The Masters is one of the most revered sporting tournaments on the planet, mythologised by players, pundits and fans alike. History and legend seeps out from every hole, helping to add to the allure of a tournament that brings together the world’s greatest players at one course each year.
The most common 2021 odds to win Masters has been for the 2020 champion Dustin Johnson to retain the Green Jacket, however as history proves, that may be a difficult feat for the current world number 1.
However, instead of concerning ourselves with whether or not Dustin Johnson can win the 2021 Masters, in this article we look back at some of the greatest players to have ever graced the tournament. The players that have written themselves into the long and illustrious history of the Augusta course.
Green Jackets: 0
It might appear odd to see an entry on this list from a player that never won The Masters, but without Bobby Jones there would not be a tournament to discuss. Born in 1902 in Atlanta, Georgia Jones would go on to become one of the greatest amateur players of all-time – winning a unique single year Grand Slam in 1930.
His place in history wasn’t sealed by his exploits on the golf course however, it was sealed by his creation of The Masters tournament. Along with private financier Clifford Roberts, Jones founded The Masters in 1933, using his well-earned reputation to attract the biggest names in the sport to the tournament.
Sadly for Jones though, his best finish in his own tournament was 13th in 1934 although it was perhaps only fair that he gave someone else a chance after dominating the sport for much of the 1920s.
Green Jackets: 4
It’s hard to think of golf’s greatest players without calling Arnold Palmer to mind, the legendary player who recorded 12 top 10 finishes and 4 wins at Augusta in a 12 year period.
In 1958 heavy rains at Augusta prompted a local rule which allowed for a lift, clean and drop for an embedded ball. When Palmer took to the 12th tee his ball was embedded on the soft ground, but rules officials insisted that he play the ball as it lay.
He did and made a five, officials then told him he could play a second ball and await a final ruling. With the second ball he made a three which officials later ruled to be proper, leading to his first ever Masters victory.
Sports Illustrated writer Herbert Warren Wind who was covering the tournament later christened the 11th, 12th and 13th holes as ‘Amen Corner’ for the miraculous way in which Palmer excelled on them. Throughout the decades the name has stuck with yells of ‘Amen’ coming from the crowd whenever the ball approaches the hole.
ESPN pay tribute to Arnold Palmer’s Masters Legacy
Green Jackets: 5
Arnold Palmer’s performance at Augusta may have spawned a new name for a corner of the course, but Tiger Wood’s exploits at the course in the early 2000s led to a complete course redesign.
Such was the power of Tiger that in the late 1990s and early 2000s he was turning the Par 5’s at Augusta into Par 4’s. In response, officials added an extra 500 yards to the length of course and added trees alongside the fairways at the 11th and 15th holes.
Despite this Tiger went on to win the 2005 tournament before a fallow period at Augusta began which coincided with his off the course personal problems. However, in 2019 Tiger rolled back the years, winning his fifth Green Jacket and cementing his name in the course’s folklore.
He is also the youngest ever winner of the tournament, picking up his first Green Jacket at the age of 21 years and 104 days in 1997.
Green Jackets: 3
Born in Ashwood, Virginia Sam Snead is one of the greatest players to have ever played the game, racking up a series of tournament victories in his illustrious career. In 1949 he became the first Masters winner to be awarded the ceremonial Green Jacket.
Prior to then, the Green Jacket was worn by players to distinguish themselves from members of the public. However, in 1949 it was decided that a jacket would be awarded to the winner which they could keep for a year before returning it and placing it on the back of the next winner.
Snead went on to win the Green Jacket in 1952 and 1954 and was chosen to hit the honorary starting tee shot at the Masters Tournament from 1984 to 2002.
Green Jackets: 6
No player in history has won as many Masters Tournaments as Jack Nicklaus who placed first in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 and 1986. His 18 Major championship wins mean that he is widely considered by many to have been the greatest player that has ever lived.
His consistency is what separates him from his peers, which is illustrated by his Masters top 5 finishes (15), top 10 finishes (22) and top 25 finishes (29).
He is also the oldest player to have ever won The Masters, romping to victory in 1986 at the age of 46 years and 82 days.
Green Jackets: 3
63-year-old Brit Nick Faldo has 6 Major championships to his name with 3 of them coming at Augusta in 1989, 1990 and 1996. By becoming a back-to-back winner in 1990 he cemented his name in the legend of Augusta.
Nationality: South African
Green Jackets: 3
With 3 Green Jackets Gary Player is joint with Nick Faldo for the most Masters wins by a foreigners after winning in 1961, 1974 and 1978. After finishing his professional career, Player went on to make a name for himself as one of the world’s leading golf course design architects.
Green Jackets: 3
For some players Augusta holds a special place in their hearts and that is certainly true for Jimmy Demaret who’s 3 Major championships all came at The Masters. In 1983 his golfing talent was recognised as he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Why Todd Graves Is Driven To Innovate Golfing Techniques and Inspire Future Athletes
When you look up the history of sports and how it changed over the years, you will find several influential public figures and athletes’ names at the top of unique inventions. After all, those who play the sport, also know what could improve and popularize it. Todd Graves is one of those individuals with a passion for golf and sports innovation.
He is an innovative thought leader and business expert with nearly 50 years of experience in the golf community. He practiced golf under the training and guidance of Murray “Moe” Norman, the world-renowned PGA golfer of the 20th Century. Norman was one of the most influential figures in the golf community with his unique techniques and innovative methods to approach the game.
His contributions and golf skills earned him the nickname of “Pipeline Moe”, mainly for his unmatched ability to hit one straight shot after another with the slightest deviation in the ball’s trajectory. As his protégé, Todd Graves vowed to be among the leading sports personalities and innovators in the golf space. He worked on the single-plane swing technique modeled by his mentor, Moe Norman over his professional career.
It is a technique that helps a golfer reduce strain on the lower back while increasing the consistency and frequency of making a solid impact with the ball. Before, it was limited in practice to highly experienced golfers with immense knowledge of kinetic movements and swinging techniques. Today, Todd Graves’ contributions have enabled the wide use and adoption of the single-plane swing method in the global golf community.
The pro golfer believes that innovation is a key component of progress and without progress, humanity could come to a standstill. Whether it is progress in the personal, professional, or sports world, every great athlete should strive for it and reach their maximum potential, according to Todd Graves. To bring new knowledge to a wider audience around the world, he recently partnered with Barry Morrow, who is a famous American screenwriter and film producer credited with co-writing the screenplay for the movie Rain Main (1988).
Graves partnered with Oscar-winning Barry Morrow to create a documentary on the life and achievements of the great pro golfer, Moe Norman. Through the documentary, Todd wishes to inspire athletes and motivate golfers to bring innovation to their gameplay. Todd Graves shares his drive for bringing innovation and catalyzing change in the sports world with aspiring athletes, pro golfers, and students.
Graves’s inspiration comes from his dedication to the advancement of sports science. He spent a better part of his career with kinesiology experts and sports scientists to discover intricate details involved in various physical activities, also including golf. He identified potential risk injuries, analyzed their occurrences, and gathered factual data with the help of scientists.
He aims to portray actual findings in his upcoming documentary and inspire young athletes to be more than participants in national and international competitions. Todd Graves stands as one of the most influential and inspirational figures in the golf community and has earned association with several famous personalities including Ben Hago, and Tiger Woods, among others.
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