The 2017 US Masters Golf Tournament – Awards and Key Contenders
Golfers competing at the US Masters will be hoping that adverse weather conditions won’t disrupt their schedule too much this week. They’ve already missed out on practice time ahead of today’s opening round, due to tornado warnings which resulted in the suspension of play.
The ground at the Augusta National Golf Club is likely to be softer than they’d usually expect, thanks to recent downpours. High winds could also add to the players’ woes today, if local forecasts prove to be correct.
Conditions are set to improve as the week progresses, however, so the winner could be basking in sunshine, as well as in glory, when he claims the title on Sunday. So what will the victor of the tournament receive and who are the favourites in the run-up to the event?
The US Masters Tournament – What’s at Stake?
The US Masters is one of the four major men’s golf tournaments that are held each year, and has been running since 1934. It only has a small field of players, so it’s a huge achievement just to make it to this renowned event. The winner of the 2017 edition of the championship will be in superb company too; the list of previous victors includes well-known names like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.
He’ll receive $1,800,000 from the tournament’s $10,000,000 prize fund, together with a replica of the championship trophy, a gold medal, and one of the tournament’s famous green jackets. He can take the jacket home, but must return it to the club twelve months later, where it will be hung up alongside the green jackets presented to previous tournament winners.
His name will also be engraved on the Masters trophy, which is kept at the venue. Manufactured in England, this spectacular silver trophy has been crafted to look like the clubhouse and stands on its own pedestal.
It’s not just the winner who is rewarded at this tournament, however. The runner-up receives a generous share of the purse, as well as a silver salver and a silver medal. Players who make eagles receive elegant crystal golf awards, as do those who get the lowest scores each day and anyone who gets a hole-in-one.
Which Players are in the Running for the Prestigious Title in 2017?
Dustin Johnson, who came joint fourth in the 2016 edition of the tournament, is certainly one of the bookies’ favourites this year. The American is currently the highest-ranking player in the world and has already won the Genesis Open, the WGC-Mexico Championship and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in 2017.
Rory McIlroy has had a difficult start to the year, having sustained a fractured rib during the South Africa Open. The injury forced him to withdraw from January’s Abu Dhabi Championship. Despite his recent lack of competitive play, however, he’ll be particularly keen to win title, as victory in the championship would also give him a career Grand Slam.
Other key contenders for the title include Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas. The reigning champion, Danny Willett, will also be competing, although he hasn’t been on form recently. However, this tournament is known for producing surprises, so the bookies’ opinions may not mean a thing.
Who do you think will win this year’s Masters tournament? Tell us what you think of the competition on Twitter or Facebook, or leave a comment.