The Masters is the first of the year’s four majors and, unlike The Open, The US Open and the US PGA Championship, is always held at the same venue – the revered Augusta National in Georgia. First played in 1934, the tournament was conceived by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts as a four-day strokeplay event, as it remains to this day.
The Masters is steeped in tradition, with the winner being presented with a green jacket and the tournament opened with a ceremonial drive from the 1st tee by a past player, typically a former champion. Tickets come in the form of coveted green badges, for which there is a waiting list that was closed in 1978.
In 1935, Gene Sarazen famously holed his second shot at the par-five 15th, on his way to a remarkable victory. The legendary ‘shot heard around the world’ is credited by many as the moment that brought The Masters to worldwide attention.
With six victories, Jack Nicklaus is the most successful player in Masters history, with Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods on four.
In 2005, 70 years after Sarazen’s miracle eagle, Woods produced an iconic moment of his own, when he chipped in from the fringe at the 16th, on his way to a fourth green jacket.
In 2010, Phil Mickelson held off the challenge of England's Lee Westwood to win his third Masters title.
Players must meet one or more of the following criteria to receive an invitation to play at The Masters.
1. Masters Tournament Champions
2. US Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
3. Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
4. US PGA Champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
5. Winners of The Players Championship (three years)
6. Current US Amateur Champion (6-A) (Honorary, non-competing after one year, Runner-up (6-B) to the current US Amateur Champion
7. Current British Amateur Champion (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
8. Current US Amateur Public Links Champion
9. Current US Mid-Amateur Champion
10. The first 16 players, including ties, in the previous year's US Open
11. The first 8 players, including ties, in the previous year's US Open
12. The First 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's US PGA Championship
13. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's Open
14. The 40 leaders on the Final Official PGA Tour Money List for the previous calendar year
15. The 10 leaders on the current year Official PGA Tour Money list published during the week prior to the current Masters
16. The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year.
17. The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters.