The real challenge of the Masters is living up to the last year’s tournament. Returning golfers and defending champions know the feeling.
This is the 75th playing of golf’s most beautiful and formidable event – and the 25th anniversary of one of golf’s greatest moments, Jack Nicklaus’ sixth and final win at Augusta. Just after people say, “It can’t get any better than this,” it does.
Defending champ Phil Mickelson dazzled us last April with eagles and an enduring Sunday scene on the 18th green, embracing his wife who was battling breast cancer. It was emotional to watch and to write about.
All of this inspires The Augusta Chronicle’s 2011 coverage.
A new 32-page special section celebrating 75 people who shaped the Masters will be inserted April 7, the day the tournament starts. Expanding how we deliver the news, Augusta Golf mobile phone and tablet apps share our nationally recognized coverage (available for Android, iPhone, iPad and iTouch products). Our Sports Editor John Boyette, a witness to one of golf’s greatest moments through some serendipity, is releasing his first book, The 1986 Masters.
The Chronicle, fueled by the energy and success of last year’s Masters coverage, regained ground against industry trends and set your newspaper ahead and apart. That success allowed us to make important investments – investments our reader will see during our Masters coverage this year:
- Equipping our photographers with the best digital cameras available, debuting at the Masters.
- Investing in new systems and computers for our reporters.
- Reorganizing and reassigning operations to serve the community in new ways.
Our 88-page preview section Sunday, April 3, will transport you through years of Masters magic. The daily Masters section during Tournament week will provide the most comprehensive coverage of the year’s first major. You’ll read more about Phil and Amy Mickelson. We reveal how tight Mickelson’s friendship is with his caddie , Jim “Bones” Mackay.
Last year’s drama might compare to Jack Nicklaus’ in 1986. Both offered incredible back stories. Nicklaus was channeling a younger self at the age of 46. With his son caddying and with a surge of confidence, he won his sixth and final Masters green jacket.
The charge brought roars shaking the Eisenhower Tree and rattled golfers posing a threat. Our sports editor scored rare interviews with the Nicklaus family, adding greatly to our report and his new book.
These Sunday family moments add aura to the magical lore of Augusta National.
From Gene Sarazen to Tiger Woods, the greens and fairways are filled with indelible images few could ever imagine. Played since 1934 with a few years off for WWII, The Masters Tournament is Augusta’s greatest gift to sports. Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts created more than a four-day drama; this is an annual unmatched test of a golfer’s mettle against emotion, The Masters Tournament.
March 27, 2011 column published in advance.
Alan English is the executive editor of The Augusta Chronicle