Seve Ballesteros, who died on May 7, 2011, was a singular talent.

Playing a sport not universally loved, he somehow had a universal appeal.

He was a great entertainer. His passion and charisma lent him an aura few can match.

Ballesteros' gift was apparent from an early age, the young Spaniard showing his creative flare by hitting pebbles with a wood-shafted three-iron on a beach near his home.

It is little wonder he would go on to become arguably golf's most inventive player, able to execute shots most could not even envisage.

Flamboyant and swashbuckling, Ballesteros had a style all his own, with Tiger Woods lauding his genius.

"Seve was one of the most talented and exciting golfers to ever play the game," Woods said in a tribute shortly after Ballesteros died of brain cancer.

"His creativity and inventiveness on the golf course may never be surpassed."

That craft and guile served him so well that Ballesteros became a serial winner, with 90 titles to his name, including five majors.

His influence on the European Tour, on which he won a record 50 tournaments, cannot be overstated.

Players today owe him a huge debt of gratitude, with Ballesteros popularising the sport across the continent and beyond, becoming the first European to win the Masters when he triumphed at Augusta in 1980.

Europe itself, as a sporting entity in the Ryder Cup, meant a great deal to him, and Ballesteros was a talismanic figure for his team.

From 37 matches he claimed 22.5 points and is widely regarded as Europe's most iconic team member, leading them to victory as captain in his home nation in 1997.

His presence is still felt in modern editions, with 2012 captain and close friend Jose Maria Olazabal citing Ballesteros' influence on Team Europe's stunning comeback win at Medinah.

Crying as he spoke, Olazabal said: "Our team played in the spirit of Seve without ever giving up. You believed and you delivered and I'm proud that you have kept Europe's hand on this Ryder Cup."

Ballesteros' was diagnosed with a brain tumour after collapsing at Madrid airport in 2008. He underwent three operations over more than 20 hours. A spell in intensive care and multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed, all helping to extend his life while simultaneously sapping at his energy.

He passed away nine years ago, at the age of 54, and the world of golf lost its brightest star. 

Anfield was the scene of wild celebrations this time last year as Liverpool produced a stunning comeback to beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.

Jurgen Klopp's side overturned a 3-0 first-leg deficit to reach the final, which they would go on to win against Tottenham in Madrid.

Arsenal fans have fond memories of May 7, too, as it was the start of a run of results that has never been repeated in the Premier League era.

It is also a day of sadness, as it marks the anniversary of the death of golf great Seve Ballesteros.

 

2000 – David Coulthard finishes second at the Spanish Grand Prix after plane crash

McLaren claimed a famous one-two in Barcelona on this day 20 years ago, with Mika Hakkinen beating team-mate David Coulthard into second as Michael Schumacher and Ferrari had a day to forget.

The fact Coulthard was even on the grid was astonishing given he had been injured in a fatal plane crash just five days earlier.

The pilot and co-pilot of the light aircraft were killed when it came down in flames in Lyon, with Coulthard escaping with fractured ribs.

The Scot said racing in discomfort was "a small price to pay" and made a point of not spraying champagne while on the podium, saying: "Two families suffered a huge loss last week and I didn't think it was right for me to celebrate in such circumstances."

 

2003 – Pennant hat-trick sees Invincibles born

With Manchester United having already won the title and with an FA Cup final around the corner for both sides, Arsenal's clash with Southampton on this day was not exactly fiercely contested.

The Gunners breezed to a 6-1 victory in which Jermaine Pennant marked his Premier League debut with a hat-trick, with Robert Pires bagging the other three and Jo Tessem netting a consolation.

The result had far-reaching consequences. It was the start of a 49-game run without loss in the top flight, stretching until October 2004, when United finally halted Arsene Wenger's relentless machine.

The 'Invincibles', who became the only team in Premier League history to go a whole season unbeaten in 2003-04, still hold the record for the longest undefeated streak in England's top division. Oh, and they beat Southampton in that FA Cup final, too.

 

2011 – Seve Ballesteros dies

The great Seve Ballesteros died on May 7, 2011 after a battle with brain cancer.

The Spaniard passed away at home in Pedrena three years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour following a collapse at Madrid airport in 2008.

Ballesteros is remembered still as an all-time star of the sport. He was a five-time major winner and claimed 90 titles overall, while he was successful as both player and captain in the Ryder Cup.

However, it was the style with which he played the game that won legions of admirers and prompted Lee Westwood, world number one at the time of Ballesteros' death, to describe him as "an inspiration, genius, role model, hero and friend".

 

2019 – Liverpool leave Barcelona reeling

Barcelona had suffered a humbling 3-0 loss to Roma in the 2017-18 quarter-finals that saw them knocked out on away goals after a 4-1 first-leg win.

Last season, with a 3-0 victory over Liverpool in the bag from Camp Nou and the memories of Rome still haunting them, they were determined there would be no repeat.

We all know what happened next.

Divock Origi put Liverpool ahead and, when Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice in 122 second-half seconds, the tie was level and Barca were rattled. Origi then got his second from a quick Trent Alexander-Arnold corner, Liverpool were 4-0 up and 4-3 ahead on aggregate, Anfield was rocking, and Barca were out again.

Liverpool went on to become champions of Europe for the sixth time. As for Barca, that humiliating trip to Merseyside will likely never be forgotten.

With the 2020 Masters postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, we have drawn from the well of the tournament's rich history to produce something unique.

From its inception in 1934 right up to last year's stunning triumph for Tiger Woods, this major has always delivered the goods.

While the Augusta course may lie dormant for now, echoes of a glorious past still ring around its verdant fairways and greens.

Using daily leaderboards from a selection of the most memorable editions of the event, we have created a Fantasy Masters.

And here is how a thrilling final round went down...

 

Jordan Spieth (2015) edged out Tiger Woods (1997) on the second play-off hole to win the Fantasy Masters following a thrilling tussle between the two American young guns.

The pair, both just 21, went out in the final group at Augusta as Spieth started Sunday's round with a one-stroke lead over Woods and Raymond Floyd (1976).

Spieth headed to the 18th eyeing a record low score, having become the first player to reach 19 under, but he fluffed his lines with a bogey as Woods capitalised to record a par and force his rival into a play-off.

After both sunk nerveless pars, Spieth stepped it up a gear on the 10th, draining a birdie putt to earn the green jacket following a wire-to-wire triumph.

Spieth racked up a record 28 birdies, finishing an aggregate 12 under on the par fives to underline his clinical brilliance.

Floyd came mighty close to making it a three-way title tussle but, after birdies at 12 and 15, he could not find another gain to force the issue.

Another home hope left to rue a missed opportunity was Patrick Reed (2018), whose 71 was his worst round of the week as he closed on 15 under.

Spain's Seve Ballesteros (1980) squandered an even better chance. Having got to 16 under at the turn following a fine front-nine 33, he ended up signing for an even-par 72 to finish five strokes off the pace.

Ben Crenshaw (1995), a winner here in 1984, took fifth place ahead of Ballesteros and Fred Couples (1992) with a 68.

At the wrong end of the leaderboard, Nick Faldo (1996), Arnold Palmer (1964) and Angel Cabrera (2009) ended on 12 under.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Jordan Spieth: "It's the most incredible week of my life. This is as great as it gets in our sport. I'm still kind of shock a little bit."

LEADERBOARD

Jordan Spieth (2015) -18 (won on second play-off hole)

Tiger Woods (1997) -18

Raymond Floyd (1976) -17

Patrick Reed (2018) -15

Ben Crenshaw (1995) -14

Seve Ballesteros (1980) -13

Fred Couples (1992) -13

Angel Cabrera (2009) -12

Arnold Palmer (1964) -12

Nick Faldo (1996) -12

*Play-off result determined by average score, rounded to nearest whole number, on 18th and 10th holes across all four rounds

As sporting drama goes, few things are more reliably captivating than the final round of the Masters.

On what would have been Masters Sunday eve, we take a look at how the previous six Augusta finales have played out.

 

2014

Champion: Bubba Watson

Margin of victory: Three shots

Position after R3: T1 (with Jordan Spieth)

Final-round summary: Tournament debutant Spieth threatened to pull off a major shock when he pulled two clear of fellow third-round leader Watson - the 2012 winner - through seven holes on Sunday. However, a four-shot swing over the next two put Watson in charge and he ultimately triumphed with relative comfort. Spieth and Jonas Blixt finished three shots off the pace in second as Watson completed a 69 to secure his second victory at Augusta in three years.

 

2015

Champion: Jordan Spieth

Margin of victory: Four shots

Position after R3: 1 (leading by four)

Final-round summary: Twelve months on from his impressive debut, Spieth was a class above the rest as he cruised to a remarkable, record-breaking success. Only 21 at the time, the Texan had led after each of the first three days and demonstrated supreme composure to retain a healthy advantage over the final 18 holes. Spieth's lead was never less than three on Sunday and he equalled the lowest score in tournament history - matching Woods' aggregate of 270 in 1997 - despite bogeying the final hole. Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson, his nearest challengers, were four shots adrift.

2016

Champion: Danny Willett

Margin of victory: Three shots

Position after R3: T5 (three off the lead)

Final-round summary: Spieth looked set to record another wire-to-wire win and prevail by an even greater margin when he birdied four holes in a row to open up a five-shot lead with nine holes to play. Yet a stunning collapse lay ahead as he followed bogeys at the 10th and 11th by finding the water twice on his way to a staggering quadruple-bogey seven at the short 12th. That nightmare for Spieth left Willett in charge, the Englishman having just birdied the 13th and 14th holes up ahead. Willett could have buckled under the pressure, but he duly picked up another shot on 16 and parred the last two to finish three clear of Spieth and Lee Westwood at five under. 

 

2017

Champion: Sergio Garcia

Margin of victory: Play-off

Position after R3: T1 (with Justin Rose)

Final-round summary: For the second year running, the closing stages of the Masters provided outstanding drama, as Garcia and Rose slugged it out in a titanic duel. So often the nearly man in majors, Garcia was three clear of Rose after five holes but appeared likely to fall short once again as he slipped behind early on the back nine. A miraculous par save at 13 and an eagle at 15 revived the Spaniard, yet he then missed a five-footer for the win on the final hole. Amid increasing tension, Garcia eventually broke his major duck in a play-off, making birdie to Rose's bogey when the pair returned to the 18th. 

 

2018

Champion: Patrick Reed

Margin of victory: Two shots

Position after R3: 1 (leading by three)

Final-round summary: Rory McIlroy was chasing a career Grand Slam and expected to provide the biggest challenge to Reed, who began Sunday three clear at the top of the leaderboard. However, McIlroy slumped to a 74 and it was left to Rickie Fowler and a charging Spieth to threaten Reed's position. Spieth put together a stunning 64, but came up two short as Reed pipped Fowler by one with a closing 71 and earned his maiden major title.

2019

Champion: Tiger Woods

Margin of victory: One shot

Position after R3: T2 (two off the lead)

Final-round summary: Stormy weather meant an early start and groups of three, with players going off the first and 10th tees. Former Open champion and 2018 Ryder Cup hero Francesco Molinari's bid for Masters glory was derailed when he found the water at 15, a hole where Tiger Woods carded a birdie to assume the outright lead. Another gain followed at 16 and the likes of Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka could not keep pace. A bogey at the last was enough to secure Woods' fifth green jacket, 14 years after the previous one.

With the 2020 Masters postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, we have drawn from the well of the tournament's rich history to produce something unique.

From its inception in 1934 right up to last year's stunning triumph for Tiger Woods, this major has always delivered the goods.

While the Augusta course may lay dormant for now, echoes of a glorious past still ring around its verdant fairways and greens.

Using daily leaderboards from a selection of the most memorable editions of the event, we have created a Fantasy Masters.

And here is how a thrilling third round went down...

 

Tiger Woods (1997) carded a stunning 65 to move to within one stroke of Fantasy Masters leader Jordan Spieth (2015).

The young duo, both just 21, face stiff competition from Raymond Floyd (1976), who sits level with Woods on 15 under after recovering from a double-bogey six at the 11th to sign for a 70.

Seve Ballesteros (1980) cut the gap to the summit from five shots to three with a 68, leaving the Spaniard one behind Patrick Reed (2018) following the American's excellent 67.

Woods, who shot a 66 on Friday, went one better in round three, where he piled the pressure on Spieth, who is eyeing a wire-to-wire triumph.

Having started the day six shots behind Spieth, Woods was quick out of the blocks and made the first of four front-nine gains on the second hole.

He put the seal on a fine Augusta outing by birdieing the last to conclude a blemish-free round that stood in stark contrast to Spieth's scorecard.

Spieth's 70 saw him struggle badly on the par fours, where he was three over – seven shots worse than his first-round effort – and a run of four birdies in five holes was largely undone by a a bogey at 14 and a double at 17.

A field shorn of the likes of Jack Nicklaus (1965) and Gary Player (1978) following the cut is now tightly packed heading into the final round, although Nick Faldo (1996) slipped well off the pace.

The Englishman, who won back-to-back Masters titles in 1989 and 1990, posted a scruffy 73 which included a double bogey and five other dropped shots, salvaged slightly by a birdie at the last.

Arnold Palmer (1964), who only narrowly made the weekend, was one of four players to register a 69, along with Fred Couples (1992), Angel Cabrera (2009) and Ben Crenshaw (1995).

 

LEADERBOARD

Jordan Spieth (2015) -16

Tiger Woods (1997) -15

Raymond Floyd (1976) -15

Patrick Reed (2018) -14

Seve Ballesteros (1980) -13

Fred Couples (1992) -11

Angel Cabrera (2009) -11

Arnold Palmer (1964) -10

Ben Crenshaw (1995) -10

Nick Faldo (1996) -7

With the 2020 Masters postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, we have drawn from the well of the tournament's rich history to produce something unique.

From its inception in 1934 right up to last year's stunning triumph for Tiger Woods, this major has always delivered the goods.

While the Augusta course may lay dormant for now, echoes of a glorious past still ring around its verdant fairways and greens.

Using daily leaderboards from a selection of the most memorable editions of the event, we have created a Fantasy Masters.

And here is how a thrilling second round went down...

 

Jack Nicklaus (1965) remarkably failed to make the cut as Jordan Spieth (2015) and Raymond Floyd (1976) pulled clear of the chasing pack on day two of the Fantasy Masters.

Spieth, who came up just short of an Augusta course record when he shot an opening 64, carded a 66 on Friday to maintain his one-stroke lead over Floyd.

But there was a huge shock lower down the leaderboard as Nicklaus, two years on from claiming the green jacket, fluffed his lines on Amen Corner to ensure he will miss the weekend.

Nicklaus bogeyed the 11th, 12th and 13th, ensuring his back-to-back gains at the 15th and 16th came in a fruitless effort.

He was far from the only big name to drop out of the tournament, with Tom Watson (1977) and Gary Player (1978) also missing the cut, along with Ben Hogan (1953), Phil Mickelson (2010) and Charl Schwartzel (2011).

The big movers were Tiger Woods (1997) and Patrick Reed (2018), who both signed for a 66, leaving them on eight and nine under respectively.

Spieth and Floyd's relative comfort at the summit owes much to the fact Seve Ballesteros (1980) could not keep the pressure on, despite a late rally.

After slipping below the cut mark with six holes left, the Spaniard birdied four of the next five to end the day third, but five shots from the top.

Arnold Palmer (1964) survived an even closer call with the cut line, the 34-year-old keeping his nerve to make a decisive three on the par-four 18th.

Other players who kept their hopes alive were Nick Faldo (1996), Fred Couples (1992), Angel Cabrera (2009) and Ben Crenshaw (1995).

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Paul Azinger: "He [Tiger Woods] didn't miss a putt inside 10 feet. If he's going to drive it great and not miss a putt inside 10 feet, he is going to beat you."

Gary Player: "One of the things I am is an eternal optimist. I was playing excellent golf, and I hadn't made any putts. But you have to keep on aiming at them."

 

LEADERBOARD

Jordan Spieth (2015) -14

Raymond Floyd (1976) -13

Seve Ballesteros (1980) -9

Patrick Reed (2018) -9

Tiger Woods (1997) -8

Nick Faldo (1996) -8

Fred Couples (1992) -8

Angel Cabrera (2009) -8

Arnold Palmer (1964) -7

Ben Crenshaw (1995) -7

-CUT-CUT-CUT-CUT-CUT-

Jack Nicklaus (1965) -6

Phil Mickelson (2010) -6

Tom Watson (1977) -5

Ben Hogan (1953) -5

Charl Schwartzel (2011) -4

Gary Player (1978) Even

With the 2020 Masters postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, we have drawn from the well of the tournament's rich history to produce something unique.

From its inception in 1934 right up to last year's stunning triumph for Tiger Woods, this major has always delivered the goods.

While the Augusta course may lay dormant for now, echoes of a glorious past still ring around its verdant fairways and greens.

Using daily leaderboards from a selection of the most memorable editions of the event, we have created a Fantasy Masters.

And here is how a thrilling opening round went down...

 

Jordan Spieth (2015) leads a star-studded field after shooting a stunning 64 in the opening round of the Fantasy Masters.

The American sits proudly atop a leaderboard dominated by his compatriots, sinking nine birdies to reach eight under at Augusta.

Spieth, 21, was eyeing a course record until a bogey at the 15th slowed his progress, although he was not too downbeat.

"I wasn't aware what the course record was here, let alone that it actually would have been the lowest round in major championship history. So that's a little frustrating," he said, with Nick Price's 63 safe for now.

"But I'm certainly okay with the day."

However, he faces pressure from Raymond Floyd (1976), who birdied each of the four par fives to stay within one stroke of the summit.

Seve Ballesteros (1980) is flying the flag for Europe, the Spaniard taking a typically bold approach in his 66, putting him one ahead of Jack Nicklaus (1965) and Phil Mickelson (2010).

A scruffy start left Tiger Woods (1997) well off the pace at the turn, sitting four over, but he surged on the way home – highlighted by an eagle three at 15, where Spieth faltered – to sign for a lop-sided 70, taking 40 shots on the front nine and 30 on the back.

Argentina's Angel Cabrera (2009), winner of the 2007 U.S. Open, is in the frame after carding a 68, putting him a solitary stroke clear of a five-man chasing pack consisting of Arnold Palmer (1964), Nick Faldo (1996), Fred Couples (1992), Patrick Reed (2018) and Charl Schwartzel (2011).

Meanwhile, Ben Hogan (1953), Ben Crenshaw (1995) and Tom Watson (1977) matched Woods' score, with Gary Player (1978) propping up the pile as the only man failing to shoot an under-par score.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Tiger Woods: "I was pretty hot going to the 10th tee. I couldn't keep the ball in the fairway. I couldn't attack the pin. I knew what I was doing wrong. I was in such a bad position at the top of the backswing, I was coming off the ball. But after I realised that, it was just a matter of trusting the motion."

Patrick Reed: "It was one of those steady days where you go out and play normal golf and let the birdies come to you. Around this place, pars are good. I was able to plop myself around and when I had an opportunity I capitalised on it."

LEADERBOARD

Jordan Spieth (2015) -8

Raymond Floyd (1976) -7

Seve Ballesteros (1980) -6

Jack Nicklaus (1965) -5 

Phil Mickelson (2010) -5

Angel Cabrera (2009) -4

Arnold Palmer (1964) -3

Nick Faldo (1996) -3

Fred Couples (1992) -3

Patrick Reed (2018) -3 

Charl Schwartzel (2011) -3

Tiger Woods (1997) -2

Ben Hogan (1953) -2

Ben Crenshaw (1995) -2

Tom Watson (1977) -2

Gary Player (1978) Even

On the eve of what would have been the opening round of this year's Masters, we take a look back at seven magic moments from the Augusta archives.

1935 - Gene Sarazen hits 'the shot heard around the world'

The Masters was established in 1934, but it was in the following year that the tournament really captured people's attention - thanks largely to a stunning albatross that helped Gene Sarazen to victory. Sarazen trailed Craig Wood by three shots as he headed to the 15th tee, but wiped out that deficit in sensational fashion by holing his second shot with a 4-wood from 235 yards. He went on to claim his seventh and final major title in a Monday play-off, although Wood finally tasted success at Augusta six years later. The Sarazen Bridge at Augusta's 15th hole commemorates one of the most famous shots in the history of golf.

1986 - The Golden Bear rolls back the years

The legendary Jack Nicklaus remains the oldest winner of The Masters, having claimed victory in the 50th staging of the tournament at the age of 46. Nicklaus' 18th major title - a total that has yet to be surpassed - was secured by a remarkable late-round surge on Sunday that saw the 'Golden Bear' follow an eagle at 15 with successive birdies to reach nine under. As his putt for a three at the par-four 17th dropped, giving Nicklaus the lead for the first time in the tournament, the veteran raised his putter in the air and adopted a pose that would soon become iconic.

1987 - Local hero Mize leaves Norman stunned

Few people gave Larry Mize a chance when he went up against Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros in a sudden-death play-off at the 1987 Masters. A relatively unheralded Augusta native, Mize had won only one previous event on the PGA Tour and was unsurprisingly viewed as a rank outsider in a battle with two of the world's best. However, Ballesteros bowed out with a bogey at the first play-off hole, the 10th, and Mize then claimed glory courtesy of a magnificent birdie on the par-four 11th. Having missed the green to the right, and with Norman on the front edge in two, Mize remarkably chipped in before bounding on to the putting surface in celebration. "It was total elation," he told Perform ahead of this year's event. "I was just running around screaming like a mad man." Norman missed his birdie putt and mentions of 'Larry Mize country' are frequently heard on Masters commentary to this day when players go right at the 11th.

2004 - Mickelson breaks major duck

Having long held the unwanted tag of being the best player never to win a major, Phil Mickelson answered his critics on April 11, 2004 by coming out on top in one of the most thrilling conclusions in Masters history. 'Lefty' had eight top-three finishes in majors to his name, but had yet to land one of the game's biggest titles when he began his final round level with Chris DiMarco at the top of the leaderboard. A familiar outcome appeared likely when Mickelson played his first six holes in two over par, but he responded by birdieing five of the last seven, including the 18th, to pip Ernie Els in a titanic duel. His successful 18-foot putt for a three at the final hole sparked scenes of unbridled joy and a delighted Mickelson said: "To have it be such a difficult journey to win my first major makes it that much more sweeter."

2005 - 'That' Tiger Woods chip

DiMarco topped the leaderboard after each of the first two rounds in 2005, only for Tiger Woods to storm into a three-stroke lead courtesy of a third-round 65 played across two days due to inclement weather. To his credit, DiMarco fought back in the final round and was only one behind Woods as both players approached the par-three 16th. When the underdog hit the green with his tee shot and Woods missed the target, their battle looked set to go right down to the wire. Woods had other ideas, however, as he made birdie courtesy of a sublime chip that saw him aim well left of the hole and use the slope of the putting surface to great effect. The world number one's ball hovered on the edge of the cup for what seemed an eternity before finally toppling in to deafening applause. CBS commentator Verne Lundquist summed up the drama by screaming "Oh, wow! In your life, have you seen anything like that?!" Woods was made to work hard for his fourth green jacket as he bogeyed the next two holes before eventually prevailing in a play-off.

2012 - Bubba produces miracle hook

There were nerves aplenty when another play-off was required to decide the champion at Augusta in 2012. Bubba Watson and 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen started off the sudden-death decider by each parring the 18th and then finding the woods on the right of the 10th, the second play-off hole. Oosthuizen came up short of the green with his second and there appeared little chance of Watson improving on his rival's effort. However, the maverick left-hander duly produced a miraculous escape from the pine straw, hooking his ball around the trees and onto the green. When Oosthuizen failed to get up and down, Watson was left with two putts to win and made no mistake in securing the first of two green jackets to date.

2017 - Sergio's major wait finally ends

In a sport of fine margins, Sergio Garcia was probably golf's ultimate nearly man. The Spaniard was tipped for the top from a young age, underlining his vast potential with a runner-up finish at the 1999 US PGA Championship, when he was just 19. However, that close brush with glory set the tone for a career that was for a long time defined by heartbreak. In 2002, Garcia placed in the top 10 at all four majors. Heading into the 2017 Masters, he had 22 top-10 finishes in the quartet of headline events, but no victories to show for his efforts from 73 attempts. In 2017, he stood over a five-foot putt to win The Masters on the 72nd hole, with Justin Rose an anxious onlooker. Garcia missed, leading to a play-off with Rose. It was there that Garcia finally ended his long wait for major success, coolly sinking a birdie putt to secure the green jacket.

2019 - Woods wins again to end near 11-year major drought

Woods' 2018 Tour Championship success hinted his comeback was on the right track and his return to the upper echelons of the game was completed with a remarkable victory. Fifteen years after his previous Augusta title, and almost 11 years after he last won a major, Woods put years of off-course issues and injury problems behind him. As overnight leader Francesco Molinari capitulated, Woods remained strong, using all his experience to finish with a two-under-par 70 to win on 13 under, one clear of fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka. There were raucous celebrations on the 18th green as Woods celebrated with his children. He said: "To have my kids there, it's come full circle. My dad was here in 1997 and now I'm the dad with two kids there. It will be up there with one of the hardest I've had to win because of what has transpired in the last couple of years."

The Masters is one of the most storied events in sport.

Thursday was scheduled to be the opening day of the 2020 edition, but the coronavirus pandemic put paid to that.

Still, the Augusta major's rich history leaves plenty for us to look back on.

Here is a selection of the best Opta facts relating to what is traditionally the first major of the year...

 

- The US has dominated this major, with 61 of the 83 editions of the tournament having been won by Americans. 

- Jack Nicklaus holds the record for most wins at the Masters (6), ahead of Tiger Woods (5).

- Woods is the youngest player to wear the green jacket, having been 21 years, 104 days old when he triumphed in 1997.

- Nicklaus is the oldest to claim victory, doing so in 1986 when he was 46 years, 82 days old.

- The Masters is the only major in which Woods has always made the cut as a professional (20 out of 20).

- Fuzzy Zoeller is the last player to win the Masters at the first attempt, back in 1979.

- With his 2019 victory, Woods became only the second player over the age of 40 to have won a major on US soil in the 21st century, with Vijay Singh having lifted the 2004 US PGA Championship when he was 41.

- Only three players have won back-to-back green jackets - Woods (2001, 2002), Nicklaus (1965, 1966) and Nick Faldo (1989, 1990).

- Rory McIlroy just needs to add the Masters to his major collection to complete a career Grand Slam, which would see him join a club that includes Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Nicklaus and Woods.

- The Masters is the only major tournament where Jordan Spieth has finished inside the Top 25 on each appearance (6/6).

- Only one of the last 43 Masters tournaments saw a wire-to-wire victory – Spieth in 2015.

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