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The Greatest Players at The Masters

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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.

Bobby Jones

Nationality: American

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.

Arnold Palmer

Nationality: American

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

Tiger Woods

Nationality: American

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.

Sam Snead

Nationality: American

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.

Jack Nicklaus

Nationality: American

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.

Honourable Mentions

Nick Faldo

Nationality: British

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.

Gary Player

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.

Jimmy Demaret

Nationality: American

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.

From television to the internet platform, Jonathan switched his journey in digital media with Bigtime Daily. He served as a journalist for popular news channels and currently contributes his experience for Bigtime Daily by writing about the tech domain.

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Sports

Most Popular Sports in Tennessee

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Depending on which state you are living or visiting in the US, the most popular sport among the population will differ. However, a recent study completed in 2020 shows that American Football is the most popular sport in 19 of the 50 states, with the NFL dominating. However, that is not the case in Tennessee and the most popular sport as voted in the study done by Myprotein is College Football.

The Tennessee Volunteers are the biggest college football team in Tennessee. They represent the University of Tennessee and participate in the Southeastern Conference as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. If you need convincing as to exactly how popular the Tennessee Volunteers are in the state, you need just one glance at their stadium and fans on a game to understand. The Neyland Stadium has a capacity of over 100,000 people and is an awesome sight when it is full of fans dressed in orange and white on a game day. Neyland Stadium is the fifth largest stadium in the United States and the seventh largest stadium in the world.

The average attendance for Tennessee Volunteers games at the Neyland Stadium since 1946 is 68,925 fans per game. You must only go back to September 2004 to find the record attendance at the venue for a Tennessee Volunteers game and that was 109,061 when Tennessee defeated Florida. So, based on the incredible attendance figures alone, it is easy to conclude that College Football is one of the most popular sports in Tennessee.

The good news is that it is now possible to have a wager on the Tennessee Volunteers throughout the football season. There are many fantastic online sportsbooks operating in the state, including William Hill, with the app available to download in Tennessee. William Hill is one of the biggest names in sports betting across the globe and you will find a huge range of sports and betting markets available on a daily basis, including football, basketball, and ice hockey.

Interestingly, ice hockey is fast becoming one of the most popular sports in Tennessee. The Nashville Predators are one the favorite teams to follow among Tennessee’s professional sports franchises. A survey conducted by the Middle Tennessee State University in 2017 showed the Predators enjoyed a significant chunk of the fanbase. However, it is worth noting the Predators had a successful 2016/17 season, during which they reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in their history, so that achievement may have skewed the figures somewhat.

Another of the most popular sports in Tennessee is basketball and the Memphis Grizzlies represent the state in the National Basketball Association. During the course of a NBA season, over 600,000 fans will attend games at the FedExForum and in 2018/19, the average attendance per game was 15,578. Clearly this figure only shows the number of people inside the venue and they are thousands of basketball fans in Tennessee who are watching games in bars and homes.

In addition to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Tennessee Volunteers men’s basketball are extremely popular and soccer has also started to gain a good fanbase, thanks to the introduction of Nashville SC. The team play in Major League Soccer at the Nissan Stadium, having been founded in 2017.

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