Exploring the US Masters
The US Masters is one of the four majors, the four biggest tournaments in golf. The other three are the PGA championship, the Open and the US Open. Each year, normally from Thursday to Sunday of the championship dates, the tournament takes place at Augusta National Golf Club, in Georgia, and players are competing to put on the tournament’s famous green jacket.
Last year, after becoming the No 1 golfer in the world, Scottie Scheffler had the honour of slipping on the blazer. This post looks at some of the past winners and also at the most recent winner of the tournament and a look at what contributed to their success on their Augusta green.
The 2023 US Masters
This year’s tournament took place from April 6 to 9 and all eyes were on Rory McIlroy, who was stinging from missing out on the 2022 Masters; on Jordan Spieth, who had been showing some fine form in past tournaments; and on Scottie Scheffler to see if he would make a successful defence of his title. However, while everyone was distracted by this trio and rushing to apps for mobile sports betting in New York and other states where this type of gaming is permitted, Jon Rahms would walk off with the green jacket.
The Spaniard finished 12 under par and beat Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka by four shots. The Masters is his second major title and puts him back in the world number 1 spot. Scottie Scheffler finished T10.
Rahm and all the other players had had to dig deep after storms on the Saturday forced them to finish their third round on the Sunday, turning the final day of the tournament into a real marathon. The Spaniard had been trailing Koepka by two strokes as they went into the final round. Even though Rahms was able to come back but not pull heavily away from the rest of the field, he then kept Koepka at bay and also Mickelson, who made a late charge in the round.
Golfers who have enjoyed a taste of victory in the US Masters
Every time a golfer slips on the green jacket, it’s a momentous occasion. Here are some of the most beloved golfers who have had the pleasure of doing this in the past:
The legendary Jack Nicklaus is the man to beat for any golfer who wants to hold the record for winning the US Masters the most times. The Golden Bear, who is now in his eighties and is a golfing legend, has won the tournament six times. The wins took place over a span of 23 years, with the first of these being in 1963 and the last being in 1986.
Nicklaus was brilliant. In the 1970s, he never placed lower than eighth. Even when he stepped onto the Augusta green in 1998, he was able to give the other players a run for their money. He finished sixth, which was higher than the defending champion at the time, Tiger Woods.
If there’s one man who could at the very least equal the Golden Bear’s record, it’s Tiger Woods, although issues with injury to his shoulder could stand in the way of that. Tiger has won the tournament five times now, the most recent of these victories being in 2019. Particularly memorable was his 1997 tournament win in which he demolished the field in 12 shots. That was the start of the Tiger era in golf.
Arnold “Arnie” Palmer is a household name in golf and helped to make the US Masters what it is today. He came along just as golf was becoming big on the TV and he earned himself a legion of fans. Between 1957 and 1967, Palmer made a real mark on the tournament by winning it four times and always placing in the top 10.
Scottie Scheffler won the hearts of golfing fans last year when he took the US Masters for the first time. It was his first major and he’d managed to find the form of his life to win it. He finished three shots ahead of Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who had pushed him hard towards the end and finished the tournament in second place. Scheffler had been dominant throughout the tournament and the win was a significant display of his calm temperament, in which he kept his cool even when conditions and events on the green went against him.
So the tournament comes to an end and produces a shift in the ranks, with Jon Rahms moving back into the number 1 spot. Lessons will be learned, as always from performances, and players will hope to come back stronger than ever in their next challenge for the title.