The opening major of the season and where better to start than Augusta for the 2017 Masters?
A brief history of the Masters…
Augusta National was founded by the legendary Bobby Jones after he retired. Upon seeing the land, he reportedly said: “Perfect! And to think this ground has been lying here all these years waiting for someone to come along and lay a golf course upon it.”
He hired course designer Alister MacKenzie and work began in 1931. The course formally opened in 1933, but MacKenzie died before the first Masters Tournament was played in 1934.
The field of players at the Masters is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, but there is a set of qualifying criteria that determines who is included in the field.
The winner of each Masters receives an iconic green jacket and it is presented to them by last year’s champion. Each year, the defending champion hosts a dinner for all other previous winners for which they set the menu.
Jack Nicklaus has won the most Masters with six, while Nick Price and Greg Norman share the course record of 63, shot in in 1986 and 1996 respectively. This is also a record for all men’s major championships.
When is the 2017 Masters?
This next instalment will take place from Thursday April 6 to Sunday April 9.
The tournament proper will be preceded, as is tradition, by Par 3 Contest on the Wednesday.
How can I watch the 2017 Masters?
If you were thinking of heading to Augusta, all tickets are sold out. Though plenty of travel retailers offer package deals.
Alternatively, all the action will be shown live by Sky Sports, with extensive highlights on BBC2.
Who is the reigning Masters champion?
England’s Danny Willett captured his first major title at Augusta largely thanks to a meltdown from defending champion Jordan Spieth.
Spieth looked certain to retain his crown heading into the back nine duirng the final round but a quadruple-bogey on the 12th hole saw him drop down the leaderboard.
Willett shot a bogey-free 67 to overtake Spieth.