Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tiger Woods Wins The Masters

On April 13, 1997, golfer Tiger Woods won his first Masters tournament, which was the first major championship of his career.  Woods became the youngest golfer and first African-American to win this prestigious event.

Tiger Woods after clinching victory at The Master in 1997.
Tiger finished Day One in fourth place, three shots behind leader John Huston, but he would take the lead on day two and never looked back.  He dominated the rest of the weekend and would go on to break the four-day tournament record, shooting 18 under par (270).  His 12-stroke win over second place finisher Tom Kite was also a Masters record, as well as a major championship record.

Woods would earn $486,000 for his victory in 1997.

On April 17, 2002 Tiger Woods becomes the third golfer to win The Masters in two consecutive years, earning his third Masters victory.
Woods would go on to a win record fourth Masters in 2005.
Woods turned professional in 1996, and by April 1997 he had already won his first major, the 1997 Masters in a record-breaking performance.

He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997. Through the 2000s, Woods was the dominant force in golf, spending 264 weeks from August 1999 to September 2004 and 281 weeks from June 2005 to October 2010 as world number one. From December 2009 to early April 2010, Woods took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity.

Several different women, through many worldwide media sources, revealed his multiple infidelities. This was followed by a loss of form, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No. 58 in November 2011.

He snapped a career-long winless streak of 107 weeks when he captured the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011. Currently Tiger is ranked

Woods has broken numerous golf records. He has been world number one for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any other golfer. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record ten times, the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times, and has the record of leading the money list in nine different seasons.

He has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second highest of any player (Jack Nicklaus leads with 18), and 79 PGA Tour events, second all time behind Sam Snead.

He has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, and the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour.

Additionally, Woods is only the second golfer, after Jack Nicklaus, to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships, and won at least one of those events in each of the first 11 years after they began in 1999.

With Woods not playing in The Masters this weekend he missed out on a chance to add on to his five Masters title, which would have given him a chance at tying Jack Nicklaus for most victories all time at The Masters.
Since The Masters began back in 1934, it has been the first of the four major championships in golf each year.
Since 1949 the winner of The Masters has won a green jacket, however, the victor must return it to the clubhouse one year after the time of that player's victory. In most instances, a first-time champion only removes the green jacket from the club’s grounds. A golfer who wins the event multiple times uses the same green jacket awarded upon his initial win (unless he needs to be re-fitted with a new green jacket).
The Champions Dinner, inaugurated by Ben Hogan in 1952, is held on the Tuesday before each tournament, and is open only to past champions and certain board members of the Augusta National Golf Club.

Beginning in 1963, legendary golfers, usually past champions, have hit an honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round. Such golfers have included Fred McLeod, Jock Hutchinson, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Since 1960, a semi-social par 3 contest, on a par-3 course on Augusta National's grounds, has been played on the day before the first round of each Masters Tournament.

Nicklaus has won more Masters Tournaments than any other golfer, winning six times between 1963 and 1986. Other multiple winners include Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods, with four each; and Jimmy Demaret, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson, with three each. Player, from South Africa, was the first non-American player to win the tournament in 1961.

Since the Augusta National course first opened in 1933, it has been modified many times by different architects. Among the changes: greens have been reshaped and, on occasion, entirely re-designed, bunkers have been added, water hazards have been extended, new tee boxes have been built, hundreds of trees have been planted, and several mounds have been installed.
This year Bubba Watson won the Masters at Augusta out pacing a 20-year old Jordan Spieth. The victory was Watson’s second at The Masters  in six attempts, and second in the last three years. His first victory at Augusta came in 2012.
Bubba Watson after clinching victory at The Masters today.
Watson becomes the 17th golfer to win two masters, and also becomes only the third golfer to complete the feat in their first six attempts at August.