Category: Augusta National

November 26, 2013

Augusta National spends $8 million for parking lot

Posted at 6:35 PM by Mike Walker


A view down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. (Getty Images).

Augusta National might be steeped in tradition, but it is not frozen in time. In fact, the club is constantly evolving and growing, most recently through the acquisition of an apartment complex that Augusta National plans to turn into a parking lot, according to Bloomberg's Michael Buteau.

Augusta National Golf Club plans to build a parking lot at the site of a 456-unit garden apartment complex that was purchased for $8.3 million and is being razed, the club said.

The Greens on Washington Road, built in 1972, was purchased in February 2012, according to the Richmond County, Georgia, Board of Tax Assessors. By last week, it was mostly demolished. The private club, which hosts the Masters Tournament each April, plans to use the 9.8-acre site for parking and undisclosed support services, according to Augusta spokesman Steve Ethun.

“Any other commentary would be misleading and potentially create public speculation that is unnecessary,” Ethun said in an e-mail. The club declined to comment further.

The Greens on Washington Road apartment complex is less than one mile from Augusta National's main entrance on Washington Road. As Buteau reports, the club has been on a buying and construction spree under club president Billy Payne, building new parking lots, a driving range, members' cabins and the VIP hospitality facility Berckman's Place. (SI's Gary Van Sickle had a spy check out the three restaurants and replica putting greens at 90,000-square-foot Berckman's Place at this year's Masters.)


September 10, 2013

Horton Smith's green jacket sells for $700K at auction

Posted at 12:17 PM by Josh Sens

Greenjacket_300There are some things money can't buy.

A green jacket just isn't one of them.

Only question is, do you have $682,229.45 to spare?

That's how much the green jacket that belonged to Horton Smith, winner of the first Masters Tournament in 1934, fetched in an online auction earlier this week, according to New Jersey-based Green Jacket Auctions, which handled the sale. According to Reuters, the auction house says the jacket, which went to an unnamed bidder, is the most expensive piece of golf memorabilia ever sold.

Smith, who also won the Masters in '36, wasn't given the green jacket for his inaugural win until 1949, when the tournament's green jacket-tradition was born.

The single-breasted, size 43 jacket was long believed to be missing. But this past July, one of Smith's relatives contacted Green Jacket to say the garment was safe and sound.

And ready for sale.

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Photo: Gary Player's green jacket (Golf Library).

May 07, 2013

Lottery opens for 2014 Masters tickets

Posted at 12:45 AM by Josh Sens

Masters_logo_304Fans, er, patrons, take note: you can put in for your tickets to Augusta now.

With the 2013 Masters still less than a month old, applications for next year’s tournament have been made available at, the Masters Tournament announced this week.

As is custom at Augusta, tickets will be awarded by random selection after the designated deadlines.

Also per usual, only one application per person or address will be accepted. You must be over 21 to apply.

April 15, 2013

Adam Scott predicted Masters finish in high school yearbook

Posted at 4:44 PM by Mike Walker

Adam Scott was 32 years old when he won his first major Sunday night at Augusta National, but he predicted it in his high school yearbook many years ago.

After Scott sank his birdie on the second playoff hole against Angel Cabrera and put on the green jacket as Masters champion, his former swing coach Claude Harmon III tweeted out a picture of Scott's yearbook photo from Kooalbyn International School near Brisbane, Australia. Scott, who birdied the 18th hole to get into the playoff with Cabrera, was just following his own advice.

Ambtion: "To the be the best professional golfer."

Favorite Comment: "I am Adam Scott."

Favourite Expression: "If all else fails, birdie the last."


Snarky BuzzFeed Sports titled their post on Scott's yearbook "Adam Scott Wasn't Always Hot".

April 13, 2013

Tiger Woods hit with 2-stroke penalty at the Masters for illegal drop, no DQ

Posted at 10:12 AM by



AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods was hit with a two-shot penalty Saturday morning for an illegal drop that he took on the 15th hole Friday, but finds himself at the center of a rules storm and faces calls to withdraw from an event he has won four times.

The drop under question [pictured above] occurred after Woods’s approach shot to the par-5 struck the flagstick and rolled back into the water. Woods chose not to drop in what he described as the "wet" and "muddy" drop zone, which left him with two other options under the Rules of Golf:  

1. Play [the] ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played; or

2. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped. 

Woods chose the first option, but admitted that he did not to drop as close as possible to the original spot.

“So I went back to where I played it from, but I went two yards further back and I took, tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit,” Woods said after his round.

The ensuing shot “worked out perfectly," Woods said.

The Masters rules committe cited a relatively new rule (brought in to deal with cases where viewers call in after the fact to report violations seen on TV) that allows the tournament to waive a penalty of disqualification in exceptional circumstances. They then released a statement that in essence placed the onus on the rules committee for not alerting Woods of his violation before he signed his scorecard. The statement says:

After meeting with the player, it was determined that he had violated Rules 26, and he was assessed a two stroke penalty. The penalty of disqualification was waived by the Committee under Rule 33 as the Committee had previously reviewed the information and made its initial determination prior to the finish of the player’s round.

Nick Faldo, a three time Masters champion and the lead analyst on CBS coverage of the event, said that Woods ought to consider withdrawing from the event today before his 1:45pm tee time. Brandel Chamblee of Golf Channel says that if Woods plays on the incident will cast a shadow on his entire career.

As of Saturday morning, Woods is at 1-under-par, 5 strokes behind leader Jason Day. He had been just three stokes back before the penalty.

The incident has been a popular topic of conversation on Twitter, among both fans and players. Many golf experts are calling for Woods to withdraw from the event.

UPDATE: Tiger Woods has responded to the incident via Twitter. Read his response below.


RELATED: Tiger's Major Victories

RELATED: Infamous Rules Violations 

(Photo: John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated)


April 12, 2013

Gary Player's Diary: What Must China Think of Penalty?

Posted at 9:21 PM by


I’ve seen a lot of great shots and great rounds at Augusta. In 1978, I closed in 30 and shot 64 to win the Masters by one. But that doesn’t compare to what Tianlang Guan is doing at the age of 14. Mark my words: We are witnessing the most historic moment golf has experienced in my lifetime. And giving him the slow-play penalty on Friday is one of the saddest things I’ve seen in golf. When I heard, I prayed that he would make the cut. I am thrilled he did, because having him play the weekend will do miracles for the game. Golf’s popularity is as low as it’s ever been. Fewer and fewer people are playing the game. This will encourage young boys and girls around the world to play the game. Imagine it! Everyone will benefit -- courses, manufacturers, some day even fans.

Now, you cannot criticize the rule. It’s in the book for a reason. I believe the officials when they say Guan broke it. But you’ve got to be consistent. If you had a stopwatch, you could time many players in the last 20 years who have been well over their time but have not been penalized. Slow-playing tournament leaders have not been penalized. If the rule is applied arbitrarily, it is meaningless. The tragedy is that this could cause a stir. Imagine what the Chinese are going to think?

Enough about the penalty, though. I don’t want to diminish the great golf that’s being played. The leaderboard is spectacular. It’s wonderful to see the seasoned pros playing so well. Like Freddie Couples, who I think has the best swing in the field. Bernhard Langer is making a good showing. These Champions Tour players are so much better than the press and the fans understand. The quality of play is only a fraction below the PGA Tour. Maybe more people will realize that now.

Plenty of other veterans are also playing remarkably well. Jim Furyk is up there. He recovered nicely, even though he made a mess of 15. And Angel Cabrera had an electric finish to his round. Five birdies on the back nine! Some guys have Augusta in their blood.

Experience was so important today, because Augusta in the morning was a very different course than Augusta in the afternoon. It was a much tougher course in the morning. Think of it: When Novak Djokavic is playing Roger Federer, it could be windy in the morning or calm in the afternoon -- it doesn’t matter. They are playing against each other in the same conditions. Today, the guys who teed off early got a bit of rain, a bit of wind. They were playing their entire round off of wet grass. It’s hard to spin it off of wet grass, so your ball jumps when you’re hitting into greens. Now, look at the afternoon. The sun comes out. The course dries up and gets shorter. You can spin the ball and fire at the flag, and the green will hold the shot. When the pins are tucked in the corners, it makes all the difference in the world. The course is easier, but both scores count the same. That’s what makes tournament golf so damn tough.

And if you look at the second-round pin placements, you can tell that the members wanted the course to play tough. They were obviously upset that 32 guys shot under par on Thursday. Chairmen of the club have told me that they want the winning score around 280. In my experience, they are able to program that pretty well -- better than any other place we play. It’s like they can turn the course on and off using the pins and the turf. I expect the players will find some tough conditions over the weekend.

I also expect the leaders are going to have to keep their eyes on Tiger Woods. I fancied Tiger to win it at the beginning of the week, and I still do. He looks as focused as I’ve ever seen him. We all know what that Tiger is capable of.

By Friday night, it’s too late to change. You’ve got to stick to your plan. Some guys like to go out and have a couple of drinks. I liked to be on my own. A bit of music, an early dinner and a hot bath followed by a cold one. I liked to get my mind off of my game for a while and then just go play the next day. That feeling that the great ones have -- knowing when to attack -- you can’t find that on Friday night. It’s an instinct, a gift. You either have it or you don’t. We’ll know soon enough who does.


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Photo: John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated


Sergio Garcia has troubled history at Augusta National

Posted at 9:59 AM by Mike Walker

SergePosting a 6-under round at Augusta National on Thursday, Sergio Garcia looks as comfortable as his countryman Seve Ballesteros, who won twice here. But unlike his hero Ballesteros, Garcia has never been a fan of Augusta National. After finishing T38 in 2009, Garcia called the course unfair.

"I don't like it, to tell you the truth. I don't think it is fair," Garcia said. "Even when it's dry you still get mud balls in the middle of the fairway. It's too much of a guessing game."

Asked what he would change about the course, Garcia said, "They can do whatever they want. It's not my problem. I just come here and play and then go home."

He apologized a few days later.

"Out of frustration, I blamed the golf course instead of putting the blame where it belongs, on myself. I didn't get it done this week," Garcia said. "Augusta National is one of the most iconic golf courses in the game and playing in the Masters each year is an honor. I apologize to the members of Augusta National and the fans who rightfully treasure this golf course."

He was true to his word in 2012, blaming himself, not the Augusta National course, after a disappointing Saturday 75 knocked him of contention.

"I'm not good enough," Garcia said. "In 13 years, I've come to the conclusion that I need to play for second or third place."

"Do you think I lie when I talk? Everything I say, I say it because I feel it. If I didn't mean it, I couldn't stand here and lie like a lot of the guys do," Garcia said. "If I felt like I could win, I would do it. Unfortunately at the moment, unless I get really lucky in one of the weeks . . . I can't really play much better than I played this week and I'm going to finish 13th or 15th."

On Sunday of the 2012 Masters, Garcia shot a 1-under 71 to finish T12, but it didn't cheer him up and he doubled-down on his "not good enough" comment.

However, in 2013, Garcia is feeling better about his game. He got his first PGA Tour win in more than four years at the Wyndham Championship in Augusta, and he sounded sanguine about his chances at Augusta National during his post-round interview on Thursday:

Q. Thought you hated it here (laughter).

SERGIO GARCIA: No, I mean, well, obviously it's obviously not my favorite, my most favorite place, but you know, we try to enjoy it as much as we can each time we come here. Sometimes it comes out better than others, but today it was one of those good days. And you know, let's enjoy it while it lasts.

Q. Did it help you that you had maybe that lower expectation coming here?

SERGIO GARCIA: Lower expectation, maybe that's what you say. Every time I tee off in a tournament, my goal is to play the best I can and have a chance at winning. So it doesn't change this week. Like I said, today was a nice day. It was one of those days that you really, really enjoy, and, you know, hopefully I'll have three more of those and we'll see what happens on Sunday night.


Photo: Getty Images

April 11, 2013

Lindsey Vonn cheers on Tiger Woods at 2013 Masters

Posted at 11:32 AM by Mike Walker

Lindsey1Lindsey Vonn outside the Augusta National clubhouse on Thursday moring (Getty Images).

She made it after all.

Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn was spotted outside the clubhouse Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday morning prior to her boyfriend Tiger Woods's 10:45 a.m. tee time. Vonn chatted with Woods' mother, Tida, near the famous oak tree behind the Augusta clubhouse along with Woods' agent Mark Steinberg and his coach Sean Foley.

Vonn, who is recovering from knee surgery following a harrowing ski crash in February, confirmed her long-rumored relationship with Woods via Facebook in March.

The Masters is the first time Vonn has been seen at one of Woods's tournaments.

Lindsey Vonn [right] watches Tiger Woods on the first tee Thursday (Getty Images).

April 10, 2013

Augusta patrons line up for Founders Circle photo-op

Posted at 2:44 PM by Alan Bastable

Founders_circle_600Y.E. Y.E. Yang takes a photo of his caddie and his caddie's son at Founders Circle at the 2009 Masters (Reuters).

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It’s the Masters equivalent of giddy children waiting on line to have their photo snapped with Mickey in front of the Magic Kingdom: starry-eyed patrons waiting more than an hour to have their picture taken in the middle of the roundabout in front of the Augusta National clubhouse.

At 10:30 Wednesday morning, more than 150 golf fans were waiting for the privilege.

“Been here since 9:45,” said Debra Daily, a South Carolinian who is attending her first Masters and didn’t seem a bit frustrated by standing in a queue that extended from the end of Magnolia Lane and through a roped-off area past the members’ practice range. “You gotta get this shot.”

To be sure, the Founders Circle, as it’s known, is an iconic spot, right up there with Amen Corner and Bubba Land, the kind of photo backdrop that any fan would be proud to display on his or her office wall. The centerpiece is a bed of bright yellow flowers planted in the shape of the ubiquitous Masters logo. Behind that looms a white flagpole bearing the American flag along with the façade of the white clapboard clubhouse.

Patrons are permitted to shoot with their own cameras, but they need not rely on their own snapping skills to get the perfect picture. The club provides a professional photographer, who transfers the images to a website from which patrons can download them. The fee? Zippo. It’s the best deal this side of Augusta’s $3 beers.

Those who have neither the time nor the patience for a photo-op can get a glimpse of the Founders Circle in what the attending security guard on Wednesday morning referred to as the “peek line.”

“Everybody loves the peek line!” the guard bellowed.

April 09, 2013

Masters four-day badges sell for more than $13,000

Posted at 4:34 PM by Mike Walker

Tickers_2010_gettyTicket brokers on Washington Road in Augusta in 2010 (Getty Images).

We were shocked to read that Masters practice round tickets were selling for $1,000, but that's nothing compared to the price of a four-day badge, which are selling for more than $13,000, according to Bloomberg's Eben Novy-Williams.

Masters Tournament ticket prices are up 276 percent on the secondary market as Tiger Woods enters the tournament as the world’s top-rated golfer for the first time since 2010.

Four-day badges for the golf season’s first major tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia are listed for an average of $13,820 on the secondary market, according to ticket aggregator TiqIQ, up from $3,675 last year and more than double the average each of the past three Masters.

The cheapest available four-day badge, whose face value is $250, is listed at $12,200, according to the website.

The face value of a four-day pass to the Masters is just $200, easily the best bargain in professional sports. The catch is that the tickets aren’t available to the general public. The list of patrons who regularly receive applications for Series Badges, which grant Thursday-Sunday admittance, has been closed since 1971, according to tournament officials. A waiting list was then established, closed in 1978, re-opened briefly in 2000, and has now been exhausted. In 2011, Augusta National made a limited number of practice-round tickets available to the public via lottery.

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