Category: Masters

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

Norman blames epic Masters collapse on bad back

Posted at 1:01 PM by Pete Madden

Norman_96_Masters_CoverIt took 17 years, but Greg Norman finally revealed the reason behind his infamous 1996 Masters meltdown.

"There's more to it than people realize because I did have back issues that morning," said Norman on ABC's Australian Story. "I tried to walk it off but I couldn't. I told my coach, 'Today's not going to be easy.'"

Of all the memories Norman gave us -- two Open Championship victories, 331 weeks as World No. 1, and an unfailingly brazen style of play -- it's the image of The Shark in defeat that has endured.

Norman squandered a six-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round, shooting a 78 to give Nick Faldo the Green Jacket that would elude him for the rest of his career.

Norman has been especially honest in his reflections upon his career of late. In an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning in August, Norman said he might have won more if it weren't for one thing.

"I was a little stubborn," he said. "I wanted to do things my way ... There wasn't a shot I didn't love."

For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.

(Photo: Greg Norman at Augusta National in 1996 / Sports Illustrated)

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.

For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.

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

August 13, 2013

Tiger once again the favorite at Augusta

Posted at 2:03 PM by Scooby Axson


Tiger Woods hasn't won a major tournament in over five years, but that doesn't matter one bit to the oddsmakers in Las Vegas.

Once again, the world's number one player is the favorite for the 2014 Masters, which will be held April 10-13.

Woods is a six-to one-favorite to win at Augusta National. A three-time Masters champion, Woods hasn't won the tournament since 2005. Jason Dufner, who won PGA Championship last weekend, is listed at 30-to-1 to win. 

Yahoo! Sports has the rest of the field and their odds to win.

Other favorites:

Rory McIlroy: 12-1

Phil Mickleson: 12-1

Adam Scott: 16-1 

Justin Rose: 25-1

Brandt Snedeker: 28-1

Jason Day: 28-1

Charl Schwartzel: 33-1

Lee Westwood: 33-1

Luke Donald: 33-1

(Photo by Jerome Davis/Icon SMI)

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.

May 01, 2013

Greg Norman has nothing on Craig Wood, the unluckiest golfer of all-time

Posted at 6:29 PM by


By Josh Sens

We golfers are a famously self-punishing lot, keen to wallow in our own misfortunes, to revel in the memory of our rotten luck.

Masochism comes so naturally to us that it’s easy to forget: there’s always someone out there who’s got it worse.

I say this as a segue into the mention of Craig Wood, who took his share of lumps during his career, with an agonizing five second-place showings in majors. Compared to him, Greg Norman had a horseshoe up his you-know-what.

It’s not just the fact of Wood’s narrow losses. It’s the manner in which he fell.

At the 1933 British Open, he lost in a playoff at St. Andrews after nuking a drive that flew so far it wound up plunking into the Swilcan Burn.

In ’34, Wood became the bridesmaid at Augusta when Horton Smith drained two long putts on the final holes to triumph by a single shot. Later that season, more foul fortune: Wood lost in a playoff at the PGA Championship to a former assistant pro.

But his most famous defeat came in ’35, when he led the Masters in the final round only to be tied improbably on Sunday by Gene Sarazen and his double-eagle: the shot heard 'round the world.

The Squire won in a playoff the next day.

Like a lot of golfers, I’ve been consumed for so long with my own troubles that I’d never paid much heed to Wood’s frustrations.

But there his name appeared, shouting out to me this past week in an unlikely forum: a non-golf-related article in the New York Times.

The piece focused on the writer Gilbert King, who, it just so happens, was playing golf in Florida earlier this month when he learned he’d been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his book, Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America.

The book is the true tale of true misfortune: it recounts the story of four black men who were falsely accused of raping a young white women in 1949.

Reading the Times piece, I also learned that King had written recently about Craig Wood, whom King describes as “the unluckiest golfer of all time.” If you haven’t seen that article, it’s worth a look.

Among the indignities King’s article describes is how Wood, at Augusta in ’35, was safely in the clubhouse after his Sunday round, his name already written on the winner’s check, when Sarazen carded his historic deuce.

If Wood was ever bitter, he never showed it.

And even if he was, golf doesn’t have him to kick around anymore. Wood died in 1968, a final misfortune that came a few months shy of his 67th birthday.

For all its dark fringes, I liked reading Wood’s story: feeling sorry for him was a welcome distraction from my own self-pity.

I recommend it, next time you’re feeling a bit woe-is-me.

Photo: Craig Wood in 1954 (Time/Life Pictures).

In wake of Tiger drop, USGA to reassess Rule 33-7

Posted at 4:32 PM by Josh Sens

Tiger-woods-dropA little more than two weeks after the Tiger Woods rules fiasco at Augusta National, the USGA has spoken.

And with help from my lawyers, and a team of Talmudic scholars, I think I understand where golf’s governing body stands.

In case you missed it, the release came out this morning: a 2,000-plus word statement from the USGA, addressing what Sports Illustrated’s Michael Bamberger aptly describes as “maybe the most complicated chapter in the history of golfing jurisprudence.”

Much of the statement retreads what is now familiar ground: Tiger finding the water at 15 when his approach rebounded off the flagstick; compounding his misfortune with an apparent rules infraction; then signing what turned out to be an incorrect scorecard, given that he’d taken an improper drop. In signing incorrectly, Woods violated rule 6-6d, which typically results in disqualification.

But as the golf world now knows, the Masters Tournament Committee spared Woods from a DQ by invoking Rule 33-7, which holds that a “penalty of disqualification may in exceptional individual case be waived, modified or imposed if the Committee considers such action warranted.”

But was this case exceptional enough?

Here’s what the USGA had to say. (Warning: reading the following excerpt may cause sudden drowsiness and should not be attempted while operating heavy machinery.)

For nearly 60 years, the Rules have provided Committees with limited discretion to waive a disqualification penalty. Under Rule 33-7, “[a] penalty of disqualification may in exceptional individual cases be waived, modified or imposed if the Committee considers such action warranted.”

Such discretion is not intended to protect a competitor from the consequences of his erroneous application of the Rules. The fact that Woods, when he returned his score card, was not aware that he had incurred a two-stroke penalty on the 15th hole was not a basis to waive disqualification under Rule 33-7.

Moreover, contrary to what some have suggested, the decision of the Committee to waive the disqualification penalty for Woods was not and could not have been based on Decision 33-7/4.5, a 2011 Decision that permits waiver of disqualification where “the competitor could not reasonably have known or discovered the facts resulting in his breach of the Rules.”

That extremely narrow exception, which relates generally to use of high-definition or slow-motion video to identify facts not reasonably visible to the naked eye, was not applicable here and had no bearing on the Committee’s decision. Woods was aware of the only relevant fact: the location of the spot from which he last played his ball. His two-stroke penalty resulted from an erroneous application of the Rules, which he was responsible for knowing and applying correctly. Viewing the incident solely from the standpoint of Woods’ actions, there was no basis to waive the penalty of disqualification under Rule 6-6d.

However, the Masters Tournament Committee did not base its exercise of discretion under Rule 33-7 on any circumstances specific to Woods’ knowledge, but rather on the consequences of the Committee’s own actions. Before Woods had returned his score card for the second round, the Committee had received an inquiry from a television viewer questioning whether Woods, in taking relief under Rule 26-1a at the 15th hole, had dropped his ball sufficiently close to the spot from which he had played his original ball.

The Committee promptly reviewed an available video and determined that Woods had dropped and played correctly under Rule 26-1a and therefore had not incurred a penalty. The Committee did not talk with Woods before making this ruling or inform him of the ruling. Woods therefore signed and returned his score card without knowledge of the Committee’s ruling or the questions about his drop on the 15th hole.

The following morning, after additional questions had been raised about the incident in a television interview, the Committee discussed the incident with Woods, reviewed the video with him and reversed its decision, ruling that Woods had dropped in and played from a wrong place.

In deciding to waive the disqualification penalty, the Committee recognized that had it talked to Woods – before he returned his score card – about his drop on the 15th hole and about the Committee’s ruling, the Committee likely would have corrected that ruling and concluded that Woods had dropped in and played from a wrong place. In that case, he would have returned a correct score of 8 for the 15th hole and the issue of disqualification would not have arisen.

The Decisions on the Rules of Golf authorize a Committee to correct an incorrect decision before the competition has closed, and they establish that where a Committee incorrectly advises a competitor, before he returns his scorecard, that he has incurred no penalty, and then subsequently corrects its mistake, it is appropriate for the Committee to waive the disqualification penalty. See Decision 34-3/1.

The Woods situation differed from the situation in Decision 34-3/1, and in other Decisions that protect a competitor from disqualification where the competitor has relied on erroneous information from a referee or the Committee, in that Woods was not informed of the Committee’s initial ruling and therefore did not rely on the Committee’s advice in returning his score card. This situation therefore raised a question not expressly addressed in the existing Decisions under Rules 33-7 and 34-3 and that reflected two competing considerations.

On the one hand, the Decisions provide that the player’s responsibility for his own score is not excused by his ignorance or misapplication of the Rules. On the other hand, the Decisions provide that a Committee may correct an erroneous decision and may take its error into account in determining whether it is appropriate to waive the penalty of disqualification.

In effect, based on all of the facts discussed above, in this case both the competitor and the Committee reached an incorrect decision before the score card was returned.

The Masters Tournament Committee concluded that its actions taken prior to Woods’ returning his score card created an exceptional individual case that unfairly led to the potential for disqualification.

In hindsight, the Committee determined that its initial ruling was incorrect, as well as that it had erred in resolving this question without first seeking information from Woods and in failing to inform Woods of the ruling.

Given the unusual combination of facts – as well as the fact that nothing in the existing Rules or Decisions specifically addressed such circumstances of simultaneous competitor error and Committee error – the Committee reasonably exercised its discretion under Rule 33-7 to waive the penalty of disqualification under Rule 6-6d, while still penalizing Woods two strokes under Rules 26-1a and 20-7c for playing from a wrong place.

Bottom line: In the USGA’s view, the Committee was justified in sparing Woods, but only because it had goofed in the first place by not talking to Woods about his improper drop before he had a chance to sign his card.

Got it? The good news is, situations like this come around about as often as the comet Kohoutek.

But just in case, the USGA has pledged to “review the exceptional situation that occurred at the 2013 Masters Tournament, assess the potential implications for other types of situations, and determine whether any adjustment to the Rules/and/or the Decisions is appropriate.”

Rest easy, golf fans. Next time the world’s No.1-ranked player gets freakishly unlucky; violates a rule that he should have known but does not get penalized for during his round; signs an incorrect scorecard then unwittingly indicts himself in a post-round interview, triggering a controversy that prompts critics to question the integrity of the year’s first major -- the next time that happens, everyone should know exactly what to do.

(Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP)

April 17, 2013

Masters winner Adam Scott shares golf tips

Posted at 3:13 PM by Mark Dee

Scott1000You probably can't swing like Adam Scott, and no, a few tips won't change that. But lately, we're learning that anything a man can do to be more like this year's Masters champ, will probably improve their game.

With that in mind, we point your attention to Men's Journal, where before the tournament Scott explained six tips for playing better golf. New or not, it's always worth taking advice from a guy in green.

Follow the link for the full slide show.

(Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images)

Adam Scott to take green-jacket joyride in Australia?

Posted at 3:08 PM by Mark Dee

Scott-fvSince the last putt Sunday, the rest of the world is catching up on what golf fans already knew: Adam Scott is good, and being Adam Scott is even better.

Exhibit A: This article by Andrew Pentis in Men's Journal, which describes the life Scott leads Down Under. Looks like the Masters champ already has a joy ride planned up Australia's aptly-named Gold Coast. Don't worry, as a spokesman for Mercedes, he has his pick of rides to take along:

The only downside of the trip for Scott is that the M1 Pacific Motorway has speed cameras that, true to national custom, strictly enforce speed limits of 100-110 km/h (or 62-68 mph).

"The speed I would like to go," Scott says, "and the speed we are allowed to go are two very different things."

The now third-ranked golfer in the world – and the only player from Down Under in the top 35 – was born in Adelaide and won the Australian Masters' gold jacket last November. Now that he's got the green jacket as well, he's got the perfect wardrobe for his jaunts. He could admire the cut of a lapel in the rearview while cranking Kings of Leon and the like from an iPod plugged into the GL450 Mercedes-Benz SUV he uses to accomodate the surfboards and clubs he can't fit into the SLS AMG Roadster he upgraded to from Mercedes SL550 after signing on as a spokesperson for the German automaker.

That's quite the fleet, but it may not be enough. If Twitter is any indication, we doubt Mercedes can't make enough Benzes to transport all of Scott's female fans up the coast with him. You can read the rest of the story here, at

(Photo: Fred Vuich/Sports Illustrated)

Adam Scott on 'Bachelor' rumor: 'I'm not single at all'

Posted at 12:34 PM by Mark Dee

Sorry, Bachelorettes. Adam Scott proababy won't be 'The Bachelor.' Turns out, he wasn't one to begin with.

The Masters champ broke the news of his relationship to CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose and Gayle King -- well, mostly to Gayle King -- on Wednesday.

"That's all quite embarrassing," said Scott of the attention, "but I'm not single at all. I am very much in a relationship, and very happy at the moment." Scott (heart)breaks the story at 3:40 in the video below. Or, if you choose to watch it all the way through, after Gayle King drops the line, "You are very hot, Adam Scott," and Charlie Rose checks out completely:

Bummer, ladies. Though there's hope in "at the moment," that's probably quashed by the emphatic "at all." Guess this also takes Scott out of the running for the title role on The Bachelor, which was mentioned as a possibility on Tuesday.

Scott says he is dating a woman named "Marie." If we investigative journalists -- er...incorrigible busybodies -- at had to guess, that might well be Marie Kojzar, whose on-again-off-again relationship with Scott got ink in Alan Shipnuck's 2008 SI profile of the Aussie.

Or, he just has a thing for women named Marie. We'll let TMZ work out the specifics. Whoever Marie is, let's just hope she has something to wear that goes well with green.

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