The US Masters, also know as the Masters Tournament or simply The Masters, is the first golf major of the year. Held annually at the Augusta National Country Club in Georgia, the US Masters sees 93 of the world’s top golfers from the PGA Tour, European Tour and Japan Tour play four rounds of golf in pursuit of the coveted green jacket.
Besides being the opening major of the year, and therefore a keenly anticipated golf event, the US Masters is perhaps best known for its many unique traditions and rules. It is the smallest of the Majors, with under a 100 players participating in the event, and presents a jacket rather than a trophy to the championship winning player.
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As the first major golfing event of the year, the US Masters sets golf betting markets in motion, with punters looking to transform their golf expertise into winning bets. With the smallest field of any major, the US Masters provides punters with numerous opportunities to place considered bets on 3 balls, match-ups in the field and other relevant aspects of tournament play.
The US Masters was first contested in March of 1931. The tournament was originally an invitational event known as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, a name put forward by Augusta National course designer, Bob Jones, who was against the idea of referring to the tournament as a ‘Masters’ event.
For decades the US Masters was not regarded as a particularly important event on the PGA Tour. However, all this was to change in the 1960s and 1970s when the trio of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus set the tournament alight with their rivalry. Together, these golf stars would claim 11 titles over this two decade period.
Apart from a brief spell in the 1980s and 1990s, the US Masters has always been a happy hunting ground for American golfers, who have usually outplay their European counterparts on the historic Augusta National course. In the last decade the US Masters has been dominated by Tiger Woods and compatriot Phil Mickelson.
The US Masters is the only one of the Majors with a permanent home. Because the Augusta National facilities were built around the concept of hosting a top-tier golf tournament that would gradually evolve into the US Masters, the the fate of the US Masters has proven to be inextricably intertwined with its host course.
Today the Augusta National Golf Club is recognised as one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the United States. Located in Georgia, the Augusta National Golf Course is celebrated for its natural beauty and botanical gardens – which are usually in bloom during the US Masters. A number of the course features are part of golf folklore, including the Eisenhower Tree, Ike’s Pond and the infamous Amen’s Corner.