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The “Lucky” Numbers at the Masters and Augusta National

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The traditions of the Masters and Augusta National are well covered in the media; Champions Dinners, Ceremonial Opening tee shots, pink azaleas, Green Jackets, pimento cheese sandwiches, white caddie jumpsuits… the list goes on and on. But there’s a tradition that’s been overlooked for years: lucky numbers.

As you may have seen floating around the Internet, Sergio Garcia’s caddie was wearing the same number (No. 89) as Danny Willett’s caddie in 2016 and Jack Nicklaus’ in 1986.

It’s an amazing coincidence due to the sheer randomness of how numbers are assigned.

“The caddie for the previous year’s champion wears No. 1, and the rest of the numbers are issued simply based on the order the competitor arrives and checks in for the tournament,” a representative for the Augusta Chronicle told me. “For decades, the golfers had to partner with a caddie provided by Augusta National, but in 1983 golfers were allowed to bring their own caddies for the first time.”

This all got me thinking about what other numbers are “lucky.” Is this a phenomenon we’ve been completely ignoring? To determine this, I went through photos from every year of The Masters and matched the winning player with the number of their caddie. What I found in my photo research was a handful of numbers have repeated on the winning caddie’s suits throughout the years, sometimes even for the same player.

Alas, below are the “lucky” numbers.

No. 7

No7Masters

  • Sam Snead: 1952
  • Charles Coody: 1971

No. 9

No9Masters

  • Ian Woosnam: 1991
  • Bernhard Langer: 1985

No. 13

No13Masters

  • Trevor Immelman: 2008
  • Arnold Palmer: 1960, 1962

No. 16

No16Masters

  • Vijay Singh: 2000
  • Ben Crenshaw: 1995
  • Jack Nicklaus: 1972

No. 17

No17Masters

  • Jose Maria Olazabal: 1999
  • Adam Scott: 2013

No. 36

No36Masters

  • Nick Faldo: 1989 (more proof since the photo is fuzzy)
  • Raymond Floyd 1976

No. 52

No15Masters

  • Gary Player: 1978
  • Gary Player: 1961
  • Ben Crenshaw: 1984

No. 53

No53Masters

  • Phil Mickelson: 2004
  • Angel Cabrera: 2009

No. 67

No67Masters

  • Tiger Woods: 2005
  • Nick Faldo: 1996

No. 71

No71Masters

  • Tiger Woods: 2001
  • Tiger Woods: 1997

No. 89

No89Masters

  • Jack Nicklaus: 1986
  • Danny Willett: 2016
  • Sergio Garcia: 2017
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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Matto

    Apr 21, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Wow………..what a story. ????

  2. Tal

    Apr 21, 2017 at 4:33 am

    This is actually not a phenomenon people haven’t discovered, it’s just not a phenomenon at all.

  3. coolhandbirdman

    Apr 20, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    ehhh this is weak sauce.

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Think you had a bad weekend on the course? At least you didn’t do this

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We hope this golfer didn’t take the ultra-premium golf equipment plunge before sending his clubs to a watery grave. Either way, this was an expensive (and strangely calm) reaction to a bad round.

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19th Hole

Tiger Woods battles terrifying deep-sea creature, wins

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With four tweets since July 21st, Tiger Woods is exposing himself on social media in a way we haven’t seen.

And with his latest tweet, he’s…exposing himself in a way we haven’t seen.

A shirtless-and-swimsuited Woods appears holding what he purports to be a lobster (but what looks more like a monster of the deep sea).

Nothing like it, indeed.

He’s lucky to have escaped with his life after battling that horrifying crustacean. Spiny lobsters, apparently, don’t have claws, but somehow that doesn’t make them any less terrifying, as they look poised to impale you and carry you off to their reefy lairs.

Not sure how big the beast in Woods grasp actually is, but it pales in comparison to this 14-pound creature from your nightmares.

14_pound_lobster_caught_near_Bermuda_0_48217534_ver1.0_640_480Anyway, Woods has been on something of a grand tour of late it seems, taking in a friendly version of El Clasico in Miami and posing with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

All of this is good to see. It was two months ago that Woods entered rehab following his now-infamous Memorial Day arrest for impaired driving.

What this portends for his future on the golf course is unclear, but you’d assume the 14-time major champion is feeling pretty good if he’s free diving after monsters of the deep.

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19th Hole

Steph Curry did anything but embarrass himself in Web.com Tour debut

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Vegas set the over/under on Steph Curry’s opening round at the Ellie Mae Classic at 76.5.

And Curry didn’t sound like the confident man who’s perennially ready to hoist a 3-pointer from any distance in his post-practice round press conference yesterday.

But when he stepped inside the ropes as a competitor, the Golden State Warriors point guard was very much the man who does things like this

Which is really impressive, considering this post-round quote:

“As soon as he said my name on the first tee, I couldn’t feel anything. After about four holes I settled down.”

So, if you bet the over, you can’t be blamed. Curry, however, had other plans for his debut, getting around par-70 TPC Stonebrae in 74 strokes.

After starting off with a bogey (and a tee shot that landed in a golf cart cup holder), Curry played his remaining 17 holes in a respectable three over. That’s pretty damn good.

The highlight was a curling birdie putt at the par-3 sixth hole (his 15th of the day). Jordan Spieth’s fellow Under Armour sponsee celebrated with a variation on Spieth’s “go get that” Open command (per ESPN’s Michael Collins)

Curry channels Spieth. (Credit to Michael Collins)

Curry channels Spieth. (Credit to Michael Collins)

Curry plays to a 0.6 handicap, did excellent work at TPC Stonebrae, it has to be said. And while he was tied for 141st at the time he completed his round, his plus-4 round placed him four strokes off the cut-line pace and ahead of a handful of pros.

Enjoy a few highlights of No. 30’s 74, courtesy of the Web.com Tour. As you can see, Curry’s shots aren’t dripping with tour pro precision (yet), but the man is a solid scrambler and a gritty competitor.

Well played, Mr. Curry.

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