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The 2018 Masters , Augusta

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2018 Masters, Augusta.

It’s that special time of year again….. It’s the Masters at Augusta , Georgia. A golf championship that captures the imagination of the entire world. A golf tournament played at arguably one of the most famous golf course anywhere on the globe.

The build up to the first major championship of the year is hyped and almost every year for as long as I can remember – the championship lives up to expectations.

As soon as you enter the grounds of this magnificent piece of land, you instantly feel part of it’s history.

The walk or drive up Magnolia Lane is a special one.

The tournament officially starts with the famous Par 3 tournament. A tournament that allows you to see the softer side of the golfing community with a range of stars playing with family and friends.

Interestingly – That when anyone has won the Par 3 contest, they have never gone on to win the championship in the same year.

The championship is unique in every sense – none more so than the prize for winning. Despite the huge prize money, The tournament is known for the winning of the famous “Green Jacket”

The tournament has a number of traditions. Since 1949, a green jacket has been awarded to the champion, who must return it to the clubhouse one year after his victory, although it remains his personal property and is stored with other champions’ jackets in a specially designated cloakroom. In most instances, only a first-time and currently reigning champion may remove his jacket from the club grounds. A golfer who wins the event multiple times uses the same green jacket awarded upon his initial

Beginning in 1963, legendary golfers, usually past champions, have hit an honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round to commence play. These have included Fred McLeod, Jock Hutchinson, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary

Winners enter into a very elite group of golfers – Nicklaus has the most Masters wins, with six between 1963 and 1986. Palmer and Tiger Woods won four each, and five have won three titles at Augusta: Jimmy Demaret, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, and Phil Mickelson. Player, from South Africa, was the first non-American player to win the tournament, in 1961; the second was Seve Ballesteros of Spain, the champion in 1980 and 1983.

Around this course you see some of the most spectacular golf holes you will ever see with unbelievable attention to detail around every hole. From the prefectly position oak trees to the impeccably manicured greens. Undulating fairways and lush bunkers make Augusta a golfers paradise and the 90-100 players fortunate enough to get the invite know they are playing something special.

Augusta National’s Amen Corner is one of the most hallowed places in all of golf. Comprising the 11th, 12th and 13th holes, Amen Corner has been a legendary spectacle at the Masters for decades. Pros fear it; fans adore it. And it never fails to deliver drama. Here are five things you need to know about the most famous stretch in golf.

The 11th (White Dogwood) is a 505-yard par-4 with a pond guarding the left-front of the green, making it a treacherous approach to a tricky surface. Ben Hogan famously said that if he is on the green in two at 11, “you’ll know I missed my second shot.” Most pros, when wanting to play it safe, will hit their second shot toward the right part of the green. If they miss it right, it gives them an up-and-down pitch for par.

The Par 3 – 12th Hole.

The 12th (Golden Bell) is a 155-yard par-3 and one of golf’s most famous holes. Its green is narrow, with a bunker long and short of the it, and short shots are in danger of bouncing back into Rae’s Creek (that area of the course’s swirling winds don’t make it any easier). The usual Sunday pin placement at the Masters, tucked to the right of the green, is a scary approach for pros (just ask Jordan Spieth). It was the course’s seventh-hardest hole in 2016 (3.23).

The closing hole of Amen Corner is the short par-5 13th (Azalea), which plays at 510 yards. Players tee off behind Rae’s Creek, just off the 12th green — the farthest away they are from patrons all round — and have birdie on their minds. It played as the second-easiest hole in 2016 (4.73) and is the ultimate risk-reward test, especially with only five holes remaining after it

Everyone who watched the 2017 Masters will remember the winner. Sergio Garcia – chasing his first ever major victory eventually broke his major championship hoodoo with a nail biting play off against his good friend and Ryder Cup partner – Justin Rose

In a tense final round – Garcia and Rose turned Augusta into a match play situation and traded blow for blow throughout a pulsating final round.

Eventually – after an errand tee shot from Rose – Garcia had two putts from 25 feet to win the Masters. With nerves of steel – Garcia holed the putt and sealed his first every major championship.

The emotion was to much to bear for Sergio as he broke down with tears of joy and I don’t think there would be many golf fans who would have grudged him this moment after years of runner up positions in major championships.

A great moment for golf.

As we near the 2018 championship – we expect more drama, laughter , tears and excitement.

To add to that excitement – we see the return of Tiger Woods to major championship golf and his love affair with Augusta continues.

Can Tiger handle the shorter Augusta course? Does this suit his play? could he win his fifth green jacket and 15th Major championship?

Who knows !!……

What I do know is this ….. it’s gonna be great

Enjoy the masters Guys..

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