If you mention the Masters to someone, chances are they will know exactly what you are talking about, even if they are not a big golf fan. The Masters Golf Tournament, to give it its full name, is now one of the best known annual sporting events. But the competition was not always known by that title. Co-founded in 1934 by the legendary golfer Bobby Jones, it was first known as the Augusta National Invitational Tournament. Jones initially tried to get the US Open to be played at his new Augusta club, but the offer was rejected as the hot Georgia weather was thought to be too humid for elite tournament play.
Though there was talk of calling it the Masters at the very outset, Jones objected to the name on the basis that it would sound too presumptuous. Instead he insisted it be known more modestly as the Augusta National Invitational Tournament. However, within a few years it had quickly established a reputation worth of the lofty title and Jones agreed to let it be named the Masters Tournament after all, with the present familiar title being adopted in 1939. Its fame would grow and grow, especially after being associated with names like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, and Tiger Woods after that.
These days the tournament is simply known by that short yet elegant name. Much of its popularity can be attributed to its permanent home at a fine course, and the rich set of traditions that have been developed around it, including the famed green jacket. Originally just for members of the club, it is now awarded to the winner each year in a time-honored ritual. One thing is certain is that the club and the competition Bobby Jones envisioned and helped make a reality all those years ago has certainly lived up to its name.
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