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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It takes a certain type of person to pick up the nickname "The Walrus," but Craig Sadler happily fills that role. Born in San Diego, California in 1953, Sadler started golfing at four-years old and quickly proved that he had a future in the game. He first made his name by winning the 1973 U.S. Amateur while he was a student at the University of Southern California.
After turning professional in 1976, Stadler saw his first tour success when he won two PGA Tour events in 1980. He put his name on the map in 1982, winning The Masters, his only career major championship, along with three other PGA Tour wins. Stadler won a total of 13 events by the time he hung up his clubs on the PGA Tour, and in 2003 he became the first player in 28 years to win a PGA Tour event at the age of 50 or older.
As for The Walrus nickname? Well, just look at that mustache.
The Masters®, 1982
For most champions of The Masters Golf Tournament®, the Green Jacket is won due to a clutch performance on the final day. However, that wasn't the case for Craig Stadler. The Walrus started the tournament off with a dud, shooting a 75 on the first round. He tightened up the next two days, though, scoring a 69 and 67 on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
With a three-stroke lead heading into the final day of the tournament, Stadler bottled the back nine to finish the round with a 73. That unimpressive performance allowed Dan Pohl to storm back in the final few holes to force a playoff after both men finished at four-under.
While the stakes were at the game's highest -- a Green Jacket on the line -- the sudden death playoff lacked palpable drama. Stadler shot for par on the first sudden death hole, while Pohl missed a six foot put for par to hand the victory to Stadler.
In just four strokes, Stalder had won the shortest playoff in The Masters history.
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