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The Masters by numbers: Magic and misery at Augusta National

By Matthew Knight, CNN
April 4, 2012 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
The first golf major of the year is one of sport's great spectacles as the world's best players vie for the coveted Green Jacket at Augusta National. Like the course itself, getting in to watch the Masters at the notoriously exclusive club is fiendishly difficult. The waiting list for tickets is famously long, but many patrons who do make it inside the hallowed grounds flaunt their accreditations (old and new) with pride. The first golf major of the year is one of sport's great spectacles as the world's best players vie for the coveted Green Jacket at Augusta National. Like the course itself, getting in to watch the Masters at the notoriously exclusive club is fiendishly difficult. The waiting list for tickets is famously long, but many patrons who do make it inside the hallowed grounds flaunt their accreditations (old and new) with pride.
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1. The best?
2. Golf's most famous shot
3. The Masters title no-one wants to win
4. The nearly man
5. Mind the water
6. The Golden Bear
7. Tiger's time again?
8. Where millionaires are made
9. Under par
10. When Rory's round fell apart
11. Say your prayers
12. Golden hell?
13. Unlucky for some
14. Playoff drama
15. The magic number
16. Teen dream
17. Bobby Jones' birthday
18. Lowest winning score
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Masters Tournament is the opening major of the golfing year
  • Played annually at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia
  • Tournament co-founded by Bobby Jones is one of sport's great spectacles

(CNN) -- In the golf world, springtime means only one thing: the Masters.

The opening major of the season is one of sport's great spectacles, as the best golfers pit their wits against each other and the unique challenges of the Augusta National Golf Club.

Despite being the youngest of the major tournaments -- it was co-founded by the legendary Bobby Jones in 1934 -- the Masters is arguably the most revered of all four.

The first time I played the back nine last week, [I had] these memories that come back and memories you don't want
Rory McIlroy

The 365 acres of Augusta National seem to throw up drama on an annual basis -- see the above gallery for some of the tournament's greatest moments.

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Last year was no different as South Africa's Charl Schwartzel claimed his first Green Jacket, but the tournament will be remembered for Rory McIIroy's capitulation on the back nine on Sunday.

He started the final round four shots clear, but walked off the 18th green having carded an 80 to slip into a tie for 15th.

"It was a huge learning experience. I took a lot from it and took some of the things and put them into practice very quickly," the Northern Irishman said Tuesday.

"The first time I played the back nine last week, I had these memories that come back and memories you don't want. That's fine. I got them out of the way."

With Tiger Woods back in form and installed as favorite to claim a fifth title, the 76th edition of the Masters is poised to add another thrilling chapter to the history books.

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