The Masters Tournament® has a long-lived legacy as one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments. Starting back in 1934 and progressing on today, Augusta National® has seen many champions walk onto its course.
These Green Jacket Champions are nothing short of legendary and as we count down to The Masters® 2018, we will uncover the story behind them all.
Arnold Palmer, The King of the PGA Tour
Arnold Palmer is one of the most well-known golfers in the sports history. His impact on the game itself has affected many professionals through the years and he was one third of “The Big Three” with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player in the 1960’s. During his career, Palmer won 62 PGA Tour titles between the years of 1955 and 1972 and as of today he is 5th on the Tour’s all-time victory list. He has seven major titles under his belt, won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Less than a week after Palmer’s passing in 2016, his life was celebrated by both teams at the 41st Ryder Cup. The celebration included tributes from both teams, Jack Nicklaus for Team USA and Tony Jacklin for the European team, a moment of silence followed. During the tournament players wore special logos, buttons and pins in his honor.
The Masters®, 1958
During first of four Masters wins, Palmer clinched this title by just one stroke. Going in to the fourth round of the tournament, three players, including Palmer were tied for first. It wasn’t until the 13th hole of the final round where Palmer shot an eagle, which propelled him to victory.
This victory did not come easy to Palmer. On the 12th hole, Palmer believed his tee ball was embedded behind the green and the on-site rules would not lighten up for him. He double-bogeyed this hole, seeing his chances of winning the tournament move further and further away. Palmer then played a second ball from behind the green and was finally given the relief he believes he deserved and made par on the hole. This was the first major to have a five-figure winner’s share!
The Masters®, 1960
The second Masters win for Palmer came down to the last few holes, which he birdied to win by one stroke over the runner-up. During The 24th Masters Tournament, the 36-hole cut was modified to include golfers in the top 40 plus ties OR within 10 strokes of the lead. In previous tournaments, the rule only included the top 40 plus ties. Despite the tournament coming down to the final holes and being so close, Palmer went wire-to-wire, leading all four rounds.
The Masters®, 1962
Arnold Palmer won his third Masters in a three-way playoff. Defending champion, Gary Player and Dow Finsterwald were the other two golfers who participated in the playoff. Palmer shot a 31 on the back nine for a round total of 68, Player shot a 71 and Finsterwold, 77. The playoff came when Palmer double-bogeyed the 10th hole after being five over going in to the final round. During the Monday playoff, Palmer birdied the 16th and 17th hole to clinch his third Masters title!
The Masters®, 1964
The tournament that made Arnold Palmer the first golfer to become a four-time Masters winner. The Masters® , 1964 was Palmer's final major victory, winning by six strokes in the final round. He remained in the lead for the entire tournament, making him a clear winner that year and the rightful owner of the four Masters Tournament titles.
Witness Historic Greatness at The Masters Golf Tournament®, 2018
Friday at The Masters: Being the second day of the tournament with a full roster of players, this is the Players are warmed up from the Thursday round and are giving it all they’ve got. Every golfer on the course is fighting for their spot to play in the weekend rounds and to avoid being cut after Friday’s tournament round. Stakes are high, and the competition is real.
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