Going Green

By Rex HoggardApril 6, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share
Of Tiger Woods 66 PGA Tour trinkets he has collected over the years its safe to say there was only one that would be allowed a daily once over, and even that special attention was fleeting.
 
For much of 2005 and early 2006, as Woods prepared for a day of world beating he would brush past his closet and steal a glance at his most treasured keepsake. Tucked in between the rows of victory red Nike Golf shirts was Woods green Masters jacket, size 44L for a little extra room to grow.
 
The Master Tournament
Winners of the Masters are able to keep the green jacket for one year. (Getty Images)
It's just kind of nice to wake up in the morning, put your clothes on and see this green jacket sitting there and then off you go to start your day, Woods said.
 
Its an affinity born of history and whet by the garments transient status. Masters champions wear that title for life, a legacy that transcends careers and binds generations, but the green jacket, the ultimate symbol of achievement, has a shelf life away from the manicured confines of Augusta National.
 
The champion is allowed to take the jacket with him for one year, returning it to the champions locker room after what is almost always a whirlwind journey.
 
Within hours of Zach Johnsons 2007 Masters victory, the celebrity that accompanies the jacket whisked the kid from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from Augusta, Ga., to Times Square in, well, a New York minute. From there, curiously, a new Masters tradition was born, when the Johnsons found themselves walking through the streets of NYC with the most iconic garment in all of sports casually draped over a shoulder. One may dream of holing that 3 footer to win the Masters since he was 3-feet tall, but carrying a suit bag down Magnolia Lane seems a tad pretentious.
 
As a stop-gap, the Johnsons slipped the jacket into a trash bag ' colored green, appropriately enough ' and carried on. When Trevor Immelman joined the club a year later, shortly after the jacket ceremony in Butler Cabin he was also presented with a suit bag, although it didnt stop fans from noticing him.
 
We went from China to Japan to go play a tournament there, Immelman said. When we deplaned and walked down to the baggage reclaim area I was recognized by some golf fans. These guys realized it was me, then realized that I was carrying the green jacket with me, I mean these guys started crying.
 
Although hes had the jacket, dubbed a shade of green to match Augusta Nationals grass that is called Pantone 342, fitted over his broad shoulders four times, Woods has worn it only at the far end of Magnolia Lane. Each year at the champions dinner Woods slips it on and each year hes in awe of his surroundings.
 
I remember my first champions' dinner, I'm hosting it in '98, and I'm sitting next to Ben Crenshaw and Mr. (Byron) Nelson, Woods said. At the time I was changing my grip a little bit, and Mr. Nelson says, This is how I hold it. We have knives out. This is how I hold it. Back in 1934 I changed it to this, and I'm thinking, '34, that's a long time ago. And Ben says, No, you've got to hold it like a dove, and the whole deal and the feel and the flow.
 
For the rest of the year, the jacket stayed in Woods closet, a vivid reminder of why he hits all those range balls and spends so much time in the gym.
 
Immelman, an international player cut from the Gary Player mold, spent much of his time as reigning Masters champion traveling the world with the games most coveted piece of clothing.
 
It's amazing. Even when friends and family come over to the house, ask to see it, see the trophy and the green jacket, Immelman said. I mean, it's incredible how a piece of clothing has touched people and their lives in so many different ways. It's pretty cool stuff.
 
Its a piece of clothing, it must be noted, that did not go over well with the members when it was introduced in 1937. Members were urged to wear the jackets during the Masters so patrons could identify them if they needed assistance, but the coats were made of heavy fabric, impractical in function if not form. A few years later a light-weight model was introduced and in 1949 Sam Snead became the first Masters champion to be awarded a green jacket.
 
Fifty years later the thick, heavy garment has been made modern and become something much more important. Just ask Woods.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Masters Tournament
  • Getty Images

    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

    Getty Images

    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

    Getty Images

    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

    Getty Images

    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.