Scalpers gouging Masters fans up to $10k
Online scalpers are gouging Masters fans for exorbitant prices to attend the Augusta National major with the cheapest ticket to watch all four rounds starting at $10,000 ($A14,000).
Users of platform StubHub - an online ticket exchange owned by eBay - have swallowed up a considerable amount of tickets to this year's Masters in an attempt to exploit its appeal as one of the most-sought after events in world sport.
The cheapest ticket on StubHub for Wednesday's practice round start at $2500 ($A3500) while Thursday's opening round will cost punters $3,300 ($A4600) and Friday's second round $3500 ($A4900).
Masters fans wanting to buy tickets through StubHub to attend both Thursday and Friday will have to fork out $7500 ($A10,500).
Legitimate tickets are difficult to obtain through the proper channels but lucky fans who secure them pay a very reasonable rate - one of many reasons the Masters is lauded as one of world's sports best events.
Last year, practice round tickets cost $75 ($A105) and fans were able to request up to four tickets.
Daily tickets for the tournament rounds cost $115 ($A160) and fans could request up to two tickets.
One of two ways to legitimately secure Masters tickets is through Augusta National's ballot, which opens shortly after the event for the following year and is drawn out around July.
The second avenue is Augusta National's pool of Patron badges, which is very limited but can be kept for life by the badge holder.
If a badge holder dies, it can only be transferred to their a spouse but not to any other family member.
The last time the waiting list for Patron Badges was opened up for new names was in 2000.
The resale of Masters tickets is prohibited by Augusta National, whose ticket policy states "the ticket/s may not be offered for sale, sold or rented through/to third party resellers including ... scalpers."
Holders of tickets obtained through a third party can be kicked out of Augusta.
Three-time major winner Brooks Koepka, who attended the Masters a child in the late 1990s, believes it is a wider problem within American sport.
"I'm not surprised; I think it happens in every sport," Koepka said at Augusta on Tuesday.
Koepka, one of the Masters favourites this week, said his experience at Augusta inspired him to purse a career in professional golf despite an autograph snub from Phil Mickelson.
"I remember when I came as a little kid it was an amazing experience," Koepka, 28, said.
"I tried to get Phil's autograph. I was standing by the range and somehow found my way into the parking lot.
"I asked him for an autograph and he said no; probably the only kid Phil's ever turned down.
"He told me years later, I shouldn't have been in the parking lot so that was fair enough."