The Masters 2013
I’m going to guess that I’ve seen somewhere around fifty of these go by. That’s a half century of the most buzz-filled golf tournament in the history of the game, pound for pound. We, the golfing public, and the media have spun this four day broo-ha-ha into the one of the best sports drama festivals on the planet. That’s what we love, and that’s what we want.
Now, the morning after, I am in Augusta-recovery mode, as I am every year. In fact, I might as well book a rehab room. It’s like having been to a party that was way too much for my partying threshold.
I must say that in those fifty years at Augusta, I’ve never seen a boring Masters – not one. And, this year, I am again satisfied, for the most part. My fourteen-year old Chinese wunderkind made the cut. I got my annual dose of old guys (this year, Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer) making a threatening move on the leaderboard – that makes these aching old legs feel good. Couples has made a habit of doing this to me, and when it comes time for the final push, I can only think of Wilma Flintstone – “Oh, Fred!”
This was the year of the Australian breakthrough. This is a country more comfortable with runner-up during this week of the year – from before or since Greg Norman. When it came to crunch (playoff) time, I had a hunch that Adam Scott looked a little more together. I love Angel Cabrera – he’s a big old tough guy who plays with a lot of emotion, but every golfer knows what a double-edged blade that is. I don’t think it’s always too good in playoffs, although in 2009, he walked away with the green jacket. Regardless, I can’t knock his nerves.
I thought it was to be Jason Day’s day. I haven’t watched him much, and must say that I walked away thinking of him as a very classy competitor, on and off the course. The attitude he exuded earned him a new fan.
This year’s Masters was a great place to play “Where’s Rory?” I still don’t have an answer – maybe he does, we’ll see. Maybe having girlfriends carry the bag for the par 3 is too distracting. No one should ever leave a partner holding the bag – it’s not nice, and it’s not good for your concentration.
For a time there, I thought Brandt Snedecker was going to do it. Wasn’t he the one who did so well at the Ryder Cup? I watched that smooth, elegant swing, however, suddenly turn into a “killing the snakes” swing, as if he lost his cool in one moment, and never regained it. My wife is absolutely sure that it was his shirt.
What better place than Augusta for new love to bloom? Tiger didn’t quite pull off the charge, although I do think that he’s back, maybe to stay for a while. Miss Vonn made Wood’s role in the Masters insufferably cute, with matching outfits and scoring tent hovering. Truth be told, though, I think he wanted to win this tournament instead.
Then there’s Bob Costas – unsettling, calling up the sins of the club’s tradition. Yes, Augusta is slow to join the 21st century, and it should be pushed and prodded into updated thinking, without losing the best of its tradition. However, if our friends, families and favorite events had to be in the perfect place that we would have them – we wouldn’t have them at all. Just keep bringing them along
In summary, I wanted suspense, action and great golf – and I got them. I wanted human drama, and I got it (maybe too much). I wanted visual beauty, and I got it. Another year checked off, another year satisfied.