US masters

Maya Driver

It's the first golf major of the year and a highlight of the sporting calendar. Famous for its lightening quick greens and the winner's green jacket, the tournament remains a favourite with players and crowds alike. This year will be no different, especially with Tiger Woods returning to competition.

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Did you know the US Masters was first played in 1934 under the name Augusta National Invitation Tournament and continued that way until 1940, when it changed its name to the US Masters? Horton Smith was the first ever winner, shooting a four under par that year.

Here is a guide on what to expect this year...

The Masters has always made for great TV with its verdant green fairways and beds of brightly coloured flowers. April will find the course in full bloom again but players are cautious not to be lulled into a false sense of security.

The holes may be named after flowers and the course might look picture-box pretty but Augusta is in fact one of the most demanding tournaments in the world. It won't be too long before you spot a golfing superstar struggling amongst the Azaleas. Difficult pin placements and glass-like putting surfaces will certainly raise temperatures on the fairways and ensure the packed galleries remain entertained.

Viewing figures are expected to reach around 20 million with audiences being treated to a golfing extravaganza put on by the world's top 50 players. This year the tournament is bound to be dominated by the return of the most famous golfer on the planet. Yes, Tiger Woods is back and will, once again, be favourite. No surprise given his dominance of the tournament in recent years. The four-time winner will be looking to get his career back on track but he may not have things all his own way.

As well as a host of great American players there will be strong contingent of Europeans looking to don the famous green jacket. They have some history here too. Past winners include Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Jose Olazabal , Sandy Lyle and of course, Seve Ballesteros.

The tournament starts on the 8th of April and runs through until the 11th. You can follow all the action on the BBC but remember to put the cocoa on. Because of the time difference live coverage won't start until 9 pm.