Spending time with golf's most iconic 'trophy'

By Rex HoggardApril 7, 2014, 5:50 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – It is a historic twist of fate that the original green jackets, which were purchased from Brooks Uniform Co. in New York, were considered too heavy and quickly fell out of favor with the members at Augusta National.

By comparison, during Adam Scott’s victory tour across Australia last year the iconic green jacket represented the metaphorical release of 77 years of weight that had rested on an entire nation’s shoulders.

The claret jug may have more tales to tell and the U.S. Open trophy may stand as the most hard-fought award in golf, but the single breasted, single vent jacket awarded to each year’s Masters champion is a reward that defies hyperbole, and it seems even gravity.

Ever since Sam Snead became the first champion to slip into the green jacket after winning the 1949 Masters, the coveted jacket has emerged as a singular symbol of achievement in golf.

There’s not a cooler line in all of sports – Oh, this? It’s just something I picked up at Augusta National.

There is a reverence for the green jacket that has become a part of its lore.

“The way I am, having such respect for the facility and the tournament I was probably a little too low key with it. If I win again I will probably do a little more with it,” said Trevor Immelman, the 2008 champion. “Taking it out to places and showing them and giving people a bit more access to it.”

Masters Tournament: Articles, videos and photos

Zach Johnson, who preceded Immelman to the Masters closet, was similarly guarded with where he took the jacket.

“I probably didn’t wear it enough. I got to wrap my baby up in it, which was cool,” Johnson said.

By comparison, Scott was downright effusive with his size 40 prize, and who could blame him considering Australia’s drought at the year’s first major championship.

Last fall, Scott returned to Australia for a four-event swing that turned into a green jacket tour through Down Under. At the Australian PGA officials held a “green day” for fans and competitors to honor Scott’s achievement and the defending champion even signed autographs while wearing the green jacket.

“Charl (Schwartzel, the 2011 champion) and Adam did a great job taking it around. It’s fantastic,” Immelman said. “I didn’t give people as much access as those two guys have because they have done it respectfully and it’s been very well received.”

Of course, the guidelines for when and where the green jacket can be worn have changed, particularly after Johnson’s victory in 2007.  Call it the “Zach rules” because following his Masters triumph officials became a little more hands on when it came to the jacket.

“I have no garment bag. I’m going to New York City at 6 a.m. (on Monday following his victory). I cover it up with a trash bag. I had nothing and I don’t really just want to, ‘Hey, this is my green jacket,’” Johnson said.

“I put it on in Times Square and I wore it with jeans. So, a no-no on the bag, a no-no on the jeans. When (Immelman) won the next year, he has this nice garment bag and I believe they give a brief description of what you should do and shouldn’t do.”

Champions are advised to only wear the green jacket at golf-oriented events, like charity outings, corporate events and at golf clubs.

“Wearing it to Chick-fil-A, that isn’t going to happen,” Johnson said.

Mostly, people just want to touch the jacket, or in rare instances put it on. “Whenever someone came over to the house they would be the one wear it, not me,” Immelman said.

“If there is a 40 reg in the house they want to put it on,” Johnson said. “Couple of guys snuck in there. They want to touch it, they want to feel it, they want to put it on.”

Champions are allowed to keep the jacket for a year and there is no return policy. A defending champion will normally wear the spoils one last time during Tuesday’s Champions Dinner and again when they put the green jacket on this year’s champion on Sunday afternoon in Butler Cabin.

That is, of course, unless he goes back-to-back, which was the option Scott was most keen on.

“I’ve really got this thing in my head that I’m quite determined to not leave it here. I really have enjoyed having it with me all the time,” Scott smiled on Sunday. “I probably haven’t taken advantage of wearing it out enough. Maybe (I was) too respectful. I think I am very determined to take it with me again next Sunday.”

Freed from the weight of the Aussie duck, which is what Australian’s called their winless streak at Augusta National, Scott seems plenty strong enough to shoulder the jacket for another 12 months.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 21, 2018, 8:02 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.

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Web.com pro shoots under par despite a 10

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 21, 2018, 7:34 pm

We've all been there. We make a big number early in a round, and mentally we pack it in for the day, believing our shot to break 100/90/80 is gone before we've even worked up a sweat.

The next time this happens to you, remember the case of Max Rottluff, who made a 10 - a 10! - on a par 4 early in the first round of the Web.com Tour Finals and found himself 6 over par after only two holes. And he had to hole out from the fringe to keep it to a 10!

Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship

Rottluff, a native of Germany who played collegiately at Arizona State, bore down after that, never dropping another stroke. Not only that, but he made seven birdies - two on the front nine and five on the back - to shoot a 1-under-par 70.

Rottluff started the Web.com Tour Finals in 82nd place, so he has a long way to go to reach the top 25 and earn a PGA Tour card. (He did follow his 70 with a 66 in the second round, so he's headed in the right direction.) He finished 64th on the Web.com Tour's regular-season money list, which guarantees him a full exemption on that tour next year.

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Tiger gets rapper Big Boi's support during opening 65

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 21, 2018, 6:00 pm

Tiger Woods fans everywhere were buzzing during his opening 65 at the Tour Championship, and that includes Atlanta hip-hop legend Big Boi, who was supporting the 14-time major champ from the East Lake gallery.

Perhaps best known as one half of the rap duo "Outkast" along with André 3000, Big Boi played the part of Woods superfan on Thursday, following Tiger around the course and posting videos on Twitter, before eventually stopping for a chat and a few pictures after the round.

Big Boi, who kicked off the Tour Championship with a performance at the event’s opening ceremonies, is hardly the first hip-hop superstar to buddy up to Woods - who could forget these incredible pictures with Snoop Dogg?

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After Web.com Tour Finals, Peterson retires ... again

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 21, 2018, 5:50 pm

OK, now it’s official: John Peterson is done with professional golf.  

With one last chance to secure his PGA Tour card for next season, Peterson missed the cut in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship. After failing to keep conditional status on Tour – in the most excruciating of circumstances – Peterson is now out of options to play the big tour in 2019, so he’s stepping away from professional golf, at age 29.

Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship

It’s been one of the most unusual storylines of the year. The former NCAA individual champion from LSU announced at the beginning of the year that he was done if he didn’t keep his card on his major medical extension. He’d grown tired of the nomadic existence on Tour, and as a new father and husband, he’d already lined up his next career, in real estate and business development in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.

In July, Peterson said that the Web.com Tour Finals would be his final opportunity. If he earned a full PGA Tour card through the four-event series, then he’d continue to play in 2018-19 because he’d be able to pick and choose his schedule. But he never threatened full status, missing three cuts and tying for 56th in the other start.

And so on Friday afternoon, Peterson tapped out this tweet, saying goodbye to the Tour: