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Author: Garry Smits

Masters 2016: All Eyes on Jordan Spieth

Tiger Woods didn’t exactly sneak up on the golf world. He was considered the next big thing from the time he was on a national TV talk show at the age of 2. At every step—junior golf, college, amateur—Woods was expected to do exactly what he did, which was to become the greatest player of his generation and a record of major championship success second only to his boyhood idol Jack Nicklaus. Jordan Spieth didn’t come out of nowhere. A native of Dallas, he was one of the nation’s top junior and amateur players, won two U.S. Junior Amateurs,...

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Masters 2016: 2016 Hole by Hole

Until someone signs for a 269 or better to win the Masters Tournament, there’s a numerical bond that will connect defending champion Jordan Spieth to four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods: 18-under. Woods shot the lowest score in Masters history with a 270 in 1997. Eighteen years later (there’s that number again), Spieth matched it in winning the 2015 Masters.     When Woods won his first Masters, the prevailing theme was that the Jack Nicklaus torch had finally been passed to a worthy successor. It wasn’t that Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Nick Price or Davis Love III weren’t good players....

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Masters 2015: 2015 Hole by Hole

BOBBY JONES was a visionary in founding the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. And in crafting the course design with Alister MacKenzie, Jones, the club’s president in perpetuity, hit on the formula that has defined strategy since the first Masters in 1934. At the National, it’s about the par-5s and what you make of them that decides the championship.   “Our overall aim at Augusta National was to provide a golf course of considerable natural beauty, enjoyable for the average golfer and at the same time testing for the expert player striving to better par,” Jones once...

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Masters 2015: When He’s Good

The more Bubba Watson wins—especially at the Augusta National Golf Club—the more his quirky personality plays out in the public light. It’s not that he’s much different than in the past. Friends and fellow players who go back with Watson to the Web.com Tour, mini-tours or the University of Georgia will tell you that he’s always been emotional, prone to mood swings. They also will tell you he’s a good-hearted country boy from Bagdad, Fla., a devout Christian, playful as a kid but someone who openly wonders, “What’s all the fuss?” “I’m Bubba from Bagdad,” he’s fond of saying....

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