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® 2019 we will uncover the story behind them all.
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Something was always going to feel off about the 1984 edition of The Masters®. For starters, the tournament was being played on the third weekend of April instead of the typical scheduling on the second weekend of the fourth month. Through the first two rounds, a rookie in Mark Lye was taking the tournament by the neck and leading after 36 holes. The cherry on top? The third round had to be finished on Sunday morning due to a thunderstorm plaguing Augusta National® on Saturday evening.
So the stage was set for some sort of oddity on the final day of the tournament. Some wacky outcome that would perfectly symbolize a Masters Tournament that was an outlier from the storied event.
But what transpired on Sunday lacked nutiness, or sheer unpredictability. Instead, what took place was the story of a man who stayed vigilant, consistent, and put together one of the tightest finishes on the back nine in a major championship.
Ben Crenshaw, a Texan in every sense of the word, had little luck when it came to major championships before 1984. He had placed as the runner-up in five majors, raising the question of whether he had it in him to reach that next level.
His performance at Augusta National® in 1984 completely changed the narrative of his career.
Crenshaw entered the final day trailing childhood friend Tom Kite by two strokes. But a calm, cool and collective approach to the final 18 holes are what solidified his nickname of "Gentle Ben." It's a moniker given because of his demeanor and personality, but on this fateful Sunday, it was all about his approach to the course.
Nothing epitomizes Crenshaw, who is known as one of the sport's finest putters, than his legendary sinker on the 10th hole. 60-feet from the hole, Crenshaw tapped a putt perfectly into the whole from the 20-yard distance. He self-proclaimed the shot as "preposterous" when reflecting on it later, but that could just be the legendary putter being humble.
The monumental putt was the third birdie in a row for Crenshaw, who was well on the wave to paving his path to a first major championship and Green Jacket. He finished the back nine with two more birdies and one bogey to end his round at 68, earning him a two-stroke victory on golf's biggest stage.
The real question is: what was Crenshaw's secret to such a successful putting game? It may be that his putter had been his reliable steed since he was 15 years old. That's right -- the same putter that sunk a 60-foot shot on the world's biggest stage was the same tool that Crenshaw was using as an adolescent. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Be at Augusta National for The Masters® 2019
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