Brownielocks and The 3 Bears
The Masters Golf Tournament
Masters" was created, the other golf tournaments that existed:
(1) The U.S. Open
(2) The PGA (Professional Golfer's Association)
had never played in the southern United States or what is termed "the deep South." So, in 1934, Bobby Jones, a famous golfer who had come from the South and who had also designed the golf course for the prominent and exclusive Augusta National Golf Club, decided to start a golf tournament in Georgia. This is why The Masters is held the first week of April every year in Augusta, Georgia.
Bobby Jones started this with his best friend, Clifford Roberts who was also the chairman of the Augusta National. He oversaw everything of the tournament for 43 years.
Bobby Jones was so identified with "The Masters" that people flocked just to see him for many years, until he gave up as a competitor himself. But, Bobby is the one who is given credit for setting the standards for the behavior standards of the spectators, that are still printed in the spectator's guides today. He also is the one who set the precident for conducting the now traditional interview with the new winner before presenting him with his Green Jacket (see below for more information).
President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961), often vacationed in Augusta and played golf at their prestigious golf course. However, when he first played golf at the Augusta National Golf Club it was in 1948 and he wasn't even president yet. However, even after becoming the president, he went back there frequently on his vacations, now drawing a crowd. Up until this time, golf had been consider a sport for the elite. But President Eisenhower now made it a sport for the common people.
When thinking of the word "golfer" up until the most recent times with Tiger Woods, the most common name in golf was Arnold Palmer. Mr. Palmer really gave The Masters major publicity with his playing. Then came Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Soon, Palmer, Nicklaus and Player were considered the "Big 3" in golf. From 1943 to 1958, the "Big 3" won 8 of those 9 years. Arnold Palmer won the first Masters Tournament. This decade was considered "the golden age of golf" for many fans.
How You Get To Play in The Masters?
First you have to qualify (much like the Olympics). Qualifying rounds are held on Thursday and Friday (of this 4-day event.) The top 44 finishers (don't ask me how they got that number!) then go on to the final round. Then the top 24 are automatically invited back next year and do not have to requalify.
The Trophy and the Green Jacket
The Green Jacket represents the green of well-kept grass. Over 300 members of the Augusta National Golf Club (who come from all over America) wear blazers of this intense green color. The jackets are NEVER to be removed from the club and are kept there at all times. Not all members work on The Masters tournament. But those that do are known as "The Green Jackets." And just because you have a green jacket doesn't always mean you are a superior golfer. They are just people who love the game of golf and are dedicated to it.
When you win The Masters tournament you get a green jacket also to symbolize your victory. It is also a visual symbol that you are now accepted into the golf elite of the world. The winner is allowed to take his Green Jacket home with him for 12 months, until the next tournament the following year. After that, it's kept in the club.
Golf and Racism
The Augusta National Golf Club remained a white golfer's membership only until September 1990. At that time, the first black member named Ron Townsend was admitted. Ron was the president of Gannett Television Group.
But 20 years earlier, a Mexican-American golfer named Lee Trevino turned down a membership offer to The Augusta National Golf Club and refused to play in the tournament in 1970 and 1971 stating that he felt "uncomfortable in what remained a largely white, southern organization." The PGA has now upgraded their membership rules forbidding discriminatory membership practices.
In 1997, at the age of 21 Tiger Woods won the Masters with a record of 270 strokes for 3 days. He was the first African American to win The Masters, as well as the youngest. Since Tiger's mother is Thai, some also feel he is the first Asian American to win the tournament also, and wear a green blazer.
Tiger Woods also won the Masters again in 2001. So, in 2002, Tiger was trying to set a record by being the only golfer to win The Masters three times in a row. But, his hopes faded right off and he ended up tied for 15th.
A new record set in
Tiger Woods has won again in 2004!
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