Arnold Palmer tees it up for the 50th time at the Masters, having played without missing a year since 1955. He won the Green Jacket four times (1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964) and also finished runner-up twice. For his final appearance he shot 84-84 and missed the cut, and ceased claiming his 'Past Champion' slot, although he accepted an invitation to be an 'Honorary Starter' from 2007 onwards.
Palmer was the first to achieve this milestone, and although Gary Player matched his 50 starts in 2007, and would go on to a record total of 52 starts with his last appearance in 2009, they were not consecutive, as he missed the 1973 Masters through illness.
Tiger Woods wins the Masters for the second time, and with it becomes the first golfer to hold all four professional major championships simultaneously. The feat becomes known as the "Tiger Slam" - it is not technically a "Grand Slam" as the other three championships were won in the previous year.
This date also marks the first time that the purse for a major championship topped US$1m (he won $1,008,000). Woods won by two shots from David Duval with a 16-under par total of 272.
Gene Sarazen, in his role as an Honorary Starter, hits the first shot of the Masters, 64 years to the day since winning a playoff to claim the title himself (see below). He is now 97 years old, and his two Honorary Starter partners on the 1st tee are Byron Nelson, Champion in 1937 and 1942, now 87 years old, and Sam Snead, Champion in 1949, 1952 and 1954, now 86 years old. At a combined age of 270 years, it is probably the oldest three-ball in history. Sarazen called it "... the hardest day of my life. When you don't play golf at all, and you're afraid you're going to miss the ball and become the laughing stock of everybody, it's terrible. These hands are 97 years old. All the meat is gone. They're all skin and bones."
Nevertheless, wearing gloves on both hands and using a Wilson woman's 3-wood with a specially thickened grip, he split the first fairway.
It was the last golf shot Sarazen ever hit; he died 35 days later on May 13.
The Sony Rankings (now called the Official World Golf Ranking) are published for the first time, and name Bernhard Langer as the world's No. 1 golfer.
Gene Sarazen wins a 36 hole playoff with Craig Wood by five shots (144 to 149) to claim his only Masters title, a playoff he got into thanks to possibly the most famous golf shot of all time - the 'shot heard around the world' - holing out from 235 yards with a 4-wood (see April 7th). The victory was Sarazen's seventh and final major, and made him the first man to achieve the modern 'Grand Slam' as winner of all four of golf's major professional championships. Only four other greats have followed Sarazen in doing this: Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods.