A Professional Point of View of The Masters at Augusta National
The 2009 Masters had all of the thrills that have made this tournament so popular throughout the golf world.
The Masters tournament is the first of the four major championships annually and the vast majority of golf fans will say it's the most anticipated of all.
What makes the Masters unique is that it's the same every year. It's always played on the picturesque land in Augusta, Ga.
Founded in 1934 by legendary golfer Bobby Jones and designed by Alister MacKenzie, Augusta offers a breath-taking view to go with the best golfers in the world. All trying to put on the coveted "Green Jacket" given to the winner each year.
The beautifully maintained greens and fairways, dogwoods, Georgia pines and azaleas are a famous part of the Masters tradition.
Ben Crenshaw, two-time winner of the tournament and historian of the game echoed the sentiments of many when he said "this course is different." Jones and MacKenzie had theater in mind when they created this masterpiece.
"You can make it happen, or throw it all away, it's up to you."
The 2009 Masters had all of this and more.
You can virtually pick your story line:
Chad Campbell started the tournament with five birdies and held the lead until the 16th hole on Saturday.
Day two saw upstart American Anthony Kim set a masters record with 11 birdies in the round on way to shooting a remarkable 65.
The golf gods looked down upon this tournament and decided to do everyone a favor and pair legends Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson together on the final day.
And they didn't disappoint.
Most players fold when paired with Woods on the final day, but "Lefty" would have none of that.
Mickelson came out looking like "Daniel Darts" going very low with a front nine record 30.
Tiger continued to make clutch par puts and stayed in contention until making a move on the back nine.
A Mickelson ball in the water and a couple wayward drives from Woods later, and it was time to turn it over to act two.
Kenny Perry had a comanding two shot lead going into the final two holes, but managed to let that slip finding himself in a three way playoff with Campbell and Angel Cabrera.
Cabrera, despite hitting two of the worst shots in Masters' history on the first playoff hole was let off the hook by the other two players.
His tee shot went deep into the woods and they his second hit a tree, but found the fairway and he was able to save par.
Campbell missed his par put so Cabrera and Perry moved on to another sudden death hole.
Perry who is 48, was trying to become the oldest player to ever win a Masters title.
Cabrera was trying to follow up a US Open victory in 2007 by becoming the first Argentinian to win the Masters.
Perry's drive went left into the trees and Cabrera was fitted for his green jacket soon after.
All of the legends of golf have won at Augusta. It has been a passing of the torch from superstar to superstar.
From Sarazen, Hogan, Snead, Player, Palmer, Nicklaus, Watson, Faldo to Woods.
Many great memories have been made at Augusta by these hall of fame golfers. The best to ever play the game.
I have been a fan of the Masters all my life and make a point each year to watch the tournament. I have always liked trading stories about my favorite golfing event of the year with other golfers.
I thought it would be a fantastic idea to ask some of the top PGA club professionals what their "Most memorable Masters moment was."
Why not pick the brain of some of the most talented golf minds, from some of the top courses in the world.
Here' s what they said:
"I feel that 11 birdies by Anthony Kim at the Masters is a miracle!"
Rex Cole PGA
Head Golf Professional
Cottonwood Golf Club
El Cajon, CA
(Cottonwood Golf Club has been one of San Diego's premier golf destinations since it first opened in 1962.)
2005 Masters: The Chip Shot Heard Round the World
"Throughout golfing history the Masters has been renowned for its memorable moments. Augusta National is one the world’s most magnificent golf courses and has produced many of the finest champions in the game.
With such a rich history, it is difficult to identify just one magical moment. In recent times, there have been so many… from Nicklaus winning his final green jacket at the age of 46 in 1986 (and with his son, Jack Jr as his caddy) to ten years later in 1996 when Nick Faldo started the day six shots back, and mounted an incredible come-from-behind assault against a faltering Greg Norman.
That Masters final was more than magic—it epitomized the ecstasy of winning and the agony of losing.
Yet, there has been one man who has entertained the Augusta crowds more than anyone.
Tiger Woods has enthralled viewers of all ages ever since he fist-pumped his way to victory in 1997—finishing at -18 and twelve shots ahead of runner-up Tom Kite.
My most memorable Augusta moment is Tiger’s chip from the back of the 16th green on Sunday, April 10, 2005.
It was the pinnacle moment of another incredible comeback; We have all seen Tiger do special things at crucial times but the way he chipped-in was stunning, and it was the chip shot that was heard around the world.
As Tiger stood over the ball in the shadows behind the 16th green, his eyes wide and focused on the task in hand, the crowds hushed in anticipation, and the silence was cathedral like.
He executed that firm, brisk tempo swing sending the ball toward the green and away from the hole—and the crowd became animated, urging the ball to gather back towards the hole.
As it turned, Tiger suddenly entered the picture on the right with his club half raised in the air. The ball still tumbling towards the hole with its Nike swooshes toppling over again and again until it stopped on the lip.
By this stage, Tiger was nearly on his knees beside his caddy Steve Williams—both starring the ball down, willing it into the hole. And what seemed to take an eternity the Nike swoosh toppled over in slow motion one final time and disappeared into the hole.
Tiger, Steve, the crowd… and me in my front living room leapt to celebrate—as if it had been a last second winner at the FA Cup final.
A magical moment at a magical venue from a very magical player."
PGA Golf Management .
St Andrews Links Golf Academy .
St Andrews . Fife . KY16 9SF . Scotland
(The Open Championship (British Open) was first played on the Old Course at St Andrews in 1873. With the 27th staging of the world's premier golf event taking place again on the Old Course in 2005, St Andrews has held the event more often than anywhere else.
In modern times, the Dunhill Cup and the subsequent Dunhill Links Championship have been played at St Andrews since 1985, while the Walker Cup, the Amateur Championship and a host of other professional and amateur competitions for men and women have been held over the fabled links at the Home of Golf.)
My favorite Masters moment was when Tiger Woods holed out his chip shot off the left side of #16 near the water in 2005."
"He hit the shot long and left of the hole, knowing it would feed down to the cup."
"It hung on the lip for a couple of seconds and then dropped in."
"That moment was absolutely elecrifying!"
Steve Phillips PGA
Teaching Pro / Golf Operations Manager
Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Center
(Designed by Champions Tour Player and NBC golf analyst Gary Koch and rated a 4 1/2 Star course by Golf Digest magazine, Mystic Dunes Golf Club is renowned as one of the most unique courses in all of Florida.)
In 2005 at Augusta National, Tiger Woods found himself in a battle with Chris DiMarco.
Tiger charged into the lead on day three by making birdies on his first four holes to take the lead from a struggling DiMarco who had a four shot lead going into that round.
But DiMarco would not back down or go away on Sunday.
Woods held a one shot lead going to the 16th hole. when he hit his drive pin high, but left just of the green. DiMarco hit his in the center of the green 15 feet away.
Woods hit his chip shot 20 feet to the left of the hole and let the slope of the green funnel the ball back down where it slowly fell into the cup. Nike swoosh and all this shot will go down as one of the best shots in golf history.
DiMarco did par the 18th hole to force a playoff, but Woods calmly sunk a 15 foot putt for birdie and his forth green jacket.
Woods joined Arnold Palmer (4) and Jack Nicklaus (6) as the only golfers to win the Masters four times or more.
1995 Masters: Gentle Ben Wins It For Harvey
"My favorite Masters moment was seeing Ben Crenshaw winning it in 1995. Having grown up in Texas and taking lessons from Harvey Penick and also working at Barton Creek Country Club where Ben was a member, I felt emotionally invested in Ben's victory.
"I had taken many lessons from Harvey over the years, as well as sought his advice in my own teaching as well. I have fond memories of Ben, his father and his brothers from my years at Barton Creek.
"I have played and practiced with Ben many times in the early days of my career as a professional and there are few people that are as genuine and kind as he is. Harvey was with Ben as well as Davis Love III (who was also in the hunt and had a history with Penick) that entire week.
"To know the emotional journey that Ben was on that week and winning that event he loves dearly following the death of his lifelong friend and teacher of the game was something I will always cherish as my favorite Masters moment."
Chad Campbell PGA
Director of Golf Operations
Pinehurst Country Club
(Immerse yourself in the finest golf experience at Pinehurst and follow in the footsteps of golf legends. This golf resort has witnessed countless moments in golf history, from Hogan's first professional win, to Jack Nicklaus and Payne Stewart's dramatic 18th hole putt that led to his 1999 U.S. Open victory. Bobby Jones so revered Pinehurst, he connected it to golf's homeland as the "St. Andrews of United States Golf."
Pinehurst continues its tradition and long-time commitment to championship golf as the site of the 2014 U.S. Open, our 10th USGA championship.)
The 1995 Masters tournament is remembered for the emotional, gutsy victory by Ben Crenshaw.
Crenshaw, whose long-time mentor, coach and friend Harvey Penick had just passed away that week, shot a -14 for a one shot victory over Davis Love III. Love, also was a close friend of Penick one of golfs legendary teachers.
"Gentle Ben" was known as one of the best putters in golf history, a skill he credited Penick for.
His putter was clutch on Sunday and when he sank his final putt for the victory, he dropped his putter and put his face in his hands.
A classic Masters picture.
1992 Masters: Hole No. 12 and the Couples' Cling
"On the 15th his tee shot barely stayed up on the tightly mowed rough just a few yards from Rae's Creek. After that Masters, the bank at the 12th was mowed to fairway height.
"This will always be one of my favorite moments in Masters history because as a junior golfer, Couples was my favorite PGA Tour player."
Matt Borocz PGA
Point Vedra Beach, Florida
(Home of the PGA Players annual tournament. The Stadium Course at the PGA TOUR’s flagship TPC Sawgrass, home to THE PLAYERS Championship, has been named one of only 24 public and resort golf courses in North America to receive a five-star rating in the 2008-09 edition of Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play” guide and is home to the world famous 17th or the island hole as it is known.)
The 1992 Masters was won by Fred Couples in dramatic fashion.
Couples had a brilliant tournament shooting 13 under par for a two shot victory over Raymond Floyd.
It was what happend on the par three 12th that will be forever known as "The Couples Cling".
The vast majority of the time when a player hits in front of the green at number 12, it ends up rolling into Rae's Creek (just ask Lefty), but some how on this beautiful Sunday at Augusta National, Couples' ball defied the odds and stayed dry.
Couples went on to convert the up and down and win the green jacket.
1986 Masters: The G'old'en Bear Thrills the World
"1986 Masters - Jack's charge on the back nine!"
PGA Head Golf Professional
(Home to 36 holes of Championship Golf, and received a 4 1/2 star rating from Golf Digest Magazine and one of the Top 5 municipal courses in Texas by The Dallas Morning News.)
"The most memorable masters moment to me was in 1986 when Jack Nicklaus made the come back at age 46. Seve Ballesteros helped his cause by hooking his second shot on the 15th in the water.
"Later, Jack birdied the 17th and went on to capture his sixth green jacket."
Will Brewer PGA
Director of Golf/General Manager
Vanderbilt Legends Club
(Since opening in 1992, Vanderbilt Legends Club has made its mark in the world of golf by receiving national recognition and accolades. The North Course layout, which stretches 7,190 yards from the championship tees, was designed by Hall of Fame golfer Tom Kite and world-renowned golf course architect, Bob Cupp and has played host to the LPGA Tour and U.S. Senior Open Qualifying.)
"When the grass starts to turn green, golfers inevitably start to think about the Masters. I know this is a truism in the Carr household. As a teenager, I can remember waiting for April and knowing on that special "Masters Sunday" I would be setting next to my father to watch the final round.
"I'm married now and now sit alongside my bride to watch the last day of the most magnificent four days in April. In the span of time from teenager to husband, there have been many changes to Augusta National.
"I can remember all of the unbelievable finishes that the Augusta layout produced when I was younger. The 1986 Masters (Jack Nicklaus) is etched in my memory forever.
"Do I remember Ballesteros smothering a 4-iron on No. 15 to hand the green jacket to Jack? Or was it the putt "The Golden Bear" made on 15 for eagle? It was neither of these.
"Rather it was the special opportunity I had to witness these moments with my father."
RIchard L. Carr PGA
Director of Golf
Tanglewood Golf Club
( Tanglewood is the premier public golf course in Lancaster County. Our location in southern Lancaster County makes Tanglewood accessible for both Pennsylvania and Maryland players.)
"My favorite Masters moment by far was Jack Nicklaus' win in 1986 at the age of 46. His final round 65 surprised everyone and passed up a star-studded leader board.
"On number 16 he almost knocked his tee shot in for a hole-in-one, just sneaking past the hole by a few inches.
"When they interviewed him later he mentioned that his eyes were failing him and he lost sight of the ball in the air. He had no idea at the time how close he had come."
Patrick Lynch PGA
Cantigny Golf Club
(1989 Best New Public Course in America, Golf Digest - 1994-2007 4 1/2 Star Award, Golf Digest)
The 1986 Masters was the return of a legend.
Jack Nicklaus reminded everyone why he is the greatest golfer to ever live.
Nicklaus capped off his career by winning his 6th green jacket at the age of 46. Both records that still stand today.
Sunday on 17, Nicklaus sank an 18 foot put for birdie, completing a eagle-birdie-birdie run prompting Verne Lundquist's famoous "Yes Sir" call.
Probably the most well known call in major golf history.
"The Golden Bear" shot a final round 65 (30 on the back) to fight off a star-studed field that included Tom Watson, Seve Ballestersos, Tom Kite and Greg Norman.
1997 Masters: Tiger Woods, A Super-Star is Born!
"My most memorable Masters moment would have to be 1997 when Tiger Woods pulled away from the field with a 12 shot victory. It was awesome to watch and no one remembers who was second (Tom Kite).
"The most interesting point of the tournament that year was Tiger's first round. I was only 14 at the time and golf was very important to me and not too popular with my peers.
"I was watching the first round with my father and after Tiger's rocky front nine (40) my dad leaned over and said "watch out for his back nine, this is where he'll turn it on."
To watch someone who I idolized go in with a front nine like he did and still finish with a 70, really showed me the person/player that he would become.
"Then to watch him go 66, 65, 69 was incredible and inspired me to be all I can be as a golf professional."
Jon Conklin PGA
Bucks Run Golf Club
Mt. Pleasant, MI
(Voted #1 Public Golf Course In Michigan! 2008 Detroit News Readers.)
The 61st Masters in 1997 was a coming out party for the now world wide legend Tiger Woods.
Woods, became the youngest players to ever win the Masters at the age of 21 and set the four-day tournament record low of -18 (270) in the process.
On the front nine of the opening round, Woods shot a 4 over par 40.
It was lights out from there. He was -22 on the final 63 holes of the tournament.
Woods became the first non-white golfer to win the Masters and in doing so joined Ron Townsend and Bill Simms as Augusta National's only minority members.
Tiger set 20 tournament records in 1997 at the Masters.
1996 Masters: Faldo Reeped What Norman Sewed
"My most memorable Masters moment would have to be the 1996 tournament. Greg Norman was one of the best players at the time, if not the best and was my golf idol. I couldn't believe it when he held a lead of six shots going into the final round.
"I remember the telecast coming on and he still had a pretty good lead on the field. He spun his approach back down the hill on the ninth hole and made bogey. In my mind it wasn't that big of a deal.
"Norman plodded along, making bogey's that he shouldn't have. I remember thinking on hole number 15 he can make this chip shot for eagle and still pull this thing out...it slid by the hole and he fell to the ground. It deflated me as well.
"Then he hit it in the water on 16 and it was obviously over at that point. I still remember him holding his head up high and walking off number 18 like a champion. With his record at Augusta, it's a shame he's never won the tournament."
Bruce Dowell PGA
Drake Creek Golf Club
(Drake Creek Golf Club, established in 1999, was designed by renowned golf architect Rich Osborne and constructed by Holmes and Company, the same company that built English Turn in New Orleans, Pinehurst National, and Grand Cypress in Orlando among others.)
The 1996 Masters saw Nick Faldo win the third green jacket of his hall of fame career, but unfortunatly for Greg Norman, Faldo was not the story at Augusta this weekend.
After opening with a course record of 63, "The Great White Shark" held a six shot lead over second place Faldo going into the final round.
From his first tee shot Norman began spraying it all around the golf course.
By hole 12, Faldo had tied Norman.
Norman's best friend on tour, Nick Price was seen leaving the clubhouse looking pale.
"I can't stand to watch" as he headed to the parking lot.
From that point Norman put two balls in the water and shot a final round 78.
The worst collapse in Masters' history.
2004 Masters: Lefty Clutches Up, In Show Down With Els
"I attended the Masters in the 2004, '05 and '06. My most memorable moment was being there with two of my PGA best-buddies in the golf business. We walked the course tee-to-green during the first round."
"We also took in the par three tournament from behind the No. 9 green and witnessed some holes-in-one."
Rich Richeson PGA
Head Golf Professional
The Golf Club at Twin Oaks
(Built in 1927, Twin Oaks is one of the finest public golf courses in the area.)
In 2004, Phil Mickelson won his first major championship and it was at the Masters.
"Lefty" held off South Africa's Ernie Els in one of the all time classic back nine duels, each player trading birdie for birdie.
Mickelson sank a clutch, 18 foot put on No.18 for birdie and the win finally getting the "Mickelson Monkey" off his back.
1977 Masters: Tom Watson Holds Off Jack Nicklaus
"To me, the most memorable moment in the Masters was the duel between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in 1977. Living in Kansas City, I was a huge fan of "Kansas City's Third Sports Franchise" and have worked with Tom on the First Tee program over my years as a teaching professional.
"Watson shot -12 to win by two strokes over The Golden Bear. This showdown was a prelude to the British Open months later where again Watson and Nicklaus battled to the end. Many believe it was the most exciting tournament in major's history. To me it symbolized as passing of the baton from Nicklaus to Watson."
Mike Shatto PGA
(Mike spends his winter months teaching the game in Phoenix and in the summer returns to Kansas City, Kansas and works with youth golfers at Sunflower Hills Golf Course.)
The 1977 Masters witnessed one of the first of many classic major championship battles between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus.
Watson, who carded 19 birdies during the tournament, shot -12 to defeat
"The Golden Bear" by two strokes.
The win was the second, of what went on to be eight major victories in Watson's storied career.
Watson finished with 39 PGA Tour victories in all.
2007 Masters: Zach Johnson Wins
"My most memorable moment at Augusta is during a Tuesday practice round in 2007, I watched Seve Ballesteros hit a 5-iron under his leg with one hand on the green at No. 16. Typical magic shot from Seve.
"Then, Jerry Pate hits his driver from his knees. The first one scatters the gallery in the left grandstands. On the second he hits this butter cut onto the green. Two remarkable shots at the most remarkable golf venue ever."
Shawn Kelly PGA
The Ridge Golf Club
(The LPGA liked our course so much that we were chosen to be the site for the Longs Drugs Challenge, an event held here each fall.)
The 2007 Masters featured more international players (50) than Americans (47) for the first time in tournament history.
Zach Johnson held off Tiger Woods and company by carding three birdies in the last six holes of the tournament.
His tournament score of +1 (289) tied Sam Sneed (1954) and Jack Burke Jr. (1956) for the highest winning score in Masters history.
After the first round, only nine players were under par, only three after the second.
1984 Masters: Ben Crenshaw's Validation
"There are so many, but I would say that my most memorable moment of the Masters was Ben Crenshaw's long putt on number 10 in 1984.
"He was my favorite golfer and that inspired me to win the Utah State High School championship one month later."
David Terry PGA
Salt Lake City Golf Director
(9 municipal golf courses)
Salt Lake City, UT
The 48th editon of the Masters in 1984 saw Ben Crenshaw capture the first of his two green jackets.
Crenshaw shot a steady -11 for the tournament and a two shot victory over fellow two time winner Tom Watson.
Crenshaw, who ended up with 19 PGA Tour victories in his career, had been wearing the proverbial "best player without a major victory" up until this victory.
2008 Masters: Trevor Immelman of the Hour
"From a personal perspective, my most memorable Masters moment was taking my dad to Augusta National in 2008. To walk the fairways, see the dogwoods, azaleas and to remember the history that has been made on the course is a surreal experience, which is why it's the best event in the world.
"Some of the best moments I can remember are Jack Nicklaus' charge in 1986 and Tiger Wood's chip en route to beating Chris DiMarco in 2005 is unlike any other shot the golf world had seen.
"Anyone who has been to Augusta National and seen where he was, knows it was one of the most impressive shots in Masters history."
Charles Kingsbaker PGA
(Designed by legendary Britiish Open winner Tom Weiskopf, Troon North stands as the hallmark of the desert gold experience)
In 2008, Trevor Immelman of Cape Town, South Africa missed the first eight weeks of the season due to the removal of a benign tumor in his throat.
Immelman bounced back in time for the Masters and despite taking a double-bogey on the par three 16th on the final day, held off legend Tiger Woods for the victory and his first major championship.
1980 Masters: Seve Ballesteros Takes the Green Jacket Back to Europe
"My most memorable moment at the Masters was when I was rushing through the entrance gate to get to the first hole."
"I looked up at the tee and Seve Ballesteros was teeing off."
"He won that Sunday and it was great to watch him play."
Mike Robinson PGA
Head Golf Porfessional
Gettysvue Polo Golf and Country Club
(Designed in 1995 by well known designer, Bland Pittman of Pittman Poe & Associates, INC.)
The 1980 Masters saw a pair of firsts. Spanish sensation Seve Ballesteros become the first European and they youngest golfer (a record he held until Tiger Woods broke it in 1997) to ever win the glorious tournament.
Just months after winning the British Open, Ballesters became a world wide sensation from his win at Augusta National.
He opend with a blistering 66 and took a 10 shot lead into the back nine on Sunday. After some scary moments in "amen corner", Seve walked away with a four shot vicory over Gibby Gilbert and Jack Newton.