Masters, there will be 20 debutants at Augusta

Kicking off the 88th edition as honorary starters will be legends Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Tom Watson

by Andrea Gussoni
Masters, there will be 20 debutants at Augusta
© Julio Aguilar/Getty Images Sport

Among the 89 players competing in The Masters, there will be 20 debutants. Among the notable first-timers at Augusta is American Wyndham Clark, ranked 4th in the world and winner of last June's US Open. But it will also be a debut for two other protagonists of the Ryder Cup in Rome: Danish player Nicolai Højgaard and Swedish player Ludvig Aberg.

Masters, Augusta

Noteworthy debutants also include Akshay Bhatia, Peter Malnati, Stephen Jäger, Eric Cole, Nick Dunlap, Austin Eckroat, Ryo Hisatsune, Lee Hodges, Jake Knapp, Denny McCarthy, Grayson Murray, Matthieu Pavon, and Adam Schenk.

Kicking off the 88th edition as honorary starters will be legends Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Tom Watson. Since 1949, the winner of The Masters has been awarded a green jacket ("Green Jacket") and a lifelong right to participate in the tournament.

It is a tradition for the winner of the previous year to assist the current winner in putting on the jacket during the victory ceremony. Initially, the possibility that the previous year's winner could also be the current winner was overlooked.

However, when Jack Nicklaus successfully defended his title in 1966, he put on the jacket himself at the suggestion of Bobby Jones. For subsequent back-to-back wins by Nick Faldo (1989 and 1990) and Tiger Woods (2001 and 2002), the club chairman took on the assisting role.

During the critical phase of the tournament, green jackets in various sizes are prepared for all potential winners by the members, enabling the victory ceremony to take place promptly. The winner is then measured and receives a tailored jacket, which they are allowed to take home for a year.

Afterward, it is kept in the clubhouse and made available to them during visits. In addition to the green jacket, the winner also receives a gold medal and a silver replica of the clubhouse. They also gain invitations to the other three majors and the Players Championship for the next five years, as well as a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

The winner also gets to choose the menu for the "Champions' Dinner" the following year. Foreign winners typically present delicacies from their home countries: for example, Bernhard Langer from Germany brought Sauerbraten (1986), Sandy Lyle from Scotland served Haggis (1989), José María Olazábal from Spain offered Paella (1995), and Charl Schwartzel from South Africa presented a South African barbecue (2012).

Usually, fine dinners are held, but in 1998, Tiger Woods opted for a hearty menu featuring cheeseburgers, chicken, and milkshakes. The runner-up receives a silver plate and a medal, while the best amateur is awarded the Silver Cup, and the second-best amateur receives the Silver Medal.

For the best round of the day, there is a crystal vase, for a hole-in-one or an albatross, there is a crystal bowl, and for each eagle, there are two crystal glasses.

Jack Nicklaus Gary Player