Masters Tradition Match Play: Round 1 voting

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 3, 2013, 1:30 pm

There is nothing like the Masters.

What Bobby Jones created in 1934 has grown into one of the world’s most beloved sporting events with indelible images, customs and ceremonies.

We've seeded the top 16 Masters traditions and you get to vote for your favorites and an overall winner of the Masters Tradition Match Play. And, yes, landmarks aren't technically 'traditions,' but they a part of the fabric of this event, so they have been included.

Round 2 voting will begin April 5; Final-four voting on April 8; the championship match on April 10, and the winner will be revealed April 12. You can read up on the contenders and vote below:


Match 1: (1) Green jacket vs. (16) Big oak tree

Green jacket – The tradition of the green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club dates to 1937. That year, members of the club wore green jackets during the tournament so that fans in attendance could easily recognize them if they needed to ask questions. Slipping a jacket onto the winner of the Masters began in 1949.

• Big oak tree – Located on the golf course side of the clubhouse is a magnificent oak tree that was planted in the 1850s. The popular gathering spot for members, guests, players and media is what many consider the heart of the Masters.


Match 2: (8) The menu vs. (9) Skipping balls on 16

• The menu – Limited, like commercial interruptions, and ridiculously affordable and tasty. Pimento cheese sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, Coke, sports drinks and beer. Sandwiches are $1.50. A dollar-fifty, people.

Skipping balls on 16 – During practice rounds, players hit their tee shots on the par-3 16th and then, with encouragement from the patrons, go to the water's edge and attempt to skip shots across the hazard and onto the green.


Match 3: (5) Par-3 Contest vs. (12) Azaleas

• Par-3 Contest – Since 1960, a semi-social event on Augusta National's par-3 course has been played the day before the first round of the Masters Tournament. No players that has won the nine-hole event has ever gone on to win the actual tournament the same year.

• Azaleas – Augusta National sits on the site of a former tree nursery, and is festooned with azaleas, magnolias and an amazing variety of other trees. Azaleas bloom in that part of the country around the same time as the tournament is held.


Match 4: (4) Ceremonial tee shots vs. (13) Caddie jumpsuits

• Ceremonial tee shots – Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod hit the first ceremonial opening tee shots in 1963. For many years the trio of Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson filled the role. The much-loved tradition now has Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.

• Caddie jumpsuits – Until 1983, players were required to use caddies provided by the club. Since then, they have been allowed to bring their own bagmen, but the caddies must dress in the traditional Augusta caddie garb: white jumpsuits and green hats.


Match 5: (6) Champions Dinner vs. (11) Magnolia Lane

• Champions Dinner – The Champions Dinner has been an annual tradition at the Masters since 1952, when Ben Hogan suggested and hosted the first edition. The previous year's winner gets to select the menu – and he also has to pay for producing that menu.

• Magnolia Lane – The road to the Augusta National clubhouse is 330 yards long and is lined with a canopy of magnolia trees that date back to the mid-1800s. According to the Augusta Chronicle, there are 61 magnolia trees on each side of Magnolia Lane. Those trees' branches meet overhead, creating a tunnel effect that is particularly striking when they are in bloom.


Match 6: (3) Amen Corner vs. (14) Rae's Creek

• Amen Corner – The second shot at the par-4 11th, all of the par-3 12th, and the tee shot at the par-5 13th at Augusta are nicknamed Amen Corner. This term was first used in print by author Herbert Warren Wind in his April 21, 1958 Sports Illustrated article about the Masters.

• Rae’s Creek – Rae's Creek is most famous as the water fronting the 12th green at Augusta National. As the creek cuts across a corner of the property, it flows behind the 11th green, in front of the 12th green and in front of the 13th tee. A tributary (but not Rae's Creek itself) snakes up the side of the 13th fairway and crosses in front of the 13th green.


Match 7: (7) Limited commercial interruption vs. (10) Amateurs in the field

• Limited commercial interruption The Masters, by design, has fewer commercial breaks than any other golf tournament. While we'd love to never be taken away from coverage, seeing 57 out of every 60 minutes isn't too bad.

• Amateurs in the field – The Masters honors its founder, amateur legend Jones, by extending invitations to notable amateurs and amateur champions around the world.


Match 8: (2) Former champions in the field vs. (15) Crow's Nest

• Former champions in the field – Jones thought of the Masters as a gathering of his friends and extended a lifetime exemption to the tournament to past winners. Past champions also get their own locker room.

• The Crow’s Nest – The Crow's Nest is a room that tops the Augusta National clubhouse. For decades, amateurs playing in the Masters field have been afforded the chance to sleep there. U.S. Amateur champions Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are among those to have slept in one of the club's twin beds, which are placed in a room measuring 30 feet by 40 feet.


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Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.


Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

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Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“Could have made a couple more putts, but to end with two up-and-downs like that was nice,” Henley said. “I felt a little bit weird over the shots coming in, put me in some bad spots. But it was nice to have the short game to back me up.”

Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

“I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

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Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

“I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

“We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

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Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

This is where Jim Furyk shot a 58 on the par-70 layout two years ago – and he didn’t even win that week. So even though Paul Casey enters the final round with a commanding four-shot lead, there’s still plenty of hope for the chase pack that something special could be in store.

Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

“My 7 under yesterday, I need to do better than that. I’m going to have to get to like 10 [under],” Watson said. “The only beauty is, getting out in front, you have a chance to put a number up and maybe scare them. But to scare them, you’re going to have to shoot 10 under at worst, where I’m at anyway.”

Watson started the third round three shots off the lead, and he made an early move with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 en route to an outward 32. The southpaw couldn’t sustain that momentum, as bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 turned a potential 65 into a relatively disappointing 67.

“Bad decision on the par-3, and then a very tough tee shot for me on 17, and it just creeped into the bunker,” Watson said. “Just, that’s golf. You have mistakes every once in a while.”