Tag Archives: the masters

Danny Willett leads strong showing by Englishmen at the Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) – Well done, Englishmen.   Sheffield’s Danny Willett on Sunday joined three-time winner Nick Faldo as the only Englishmen to capture a Masters championship.

Danny Willett has become the first British golfer to win the US Masters for 20 years after Jordan Spieth imploded in the final round at Augusta. The 22 year old defending champion led by 5 shots as he approached the 10th hole but then dropped 6 shots in 3 holes allowing Willett to take advantage as he carded a superb 5 under par 67 final round to win by 3 shots from fellow Englishman Lee Westwood. Spieth eventually finished on 1 under alongside a cluster of players including Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson. Afterwards,Willett said that the victory had been “crazy”.

Already, it’s a Masters unlike any other for Tiger Woods.

  • AUGUSTA, Ga.

    Already, it’s a Masters unlike any other for Tiger Woods.

    On Wednesday his playing partners ranged in age from 6 to 63. On the practice range the day before, he listened to hip-hop music on headphones to find his rhythm.

    And in what may have been the biggest surprise of the week so far, he actually smiled and tried to be engaging at his press conference, something he normally tolerates with a guarded terseness.

    Woods is playing in the Masters for the 20th time, almost unthinkable for those who remember his breakout win in 1997. Even more unthinkable after all these years is no one has an idea what to expect when he tees off Thursday afternoon in an almost desperate quest to find his game and win a fifth green jacket.

    Not the fans, who still cheer his every move. Not his fellow players, who have watched the roller coaster of the past five years close up.

    Not even Woods himself.

    “Whether I have blinders on or not, I don’t feel any different,” Woods insisted, “I feel like I’m preparing to try and win the Masters.”

    The people who take money on those kind of things don’t anticipate that will happen, making Woods a 25-1 pick to win his first Masters title in a decade. The odds would be even higher – they started at 50-1 – but for a lot of people plunking $20 bills down on Woods in Las Vegas sports books because they remember what he used to be able to do on a golf course.

    If some of those memories are fading, Woods has to accept some of the blame. He has been MIA so long that it’s hard to remember he was once supposed to win more green jackets than Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus combined.

    A new generation of players is no longer intimidated by the sight of Woods in red on Sunday, something Woods acknowledged when he talked about how he used to drive the ball past everyone other than John Daly but is happy these days just to be in the same area code. He’s 39 now, ancient in the game of golf anywhere but at a Masters that still includes Ben Crenshaw in the field.

    “I won the Masters when Jordan (Spieth) was still in diapers,” Woods said, though a quick check of the calendar showed Spieth was approaching his fourth birthday by then.

    The young players who hit it past him, though, aren’t his real worry. The troubles for Woods are within, and he’s been dealing with different varieties of them ever since his infamous wreck over Thanksgiving weekend in 2009.

    His personal life now seems stable, or at least it did Wednesday when his children, 6-year-old Charlie and 7-year-old Sam, joined him and girlfriend Lindsey Vonn for the par-3 contest he hadn’t played in 11 years. His swing seems better, too, at least better than two months ago when he fled Torrey Pines mid-round, mumbling something about his glutes not being properly activated.

The Masters Golf Tournament: Lot of History

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In the picture above, Gene Sarazen (at right) putts out while Craig Wood looks on. Despite his two major championships, Wood is probably most well known as the victim of Gene Sarazen’s famous double eagle in the 1935 Augusta National Invitational (now known as the Masters Tournament). The shot left the two players tied at the end of regulation and Sarazen went on to victory in a 36-hole playoff.

Sarazen’s double eagle (“albatross”) was on the par 5 15th hole. It was called the “shot heard ‘round the world.” He holed out a 4 wood from 235 yards to a tough green well protected by a creek in front.

As a 20-year old he won the U.S. Open at Skokie in 1922, shooting a 68 in the final round, the first player to shoot under 70 to win. He added the PGA Championship at Oakmont later that year.  Repeating his victory in the PGA the next year, Sarazen won numerous tournaments in the ensuing years – his total eventually reaching 39 PGA Tour victories. In 1932,  he won the British Open at Sandwich, then the U.S. Open at Fresh Meadow, for a historic double in the world’s two major Open Championships. In 1933 he added a third PGA at Blue Mound in Wisconsin.

The 1935 Masters had a very strong field of 64. All four of the reigning U.S. national champions were entered – Olin Dutra, Open; Lawson Little, Amateur; Paul Runyon, PGA; and Charlie Yates, Intercollegiate (NCAA). There were also nine former National Open champs, including Bobby Jones, and two former British Open victors.

Wood went on to become a big name later. In 1941 he won the Masters becoming its first wire-to-wire champion with rounds of 66-71-71-72=280 and a three shot victory over Byron Nelson. He followed his Masters success by winning the 45th U.S. Open at The Colonial Club in Fort Worth, Texas. His score of 284 beat out another former nemesis Denny Shute by three. This was the first time someone had successfully captured the first two major championships of the year. In 1954, the Lake Placid Golf and Country Club changed its name to the Craig Wood Golf Course in honor of its native son.