April 7, 1994.
That's the last time a Masters began without Tiger Woods in the field. Woods, who has won four green jackets, competed as an amateur in 1995 and 1996 and has not missed a start at Augusta National since his triumph in 1997. That streak came to a screeching halt Tuesday, though, as Woods announced he will miss next week's event as he recovers from recent back surgery.
After 19 consecutive appearances, a Woods-less Masters will certainly have a different feel. Let's take a glance back at what things looked like the last time Woods watched from his couch:
- Jose Maria Olazabal won the first of his two green jackets in 1994, outlasting Tom Lehman by two shots. He received $360,000 for the victory. Other names in the top 10 included Larry Mize, Tom Kite, Ray Floyd, Ian Baker-Finch, and a young Ernie Els, who tied for eighth two months before winning his first major at the 1994 U.S. Open.
- The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. was $1.10.
- Jordan Spieth was less than nine months old.
- The University of Arkansas had just defeated Duke, 76-72, to win their first NCAA Division I national championship in men's basketball. Among the fans to watch the final game on Monday, April 4 was former Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, who was two years into his first term as President.
- The top song on the "Billboard" Hot 100 list was "The Sign" by Ace of Base, which held the top slot for a total of six weeks during the spring of 1994.
- The top box office hit was "D2: The Mighty Ducks," which regained the top spot after briefly being overtaken by "Major League II." It was apparently a big month for sports sequels.
- Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, was discovered dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 8, the day of the second round of play at Augusta National. It was later determined that Cobain died on Tuesday, April 5.
- The 1994 Major League Baseball season was just underway, although a players' strike would force the cancellation of the remainder of the season in August.