There are a number of people out there who are what I call “anti-golfites.” They hate golf, not only playing it, but especially watching it. But I implore any anti-golfite out there to tell me Sunday at the Masters was boring.
It was riveting television and has been the past few years. Sunday was full of Hollywood drama and any sports fan would be hard pressed to say otherwise.
What made Sunday so great, though, was that it wasn’t someone losing the tournament like we’ve seen in the past (hey Adam Scott at last year’s British Open), but rather two men went out and tried to win it which was refreshing.
It was sweet redemption for Scott, who blew last year’s British Open. It was another moment in the sun for Angel Cabrera, who always seems to play his best in Augusta and then disappear for the next 51 weeks.
I should have been grading papers or writing my Masters thesis on Sunday, but I couldn’t focus. I should have turned off the TV, but it was history in the making. The first Australian to win, giving Greg Norman a small smile I’m sure. I truly couldn’t pull myself away from watching other people do what I love doing. What makes it even worse is it appears as though Mother Nature is hellbent on making sure I don’t get to play this year.
Now, I do understand golf can be boring to some people. I watch it often, but I’m only glued during the majors and the FedEx Cup. But I’m not alone in this obsession and for those who don’t understand, I’ll explain why.
Golf is the only game where I can do, or at least attempt to do, exactly what the professionals do. I’ve played Whistling Straits, where the PGA Championship has been held twice and the Ryder Cup will be in 2020. I’ve played Erin Hills, the 2017 U.S. Open site, and I even got a couple birdies.
I can’t walk onto the field at Miller Park and hit a home run against Cliff Lee (and neither can the Brewers, I’m guessing). I can’t go to Lambeau and not block a defensive lineman and watch him sack Aaron Rodgers. I can’t go to the Kohl Center and help my team shoot 25 percent in a game against Michigan State.
But I can go to Erin Hills, Whistling Straits, Cog Hill, Pebble Beach (when I get syndicated), Pinehurst, Bethpage Black and a number of other courses where the pros play. I can be on the same stage, walk the same track and hit my drive off the same trees and my approaches into the same ponds.
I can play from the back tees (always a terrible idea) and try to hit the same shots they’ve hit, or put my ball into the hazard Dustin Johnson grounded his club in at the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling.
That is why we love watching golf so much. We feel as though we can do what they can do, even for one shot. (I can’t. They are really good, and I can’t shoot anything lower than an 83 at the City Championship. The struggles of my life, right?)
But back to Sunday. It was truly magnificent. Tiger was semi-relevant on the back nine, too, which kept people watching. However, he needed Scott and Cabrera to come back to him and they refused.
As a sidenote, if Tiger did drop in the wrong spot he did deserve the penalty, but not a DQ. I find it to be incredibly stupid and totally unfair that someone can be DQ’ed for “signing for a wrong score” when they truly had no idea it was wrong.
I have liked watching Scott play for the past few years and believe he has one of the best looking swings on tour. If a kid is just getting into the game, this swing is one to emulate.
Nothing was better than seeing a man have to make a birdie to win and Scott did just that. It was a great Sunday at Augusta and a great start to the golf season. Scott has broken through and may break through again. Tiger is always lurking, but Jason Day proved he belongs in the conversation, along with the Brandt Snedekers and Jason Dufner’s of the world.
Hey, maybe even Sergio can win one? Well, let’s not get crazy, huh. Regardless, it’s going to be a great golf season and I hope you will sit down and waste a few Sundays watching. I know I will.