How the Masters became golf’s major event

Evin Priest
(Australian Associated Press)



Australians in the field:

Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and 2013 winner Adam Scott

Size of the field:


Prize money:

The purse is announced after the event. The total 2018 purse was $US11 million, with the winner pocketing $US1.98 million; second place $1.188 million; third place $US748,000; fourth place $US 528,000 and; fifth place $US440,000.

When was the first Masters?

The first Masters was held in 1934 as a concept of celebrated amateur golfer Bobby Jones and investment dealer Clifford Roberts, who co-founded Augusta National Golf Club in 1933. The inaugural event was won by Horton Smith

How have Australians performed at the Masters?

Adam Scott was the first and still the only Australian to win the Masters when he triumphed in 2013. Runner-ups include 1950 – Jim Ferrier (Australian-born US citizen); 1972 (Bruce Crampton, tied second); 1980 – Jack Newton (tied second); 1986 – Greg Norman (tied second); 1987 – Norman (tied second); 1996 – Norman (solo second); 2011 – Jason Day and Scott (tied second)

Where did the Masters get its name?

It was originally called the ‘Augusta National Invitation Tournament’ but Roberts suggested the tournament reference to the “masters of golf” who competed in it and it was renamed in 1939

How did it become a major championship?

Although it has an elite field, the Masters isn’t the pinnacle of any one tour or organisation, like the other three majors – the US Open, British Open and the US PGA Championship. Popular opinion among golf writers determined the composition of the current four majors. The Masters derived its popularity from Jones – a star American athlete in the 1920s and ’30s who made history when he won the open and amateur championships in the US and the UK in 1930

Why does the winner get a green jacket?

Augusta National members began wearing green sports jackets in 1937 so they could be recognised if fans had questions about the tournament. The tradition was expanded to winners being presented with green jackets in 1949.

Who are the highest-profile Augusta National members?

Augusta never comments on its membership but reported members include Microsoft chairman Bill Gates; US former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett; oil baron T. Boone Pickens and six-time Masters winner Jack Nicklaus

Who designed the course?

Augusta National’s original architect was Alister MacKenzie, whose Australian work includes the West Course at Royal Melbourne, New South Wales Golf Club and Royal Adelaide Golf Club. MacKenzie died in January 1934, after the construction work had been finished but before Augusta National was fully covered with grass.

What are the most popular names seen during the Masters?

‘Amen Corner’ relates to holes 11, 12 and 13; ‘Magnolia Lane’ is the driveway leading from Washington Road entrance to the Augusta National’s clubhouse and is lined by 60 magnolia trees planted in the 1850s; ‘Rae’s Creek’ is a stream that comes into play on the 12th and 13th holes and is named after former property owner John Rae, who died in 1789; the ‘Butler Cabin’, built in 1964, is where the winner conducts his interview with CBS and is first presented with the coveted green jacket by the previous Masters champion.


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