The 2011 Augusta National Golf Club’s Masters Tournament is scheduled for April 7 -10 this year. The finals are always played the second Sunday in April. 2011 will be the 75th Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
Horton Smith won the very first Masters in 1934 the year after the course opened. He walked away with $1,000 out of a $5,000 purse. In recent years the purse has grown quickly. The purse for the 2011 Masters is $7,500,000. The Masters Tournament has been held every year since, with the exception of 1943, 1944, and 1945 due to World War II.
Who will win the Green Jacket this year? Sam Sneed won the first Green Jacket in 1949. The champion retains the jacket for a year and then returns it to be worn as official attire while on the club grounds. Multiple-time winners have only the one jacket unless he had a dramatic size change. It is officially presented to him inside the Butler Cabin soon after the end of the tournament, and then presented again outside near the 18th green in front of the spectators.
In addition to the green jacket and a hefty purse, Masters winners are automatically invited to play for the next five years in the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship, and earn a lifetime invitation to the Masters and an honorary member of the club. They also receive membership on the PGA Tour and invited to the Players Championship for the following five years. The winners also receive a gold medal and have their names engraved on the silver Masters trophy. This trophy remains at Augusta National while the winners (since 1993) receive a sterling silver replica.
During his career Jack Nicklaus has been a six-time Masters winner. He is also the oldest winner at 46 years. Tiger Woods was the youngest winner, he was 21 when he won in 1997. The same year Woods also set the record for the widest winning margin which was 12 strokes and lowest winning score of 270, 18 below par.
Rain is often forecasted for the week of the Masters but only once was play not completed. That was in 1938 when the weather delayed the start until Saturday so play was not completed until Monday. Hopefully this will not be the case for the 2011 Masters Tournament but if you are going to the event, you may want to take along an umbrella. The grounds are always beautiful with the Dogwoods, Azaleas and other spring time flowers in bloom.