AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Masters Golf Tournament gets underway Thursday. Today we heard from the chairman. The man in charge of the Masters covered a wide range of topics during his annual address.  

It all began with a big announcement for the home of the Masters.

Fred Ridley is kicking off the holiday season with a present for Augusta, Georgia.

“What more can we do to move our city forward?”

The Augusta National chairman says the club asked itself that question after recent unrest in our country. He says conversations about race, equality and opportunity lead to a commitment to an Augusta community.

“What once were thriving communities, Harrisburg and Laney Walker have experienced decades of disinvestment, poverty, crime and unemployment.”

The club and its partners announced a $10 million initial investment to revitalize that part of town.

Ridley also talked about the effort it took to stage this unique Masters.  

The usual April tournament postponed by the pandemic.

“We have done our very best to create a safe environment that allows for the Masters to take place successfully, albeit differently than anyone would have imagined.”

The chairman also taking time to talk about what happened here on the 18th green 19-months ago.

Tiger Woods winning his 5th green jacket. A victory witnessed by those closest to him.

“I know it meant a lot to hug his two children Sam and Charlie, more than 2 decades after embracing his parents in the same exact spot.”

And with that Masters memory, a new tournament is set to start. Unique circumstances for sure, but hopefully the same drama and excitement we’ve witnessed here for more than 80 years.

Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus hit the ceremonial first tee shots just before 7 a.m.