The 87th annual Masters Tournament brings history, controversy, and anticipation


Design by Elisabeth Lee

On April 9, Jon Rahm is declared the 2023 Masters champion. [from left to right] Golfers Jordan Spieth, Sam Bennett, Phil Mickleson, and Brooks Koepka also compete in the Masters, hoping to secure a major win.

Elisabeth Lee, Staff Writer

Thursday, April 6, 2023 marked the 87th edition of the iconic Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Commonly regarded as the biggest tournament in golf, most historically fulfilling tradition in the sport, and home to golf’s greatest moments, the 2023 Masters was full of excitement and controversy. LIV Golf, a new Saudi-Arabia funded golf league, had an array of players participating in the Professional Golfers’ Association and DP World Tour dominated tournament. Some fans were against the idea, while others were excited to see LIV representation on the field. Patrons further looked forward to watching Scottie Scheffler, the 2022 champion, defending his title, and most hoped for Tiger Woods, often regarded as the world’s greatest golfer, to make a comeback despite his injury. Despite harsh weather, lingering controversy, and the pressure of the tournament, both players and patrons were eager to see who would get to sport the classic Green Jacket on Sunday afternoon.

Round 1: Thursday, April 6

7 under par, Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland, and Jon Rahm tied for first in Round 1 of the Masters. With a single bogey and eight birdies, Koepka climbed the leaderboard quickly. Similarly, Hovland was able to make a quick appearance at the top of the board with an eagle on the second hole, five birdies, and no bogeys. On the other hand, Rahm began the day with a 4-putt, leading to a double bogey on the first hole. Still, he made a quick comeback, making seven birdies and an eagle. 

Making the initial cut, Tiger tied the world record for most master cuts made at 23 cuts. Disappointingly, he performed poorly, shooting 2 over par with five bogeys. Likewise, Rory McIlroy, a fan favorite, shot even par with three bogeys and one double bogey.

Scheffler shot 4 under, keeping a steady place and leaving himself with a chance to continue to climb the leaderboard and possibly secure another Masters win. 

Amidst the highs and lows of the first round, amateur Sam Bennett scored four under par to tie the amateur record for lowest score and land himself in sixth place, tied with six others, only three off the lead. 

Round 2: Friday, April 7

Due to harsh conditions and fallen trees, Round 2 was suspended and continued the next morning. The following are the total scores after Round 2 was finalized.

Rousing up the controversy of LIV players, Koepka gained solo lead with five under for the day to amount to 12 under par and a 4 stroke lead. Rahm shot three under par for the day to sit in solo runner up. Once again, Bennett tied the world record and shot 4 under par, bringing him to solo third.

Unfortunately, with two bogeys, Hovland dropped down with a score of six under par. Similarly, Woods, Scheffler, and McIlroy played under par with the many expectations to play well and all scored over par. McIlroy missed the cut with 5 over par for the day while Collin Morikawa sat tied for fourth at six under par.

Round 3: Saturday April 8

Stormy weather and harsh conditions lead to a suspension at 3:15 and a continuation on Sunday morning. The following are total scores after Round 3 was finalized.

With Bennett’s exemplary play, he was placed in the last group with Rahm and Koepka which seemed to have added immense pressure. With four over par, he dropped down from third place at four under. Both Koepka and Rahm shot one over par, stagnant in their positions. Woods, unable to finish the round after withdrawing due to an injury, played through 16 holes at 6 over par. Scoring wise, the round was uneventful as shooting under par proved to be difficult from the conditions. However, Fred Couples made history as the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters at 63 years, six months, and five days. 

Round 4: Sunday April 9

Spirits high and champion soon to be announced, nerves were off the charts, but excitement was soaring. Throughout the round, many golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, and Russell Henley started making appearances at the top ten of leaderboard. However, all eyes were on Koepka and Rahm, the two golfers battling for the win. 

In the end, Rahm played exponentially better than Koepka with four birdies and one bogey as opposed to Koepka’s six bogeys and three birdies. 

And on the 87th Masters afternoon, with a score of 12 under par, Rahm made his par putt to secure his first Masters win, his fourth victory of the year, and rise to the #1 golfer in the world.

As another Masters Champion is announced, fans and players alike look forward to future victories from their favorite players, upcoming tournaments, and more riveting golf experiences.