It's finally here folks, the Masters tournament week is underway. This tournament is more than that in many ways, in that it signifies the ending of winter and the coming of spring for golfers worldwide. It's a place where golf history has been re-written innumerable times. It's where the legends of the game hang their hat and have a permanent stake at Augusta National with their green jackets holding their places for them. I don't know about you, but I've been playing Tiger Woods 2012 The Masters to get my self amped up for the tourney, and now I'm just about ready to go. The deep rooted traditions at Augusta National pretty much stay the same, including the jovial par three competition that happens every Wednesday before the tournament starts.
The field is made up of present competitors, past champions, and invitees for the friendly afternoon competition on the executive par 3 course on the grounds at Augusta National. The 9 hole, par 27 course is 1,060 total yards and is played over DeSoto Springs Pond and Ike's Pond (names after former President Dwight Eisenhower). Since it began in 1960 no winner of the par 3 contest has even gone on to win the Masters itself, so many a player will purposely hit shots in the water or let their caddies or children take some of their putts to invalidate their scores and leave themselves a shot at winning the green jacket. It's a superstition of course, but a tradition as well at the Masters.
Coverage will begin at Noon pacific time on ESPN, as well as being streamed live on masters.com.
2010 Masters - Par 3 contest at Augusta - Highlights (via Hedden22)
Yesterday there were a number of news conferences held by the players talking about their game, the course, how they feel, that sort of thing. You can find them all here, and listen to the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, current number one golfer in the world Martin Kaymer, Augusta's president Billy Payne, legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, Sacramento native Nick Watney and many more.
A complete schedule for the 2011 Masters can be found here.
I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. The Masters is a sporting event like no other in the world, played on a course that is probably the closest thing to sacred grounds that there is in golf. From the music during the broadcasts, to the majestic layout of the immaculate course itself, the tournament is drama, beauty, excitement, heartache, respect, and honor rolled up into 4 plus days of golf. Absolutely amazing.
Stay with SB Nation Bay Area for complete Masters coverage and news as it unfolds.