The US Masters is one of the men's world golfing Major Championships. The Masters is scheduled for the first full week of April, and it is the first of the majors to be played each year. Unlike the other major championships, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club, a private golf club in the city of Augusta, Georgia, USA. The Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones, who designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie. The tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour, the PGA European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, entry being controlled by the Augusta National Golf Club.
The tournament has a number of traditions. A green jacket is awarded to the winner of each tournament, which must be returned to the clubhouse after a year. The Champions dinner, inaugurated by Ben Hogan, is held on the Tuesday before each tournament, and is only open to past champions and certain board members of the Augusta National Golf Club. Beginning in 1963, legendary golfers, usually past champions, have hit an honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round. Such golfers have included Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus. Since 1960, a semi-social Par 3 Contest, on a par-3 course on Augusta National's grounds, has been played on the day before the first round of each Masters Tournament.
Jack Nicklaus has won more Masters Tournaments than any other golfer, winning six times between 1963 and 1986. Other multiple winners include Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods, with four each. Gary Player, from South Africa, was the first non-American player to win the tournament in 1961.
Visit the website of the host club - Augusta National Golf Club
Visit the official tournament website
Bubba Watson is the 2012 Masters champion after defeating South African Louis Oosthuizen at the second hole of a sudden death playoff at Augusta.
Watson, 33, was reduced to tears as he claimed his first major title, less than a month after adopting a baby boy with wife Angie and 18 months after the passing of his father Gerry following a lengthy battle with throat cancer.
The big-hitting American had earlier drawn level with Oosthuizen courtesy of a birdie at the 16th, before both players made par at the 17th and 18th holes to finish 10-under 278, two shots ahead of Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, third-round leader Peter Hanson and Lee Westwood.
After missing a putt on the 18th that would have won him the green jacket on the first playoff hole, Watson produced a remarkable shot from the pine needles on the 10th that set him up for a two-putt par.
"I never got this far in my dreams," Watson said at the presentation of the green jacket. "It's a blessing."
Oosthuizen led for most of the dramatic final day at Augusta National and struck one of the greatest shots in Masters history with a double eagle on the second hole.
The albatross was only the fourth in Masters history and the first since Jeff Maggert achieved the feat at the 13th in 1994.
Mickelson, who began the day eight-under in search of his fourth Masters crown, had a horror triple-bogey six on the fourth hole, before birdies on eight, 13 and 15 brought him back to the same mark.
Former world number one Tiger Woods and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy finished the tournament tied for 40th on five over par.
Australian Adam Scott was also one of the big movers in the final round, posting a six-under 66 that included four consecutive birdies on the front nine to tie finish in a tie for eighth with Justin Rose and Padraig Harrington.
A final-round 71 saw Geoff Ogilvy finish in a tie for 18th at even par for the tournament as Aaron Baddeley's struggles over the last two days continued as he followed up Saturday's 77 with a two-over 74 to finish at five over the card overall.