In doing research for the Masters, we came across twenty random musings on more recent results. Essentially a cornucopia of names and facts we either tried to bury deep within our psyche or just completely forgot about. We’ve certainly omitted some choice tidbits, so please throw them in the comments below if you’re so inclined. (Photo above courtesy of Augusta.com)
1. Arnold Palmer won his last major title at the age of 34 at the 1964 Masters. I would have thought Arnie was winning majors deep into his 30’s and even into his 40’s.
2. Arnold won the 1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964 Masters. Phil Mickelson won the 2004, 2006, and 2010 Masters. Both are known as the second best players of their generation, both extremely popular among fans, very successful endorsement careers, and both are one event short of the career grand slam.
3. Guest fees at Augusta are said to be about $40. I’m not kidding when I say I think I would pay $5,000.
4. Course distance in 1990: 6,905 yards. 1980: 7,040 yards. Chew on that.
5. In the first Masters, the ordering of the two nines was reversed. The nines were shortly thereafter flipped as the (current) front-9 sits on a much higher area of land, which drains faster in the mornings, and the dew evaporates earlier, which allowed for earlier tee times.
6. In 1998, Mark O’Meara birdied the last two holes to edge David Duval and Fred Couples by a stoke. Duval menaced his way to a closing 66, including a bogey at the 16th. He was in the clubhouse at -8, only to see O’Meara crack his hater-blockers with the closing birds. Couples was tied for the lead when he teed off on 17. How sick would a Duval-Couples-O’Meara 3-man playoff had been?
7. Dennis Paulson led the 2000 Masters after round 1. He later won the Buick Classic that year, and was also a part of the epic 6-man playoff at Riviera in 2001 that Robert Allenby eventually won. He now hosts a great show on the Sirius/XM PGA Tour Network with his brother (from another mother), Carl. (“Inside the Ropes”).
8. The 2001 Masters is one of the most underrated Masters of all time. All of them at or near their prime, Tiger, Duval, and Mickelson went shot for shot on the back-9 at the Masters, only to have Tiger prevail to win the Tiger Slam. Duval again was undone by a bogey at the 16th hole. This was Duval’s fourth straight top-6 finish at the Masters. He never played another weekend at Augusta.
9. Chris DiMarco’s 2001-2005 Masters run was ridiculous. He finished T10-T12-WD-T6-2. When you dig deeper, it’s amazing he never won one of these. In 2001, he led after Thursday and Friday. In 2004, he was tied with Phil going into the final round. In 2005, he led after Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (3rd round had not finished). He never played another weekend at Augusta.
10. Angel Cabrera beat Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in a playoff in 2009. Shingo Katayama finished solo 4th. Shingo Katayama! And that was only 5 years ago! You guessed it: He never played another weekend at Augusta.
11. Tommy Tolles finished solo 3rd at the 1997 Masters. He never played another weekend at Augusta.
12. In 2005, Tiger and DiMarco finished 72 holes tied at -12, which was seven shots clear of the rest of the field. Luke Donald and Retief Goosen’s T3 should have an asterisk.
13. Trevor Immelman won wire-to-wire in 2008. I drank wire-to-wire.
14. Steve Flesch had a sneaky T5-T6 in 2008-2009. He now works for the Golf Channel. And owns the Triple Crown CC member-guest each summer.
15. In 2010, 50 year-old Fred Couples shot 66 and 60 year-old Tom Watson shot 67 in the opening round, which placed them first and second. Anthony Kim (RIP) finished 3rd that year.
16. As far as NLU is concerned, the 2003 Masters does not exist (sorry, Bailey), and the 2007 edition is really hazy.
17. Toshimitsu Izawa finished T4 at the 2001 Masters. That’s just special.
18. A year after Tiger Woods won the Masters by 12 shots in 1997, 58 year-old Jack Nicklaus beat him in the 1998 Masters (T6 at -5 vs. Tiger’s T8 at -3).
19. Angel Cabrera has played in 209 career PGA Tour events. His 14 Masters starts represent under 7% of his career starts, but include 50% of his total wins (1 of 2) and 25% of his career top-10’s (6 of 24).
20. Phil Mickelson has played 21 Masters. In even-numbered years, he’s made 9 of 9 cuts with an AVERAGE finishing position of 4th (including three wins). In odd-numbered years, his average finishing position is 22nd (which doesn’t include his lone MC in ’97).
What are your favorite random Masters facts? Please share in the comments.