Augusta National, The Masters- 2014

The big course change/update this year is the absence of the Eisenhower Tree, which was probably the most famous tree in golf and one of the most famous landmarks in golf.

The Eisenhower Tree in 2011.
The Eisenhower Tree in 2011 at Augusta National, Augusta Georgia.

The tree  was a loblolly pine. It stood about 65 feet  tall and was located on the 17th hole at the Augusta National Golf Club, approximately 210 yards (190 m) from the Masters tee on the left side of the fairway. It was estimated to be 100 to 125 years old at the time it died.
The tree was named after President Eisenhower, an Augusta National member.  Ike hit the tree while playing golf so many times that, at a 1956 club meeting, he proposed that it be cut down. Not wanting to offend the president, the club’s chairman, Clifford Roberts, immediately adjourned the meeting rather than reject the request. The tree was linked to Eisenhower ever since.

Augusta National chairman Billy Payne released a short statement confirming the demise of the famous tree (via Golf Channel): “The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept. We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible …”

The Eisenhower Tree before and after the February 2014 ice storm.  It has been completely removed from the 17th.

In 2011, Tiger Woods was playing a shot from underneath the Eisenhower and damaged his left knee and Achilles tendon when he slipped on some pine straw. The injuries sidelined him until August 2011 and his world ranking dropped to 58th.

Woods under the Eisenhower Tree in The 2011 Masters Tournament.

Augusta National Golf Club is a private with a restricted membership list, and many fans know the course well. The course was formerly a plant nursery and each hole on the course is named after the tree or shrub with which it has become associated. Here is a tour of the course, hole-by-hole.  2014 Masters- Augusta National Golf Club course guide

The  Masters Tournament, is one of the four major championships in professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course.  It is also the first major of the season, played in early April.

Sources:   Wikipedia- Augusta National Golf Club

SBNation: Eisenhower Tree Removed

ESPN: Ike’s tree lives only as a memory

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Tiger Woods is out for the 2014 Masters

Tiger Woods will miss the 2014 Masters and his chance at a 5th Masters title and the accompanying green jacket!  Read about it HERE

The 2014 Masters:  http://www.masters.com/en_US/index.html

Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods (born December 30, 1975)] is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time. Currently the World No. 1, he has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years.  See some of his impressive achievements below. (Most taken from Wikipedia, see links at bottom of post)

Childhood Achievements:

  • He was a child prodigy, introduced to golf before the age of two, by his athletic father Earl, a single-figure handicap amateur golfer
  •  At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes over the Cypress Navy course
  • Before turning seven, Tiger won the Under Age 10 section of the Drive, Pitch, and Putt competition, held at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress, California.
  • He first broke 80 at age eight
  • In 1984 at the age of eight, he won the 9–10 boys’ event, the youngest age group available, at the Junior World Golf Championships.
  • He went on to win the Junior World Championships six times
  • Tiger first defeated his dad at the age of 11 years, with Earl trying his best. Earl lost to Tiger every time from then on
  • First broke 70 on a regulation golf course at age 12
  • At the age of 15, Woods became the youngest ever U.S. Junior Amateur champion (a record which stood until it was broken by Jim Liu in 2010)
  • In 1993, Woods won his third consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur Championship; he remains the event’s only three-time winner
  • In 1994, at the TPC at Sawgrass in Florida, he became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, a record he held until 2008 when it was broken by Danny Lee
  • Graduated from Western High School, in Anaheim, CA in 1994 at age 18, and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” among the graduating class.

College Career- Golfing at Stanford University

  • He enrolled at Stanford in the fall of 1994 under a golf scholarship, winning his first collegiate event, the 40th Annual William H. Tucker Invitational, that September
  • He was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, NCAA First Team All-American, and Stanford’s Male Freshman of the Year (an award that encompasses all sports)
  • Woods participated in his first PGA Tour major, the 1995 Masters Tournament, and tied for 41st as the only amateur to make the cut.
  • At age 20 in 1996, he became the first golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles and won the NCAA individual golf championship

Professional Career

  • Woods became a professional golfer in August 1996, and immediately signed deals with Nike, Inc. and Titleist that ranked as the most lucrative endorsement contracts in golf history at that time
  • Woods turned professional in 1996, and by April 1997 he had already won his first major, the Masters, becoming the tournament’s youngest-ever winner.
  • The 1997 Masters in a record-breaking performance, winning the tournament by 12 strokes
  • He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997.
  • In the 2000 U.S. Open, he broke or tied nine tournament records in what Sports Illustrated called “the greatest performance in golf history,” in which Woods won the tournament by a 15-stroke margin .
  • Through the 2000’s, Woods was the dominant force in golf.

Fall from the top- From December 2009 to early April 2010, Woods took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity. His many extra-marital indiscretions were revealed by several different women, through many worldwide media sources. This was followed by a loss of golf form, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No. 58 in November 2011.

Back on top-  Ended a career-long win less streak of 107 weeks when he captured the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 25, 2013, he ascended to the No.1 ranking once again.

Tiger’s Golf Records:

  • He has been world number one for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any other golfer.
  • He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record eleven times
  • Leader of money list in ten different seasons.
  • Has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second highest of any player (Jack Nicklaus leads with 18) and 79 PGA Tour events, second all time behind Sam Snead, who had 82 wins.
  • He has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer.
  • He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, . Additionally, Woods is only the second golfer, after Jack Nicklaus, to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times.
  • Is the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour
  • Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships, and won at least one of those events in each of the first 11 years after they began in 1999.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_Woods

Official Website: http://www.tigerwoods.com/home

 PGA Tour- Tiger Woods:  http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.08793.tiger-woods.html