Bobby Jones finished in the top 20.
Guldahl, who finished runner-up the previous two years, claimed his only Masters title with a tournament record 9-under par, besting runner-up Sam Snead by a stroke. Guldahl’s -9 record stood until Hogan’s 14-under performance in 1953.
Jimmy Demaret made history with an opening-round 8-under 64, a course record, en route to the first of his three Masters titles. Demaret’s 64 stood for 46 years until Nick Price shot 63 in 1986.
Craig Wood became the first wire-to-wire Masters champion. To date, there have been five wire-to-wire winners: Wood (1941), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Raymond Floyd (1976) and Jordan Spieth (2015).
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Byron Nelson (1937 champion) defeated Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff by one stroke that was refereed by tournament host Bobby Jones.
The Masters returned in 1946 after a four-year hiatus due to World War II. The $10,000 purse doubled the 1942 winnings, with the winner taking home $2,500, up $1,000 from the previous tournament.
1940 champion Jimmy Demaret became the first player to shoot four sub-par rounds in the same Masters while amateur Frank Stranahan finished runner-up.
Tournament host Bobby Jones makes his final appearance as a player at the Masters.
1949 marked the first year of the green jacket being awarded to the tournament winner. The nine winners of the first 12 tournaments also received their green jackets.
Thanks to third-round leader Jim Ferrier bogeying five of the final six holes, Jimmy Demaret became the first three-time Masters champion.
A 38-year-old Ben Hogan won the first of his two Masters titles. Hogan had eight top-10 finishes at the Masters, twice as runner-up in 1942 and 1946 before claiming victory.
Defending champion Ben Hogan hosted the first-ever Masters Club dinner, popularly known now as the Champions dinner held Tuesday night of tournament week.
Hogan put on a legendary performance, breaking the Masters scoring record by five strokes with a 14-under. The historic win was later commemorated in 1958 with the dedication of the Hogan Bridge over Rae’s Creek at No. 12.
At 1-over par, Sam Snead won the green jacket. It remains the highest winning total in Masters history, and was tied by Jack Burke, Jr. in 1956 and Zach Johnson in 2007.
The Sarazen Bridge on the left side of the 15th green was dedicated on Wednesday of Masters week to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of Gene Sarazen’s “Shot heard ’round the world” double-eagle in 1935.
CBS televised the third and final rounds of the Masters for the first time in 1956. The network has done so every year since.
The first Masters played with a 36-hole cut. There were 101 players who comprised the tournament field at the start, and just 40 made the cut at 6-over par.
Arnold Palmer won his first Masters title in 1958. More importantly, Sports Illustrated‘s Herbert Warren Wind used the term “Amen Corner” for the first time to describe the second shot at No. 11, all of No. 12 and the first two shots at No. 13.
Jack Nicklaus made his Masters debut at 19 years old, missing the cut by just one stroke. The Golden Bear would go on to play in 45 Masters and win a record six green jackets.
Arnold Palmer birdied the final two holes to become the tournament’s second wire-to-wire winner. The Par 3 contest was also introduced in 1960, with three-time Masters champion Sam Snead winning at 4-under par.
Despite the fact that ten players had already completed their rounds, heavy rains flooded several greens on Sunday and final round scores were erased. On Monday, Gary Player became the first international Masters champion by besting Arnold Palmer and amateur Charles Coe by one stroke for his first title.
It took a three-way playoff, but Arnold Palmer was able to win the third of his four Masters titles in 1962. With near misses in 1959 and 1961, Palmer said 1962 could have been his fifth consecutive title at Augusta.
The 1963 Masters was the end of one era and the start of another. Jack Nicklaus won the first of his record six green jackets at 23 years old, but it was also the final appearance of inaugural champion Horton Smith. Smith was the only player to participate in every tournament, even after having a lung removed in 1957. Aided by a golf cart and battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Smith shot 91-86 at Augusta before passing away six months later in Detroit at 55.
Arnold Palmer ran away with the title in 1964 to become the first four-time winner. Palmer was later joined by fellow four-time winners Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Speaking of the Golden Bear …
Golf’s “Big Three” of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player were all tied for the lead after 36 holes, but an 8-under Saturday 64 from Nicklaus pulled him ahead en route to his second Masters title at 25 years old. His 17-under was a tournament record. Said Bobby Jones of Nicklaus’ historic performance: “He plays a game with which I am not familiar.”
Jack Nicklaus became the first player to defend his Masters title in 1966, but did so with a heavy heart. While on their way to Augusta, a close friend died in a plane crash in Tennessee the night before the tournament began. Despite hearing the news late Wednesday night, Nicklaus was able to compose himself enough to shoot an opening-round 68.
Gay Brewer rebounded from a 1966 playoff loss to win his only major title in 1967, while two-time defending champion Jack Nicklaus missed the cut and became the first defending champion not to make the weekend cut.
It seemed as if Bob Goalby and Roberto De Vicenzo would be heading for an 18-hole Monday playoff in 1968 had it not been for an incorrect scorecard. De Vicenzo birdied the par-4 17 th hole, but his playing partner, Tommy Aaron, marked him down for a four. USGA rules said the higher score must stand, giving Goalby his first and only major title. Ironically enough, Goalby discovered a scoring error for his playing partner Raymond Floyd, but he caught the mistake in the scorer’s tent.
It was the first time in Masters history that no former champions finished in the top 20. The best were Jack Burke, Jr. and Jack Nicklaus at T-24.
In the last 18-hole playoff at the Masters, Billy Casper defeated Gene Littler to win his third major title.
The Masters is famously known as the men’s first major championship of the year. That wasn’t the case in 1971, as the PGA Championship was played in Florida, in February, and won by Jack Nicklaus.
The first Masters played without tournament founder and host Bobby Jones, who died at 69 years old in December 1971. On a more pleasant note, CBS commentator Jack Whitaker returned to the broadcast after a five year hiatus for referring to the gallery as a “mob” in 1966.
Before Tommy Aaron’s 1973 win, the 36-year-old was known as the player who goofed on Roberto De Vicenzo’s scorecard in 1968, keeping him out of a playoff. Ready for some more irony? Johnny Miller messed up a score on Aaron’s scorecard in the final round, but he caught the mistake and left Augusta with the Green Jacket.
After missing the 1973 tournament due to surgery, Gary Player bounced back to win his second of three Masters titles.
Lee Elder became the first African-American to compete at the Masters. He missed the cut.
Raymond Floyd was the Masters’ fourth wire-to-wire winner with his eight stroke besting of runner-up Ben Crenshaw.
Tom Watson had been known for choking in the final round of tournaments early in his career, but the 27-year-old squashed that thought in 1977 with his first of two green jackets, besting runner-up Jack Nicklaus by two strokes. It was just one of the 19 times that Nicklaus, the 18-time major champion, finished runner-up at a major.
Thanks to a casual Sunday 8-under 64, Gary Player overcame a seven-shot final round deficit to win his third Masters.
In the first sudden-death playoff at the Masters, Fuzzy Zoeller won his only Masters title with a birdie on the playoff’s second hole.
For the first time in five years, 40-year-old Jack Nicklaus and 50-year-old Arnold Palmer were paired together on Sunday. Despite being so far back in the field, the pairing brought a large gallery. Oh, and some 23-year-old Spaniard by the name of Seve Ballesteros was the first European champion.
In the first Masters with bentgrass greens – formerly Bermuda and ryegrass – Tom Watson won his second green jacket by two strokes over Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller.
Inclement weather in the opening two rounds led to a 10-over par cut, the highest-ever weekend cutline at the Masters.
This was the first year that players were allowed to use their own caddies and weren’t required to use Augusta National club caddies.
For the second time in a row as the defending champion Seve Ballesteros missed the cut at the Masters. Ballesteros received a two-stroke penalty on Friday for grounding his club in a water hazard, ultimately missing the cut by one stroke.
Bernhard Langer caught fire in his Sunday red (yes, well before Tiger Woods), birdieing four of his last seven holes to win the first of his two Masters titles.
Jack Nicklaus claimed his record 18th major title (sixth Masters) at 46 years old to become Augusta’s oldest winner. Compared to 23 years prior, his winning take was $144,000, or seven times what he won for his first title.
Greg Norman missed a birdie putt on the final hole for the win and entered a playoff with Seve Ballesteros and Augusta native Larry Mize. After Ballesteros was eliminated on the first playoff hole, Mize chipped in for birdie, stunning Norman in what was one of many bad breaks for the Australian.
Scotland’s Sandy Lyle became the first Masters champion from the United Kingdom.
Nick Faldo won the first of three Masters titles, and continued a trend of UK Masters champions. Faldo was the first Englishman.
Back-to-back titles for Faldo meant the third consecutive UK champion. Faldo bested 1976 champion Raymond Floyd on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.
A 20-year-old lefty named Phil Mickelson, a junior at Arizona State, was the low amateur at 2-over par, tying for 46 th place. Oh, and Ian Woosnam won his only major title, continuing the streak of UK Masters champions to four years.
The five-year run of Masters tournaments without a U.S. winner ended with Fred Couples in 1992.
Bernhard Langer won his second green jacket in 1993, clearing runner-up Chip Beck by four strokes.
José María Olazábal became the sixth European Masters winner in seven years with his two-stroke victory in 1994 (the first of his two Masters titles).
Welcome to Augusta National, Tiger Woods. The 19-year-old Stanford freshman, and winner of the 1994 U.S. Amateur, finished T-41.
Misfortune for Greg Norman struck again as Nick Faldo overcame a six-stroke deficit in the final round. Norman led after each of the first three rounds, and even held a four-shot lead through seven on Sunday … until he lost five shots on as many holes.
Tiger Woods demolished the field with a 12-stroke victory to become the youngest Masters champion and win his first major title. Tiger’s 18-under is still a tournament record.
Mark O’Meara birdied three of his final four holes on Sunday, including a 20-footer on No. 18, to win his first major championship. At 58, Jack Nicklaus finished T-6. At 58.
Another Masters, another back-nine disappointment for Greg Norman. This year’s benefactor? José María Olazábal.
Vijay Singh won his only Masters, three strokes ahead of Ernie Els. Singh’s playing partner, David Duval, took shot after shot but couldn’t close the deal. At the par-5 13 th hole, Singh reached the green in two while Duval found the water. Then in second, Duval was making his charge, but that two-shot swing gave Singh a three-shot lead and he never looked back.
Tiger Woods completed his “Tiger Slam” at Augusta National in 2001. At the time, Woods held all four major titles (U.S. Open, Open Championship, and PGA Championship in 2000).
Tiger Woods completed just the third title defense in Masters history with a 12-under win, three strokes clear of Retief Goosen. Jack Nicklaus defended his title in 1966, as did Nick Faldo in 1990.
Mike Weir became the first Canadian and left-handed player to win the Masters in 2003.
Thanks to a birdie on No. 18, Phil Mickelson won his first major championship. Arnold Palmer made his 50th consecutive and final Masters appearance.
Tiger Woods won his fourth Masters as Augusta National said goodbye to three former champions: Tommy Aaron, Billy Casper and six-time champion Jack Nicklaus.
Before the 2006 Masters, Augusta National was lengthened by 155 yards. Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo makes his final appearance.
High scores due to low temperatures and wind gave Zach Johnson his first major title, two strokes clear of Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini and Tiger Woods. As previously mentioned, the 1-over winning mark tied for the highest winning score ever at Augusta.
Four players hit a hole-in-one at 2008’s Par 3 Contest: Paul Azinger, Charles Coody, Fred Couples and Wayne Grady.
Gary Player makes his final Masters appearance as Ángel Cabrera became the first Masters champion from Argentina and South America.
Phil Mickelson shot a bogey-free final round 67 to win his third Masters and fourth major title, three shots ahead of runner-up Lee Westwood.
Eight players had at least a share of the lead in the final round in 2011, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. McIlroy entered Sunday with a four stroke lead, but shot 80 to finish 10 strokes behind Charl Schwartzel, who won thanks to birdies on his final four holes.
Gary Player joined Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer as an honorary starter, which made for some incredible moments for the next few years.
Despite getting a penalty stroke for slow play, 14-year-old Guan Tianlang was the low amateur player and made the cut playing in his first Masters.
The 2014 Masters featured 19 past champions in the field, and nine past champions made the cut, including five seniors: Vijay Singh (51), Fred Couples (54), Larry Mize (55), Bernhard Langer (56) and Sandy Lyle (56).
Leading wire-to-wire and tying the record at 18-under par, Jordan Spieth won his first major title. The 21-year-old Texas was four strokes clear of Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose.
Jordan Spieth’s epic collapse on the back nine on Sunday. The defending champion had a five-shot lead at the turn, but dropped six strokes through the next three holes. He quadruple-bogeyed No. 12 after hitting two balls into Rae’s Creek.
Sergio Garcia played in 74 majors before 2017. He had 22 top-ten finishes, three at Augusta, before he finally claimed victory over Justin Rose in a playoff.
Tom Watson won the Par 3 Contest, but all eyes were on Tony Finau’s hole-in-one and almost tragic celebration. Finau went on to tie for 10th in the main event.