The first “Augusta National Invitational” Tournament, as the Masters was originally known, began on March 22, 1934, and was won by Horton Smith. The present name was adopted in 1939.
Initially the Augusta National Invitational field was composed of Bobby Jones’ close associates. Jones had petitioned the USGA to hold the U.S. Open at Augusta but the USGA denied the petition, noting that the hot Georgia summers would create difficult playing conditions.
Gene Sarazen hit the “shot heard ’round the world” in 1935, holing a shot from the fairway on the par 5 15th for a double eagle. This tied Sarazen with Craig Wood, and in the ensuing 36-hole playoff Sarazen was the victor by five strokes. The tournament was not played from 1943 to 1945, due to World War II. To assist the war effort, cattle and turkeys were raised on the Augusta National grounds.
In addition to a cash prize, the winner of the tournament is presented with a distinctive green jacket, formally awarded since 1949, and informally acquired by the champions for many years before that. The green sport coat is the official attire worn by members of Augusta National while on the club grounds; each Masters winner becomes an honorary member of the club. The recipient of the green jacket has it presented to him inside the Butler Cabin soon after the end of the tournament, and the presentation is then repeated outside near the 18th green in front of the spectators. Winners keep their jacket for the first year after their first victory, then return it to the club to wear whenever they visit. The tradition began in 1949, when Sam Snead won his first of three Masters titles.
The green jacket is only allowed to be removed from Augusta National by the reigning champion, after which it must remain at the club. Exceptions to this rule include Gary Player, who in his joy of winning mistakenly took his jacket home to South Africa after his 1961 victory (although he has always followed the spirit of the rule and has never worn the jacket); Seve Ballesteros who, in an interview with Peter Alliss from his home in Pedreña, showed one of his two green jackets in his trophy room; and Henry Picard, whose jacket was removed from the club before the tradition was well established, remained in his closet for a number of years, and is now on display at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio, where he was the club professional for many years.
By tradition, the winner of the previous year’s Masters Tournament puts the jacket on the current winner at the end of the tournament. In 1966, Jack Nicklaus became the first player to win in consecutive years and he donned the jacket himself. When Nick Faldo (in 1990) and Tiger Woods (in 2002) repeated as champions, the chairman of Augusta National put the jacket on them.
There are several awards presented to players who perform exceptional feats during the tournament. The player who has the daily lowest score receives a crystal vase, while players who score a hole-in-one or a double eagle win a large crystal bowl. For each eagle a player makes he receives a pair of crystal goblets. The winner of the par 3 competition, which is played the day before the tournament begins, wins a crystal bowl.
In addition to the green jacket, winners of the tournament receive a gold medal. They have their names engraved on the actual silver Masters trophy, introduced in 1961, which depicts the clubhouse. This trophy remains at Augusta National; since 1993 winners have received a sterling silver replica. The runner-up receives a silver medal, introduced in 1951. Beginning in 1978, a silver salver was added as an award for the runner-up.
In 1952 the Masters began presenting an award, known as the Silver Cup, to the lowest scoring amateur to make the cut. In 1954 they began presenting an amateur silver medal to the low amateur runner-up.
Enjoy this years tournament its always comes down to the back nine, check out the official Masters site for updates
thanks to wikipedia for the information in this article