Photos: The Masters Tournament through the years

(Original Caption) Augusta: Jack Nicklaus, winner of a record 5 Masters, and his son Jack, Jr. leave the 7th green during a practice round for the 50th Masters. Nicklaus’s son will caddy for him when play begins April 10. (Getty)

(NEXSTAR) – For nearly 90 years, the Masters Tournament has been home to some of golf’s best moments. It’s hard to forget the modern-day highlights, like Hideki Matsuyama’s caddie, Shota Hayafuji, bowing toward the course last year just moments before Matsuyama became the first Japanese male to win a major championship. Or when Tiger Woods won his first major championship in 1997.

But the Masters hasn’t always looked as it does today. Here’s a look back at the Tournament through the years in photos.

In 1934, the first Masters Tournament was held under the name “Augusta National Invitation Tournament.” One of its co-founders, Clifford Roberts, wanted to call the event the Masters Tournament, but fellow founder, Bobby Jones, felt it was too presumptuous. Jones relented in 1939 and the name changed to what we know today. The 1940 Masters Tournament was the first time it was scheduled during the first full week of April, according to the Masters Tournament timeline.

Horton Smith became the inaugural champion in 1934.

In the 1940s, the iconic trophies – the green jacket and the trophy itself – became staples of the event. According to the Masters, the first trophy was awarded in 1942 and first the green jacket in 1949. The caddie uniform of white coveralls, which is still in place today, was also set in 1940.

For three years, the Masters were put on hold due to World War II. In its 1946 return, the Masters also doubled the prize money. The next year, the first Leader Board was erected.

The first Champions Dinner was held in 1952 and in 1954, Sam Snead won his third Masters with a score of 289 – the highest in Tournament history. That record still stands, tied with 1956 and 2007, according to the Masters. The 1950s would close out with Arnold Palmer winning the first of his four Masters. Only two golfers have won the Masters more than Palmer – Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Nicklaus would go on to win his first Masters in 1963 and would close out the decade with three total wins. In 1986, Nicklaus won his sixth jacket and became the oldest champion in tournament history.

Fast-forward to 1997, Woods became the youngest player ever to win the Masters at 21-years-old. He also set the records for the lowest 72-hole total and the widest victory margin.

The early 2000s were also marked with milestones – Mike Weir became the first Canadian and left-hander to win the Masters, Phil Mickelson won his first in 2004, Palmer played his 50th consecutive competitive Masters, Gary Player broke Palmer’s record with 52 consecutive, and Angel Cabrera became the first South American champion.

And, of course, who could forget the milestones of the last two years of the Masters.

In 2020, the Tournament was postponed and played in November without any patrons due to COVID-19. Dustin Johnson would win his first green jacket that year, scoring a 20-under-par 268 for the lowest score in Masters history. Last year, Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese golfer to win a major championship 10 years after receiving Low Amateur honors in the 2011 Masters.

For more on Masters history, click here.


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