The 2017 Masters Swing into Spring

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Ever since 1934, the Masters Tournament has been home to some of golf’s greatest moments in history. Over the span of four days and 72 holes, athletes from around the world compete in this professional tournament. Golfers compete for the legendary Green Jacket at the Augusta National Club.

In 1931, the Augusta National Club was bought for $70,000 by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones (founder of the Atlanta Athletic Club). Once the ANC officially opened in 1933, the club held an annual event on March 22, 1934, called the “Augusta National Invitation Tournament”. The name of the tournament changed in 1939 to “The Masters.”

There are traditions from the 1930s that have remained the same in order to keep the beauty of the golf tournament. Once entered into the tournament grounds, there are no cell phones, camera, big bags, radios, folding chairs, signs and autographs allowed.

High School Faculty Fellow, Abby Johnson said, “The patrons remain completely silent during the play of the golfers. Thousands of people gather to watch, and yet, one could have heard a pin drop. The spectators have such respect and reverence for the game.”

The 2017 player who was expected to win the $1.8 million and the Green Jacket, Dustin Johnson had an unfortunate back injury. On the Wednesday before the practice rounds, Johnson slipped downed the stairs of his rental home causing back problems. Johnson arrived at the Augusta National for his 2:03 p.m. tee time and attempted to warm-up, but called it off due to pain.

While the predicted-to-win player did not have the chance to play, many other players had the opportunity to win the tournament. After Jordan Spieth and Rickey Fowler fell off the leaderboard, there was a battle for the Green Jacket between Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia. Both traded shots on the final stretch of the 18th goal tying the tournament up. Garcia finished with a birdy on the 18 winning his first major championship after 70 major tournaments during his career.

Junior Laurel Lee Chatham said, “The most exciting play I watched was at the end with Garcia and Rose at hole 18. Everyone was so tense. They would hit the ball and everyone would stand up and cheer. It was such a fun environment!”

Many students and teachers attended this year’s tournament and Middle School Faculty Fellow, Ann Barnett said, “We followed a lot of people and sometimes just sat at a particular hole to watch multiple groups go through. On Saturday my favorite group to follow was Phil Mickelson and Jordan Speith, and on Sunday my favorite group was Rickie Fowler (who I wanted to win) and Jordan Speith.”

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