10 things you never knew about The Masters

A course worker waters the 18th green before a practice round for the Masters tournament. Photo / AP
A course worker waters the 18th green before a practice round for the Masters tournament. Photo / AP

With The Masters at Augusta National only days away, the excitement surrounding the first Major on the golfing calendar is gathering momentum.

One of the most prestigious and illustrious events of the year, Jordan Spieth will aim to defend his title with players such as Rory McIlroy and Jason Day eyeing their first green jacket.

Ahead of the first tee shot, the Daily Mail provides 10 things you may not know about one of golf's most fabled tournaments.

1- Ronald Reagan was playing at Augusta National in October 1983 when a disgruntled local crashed his truck through the gates and took hostages at gunpoint for two hours in the clubhouse, demanding to see the then US President. Secret Service agents came to the rescue.

2 - Bobby Jones, the greatest amateur golfer of all and co-founder of Augusta National, never completed golf's grand slam, because the only one of the four majors he did not win was his own tournament.

His best finish was 13th in 1934.

3 - The Masters reserves a special place for amateurs, thanks to Jones. Included in the limited field are the winners of the US Amateur (plus the beaten finalist), the US Mid-Amateur, the British Amateur, the Asia-Pacific Amateur and the Latin America Amateur.

4 - Another of Augusta's co-founders, Clifford Roberts, committed suicide on the banks of Ike's Pond on the par-3 course at Augusta in 1977 after falling ill with cancer and suffering a stroke. The former investment banker shot himself in the head aged 83.

5 - The Masters did not take place between 1943 and 1945 due to the United States' involvement in World War II. Augusta closed as a golf club and used its land to farm around 200 cattle and 1,000 turkeys. Forty-two German POWs were later brought in to restore the course.

6 - The term 'Amen Corner' - which has come to encapsulate Augusta's high-pressure 11th to 13th holes - was coined by Sports Illustrated writer Herbert Wilson, who based it on a 1930s jazz record called 'Shouting at Amen Corner' by Mezz Mezzrow.

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7 - The architect who designed what is arguably the most famous golf course in the world never actually got to see his creation. Dr Alister Mackenzie died in January 1934, less than three months before the first Masters.

8 - The famous water hazard that runs in front of the 12th green and alongside the left side of the 13th fairway, Rae's Creek, is named after John Rae, a local businessman in the 18th century. Rae was a leading trader with Indians, mostly in deerskins.

9 - The green jacket awarded to each Masters champion, as well as club members, is actually kept at the club. The only man not to have his locked away is Gary Player, who whisked his away after winning in 1961. It is now on display at the World Golf Hall of Fame.

10 - Augusta's committee are a stickler for rules. Among the items and activities banned are: mobile phones, tipping, wearing baseball caps backwards, calling fans anything other than 'patrons', and selling tickets within 2,700 feet of the gate.

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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