“Mastering the Masters”
The Masters Golf Tournament, not where the sport was born, thank you British Open-Scotland, but where the tradition is carried yearly.
Augusta, adorned in azalea’s, mulberry bushes, oaks and maples, and flowers everywhere. Where the greens are green, the fairways fine, the creeks flow, and the color and pageantry on any given day is only outdone by the history and tradition.
Amen’s corner, Butler’s Cabin, the Green Jacket, the Champions Dinner.
They tee off early this morning, and oh you wish this golf course could speak. It has seen alot since the very first time the tourney was held, back in the post-depression era of 1934.
It is a tourney of spectacular shots, tremendous comebacks, a few collapses. It’s about the pressure, the galleries, the leader board, and beauty.
History tells us of Gene Sarazan making up 3-shots on one hole, with a double eagle, forcing a playoff, then winning a 36-hole playoff the next day.
It was the dazzling day of Tiger Woods in 1997, when he shot a record 18-under par, and won by a landslide 12-strokes, wearing his blazing red shirt.
It was the 2004-day that belonged to Phil Mickelson, birding 5-of the last 7-holes, after Ernie Els had scored two eagles that final Sunday.
Oh there have been bad days too, the Fuzzy Zoeller comments about collard greens and the winners dinner. The frustration of playing so well, but never winning, Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller, a combined 7-runner-ups, but never the jacket.
It’s been the place of winners coming out of nowhere, like two time champ Bubba Watson, or those winning, then disappearing forever, the Larry Mize-Mike Wier-Charle Schwartzel’s of the world.
But more than anything, it is the history, knowing this is where Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan dueled. Where Slammin Sammy Snead came out of West Virginia, to become a star. Where South African’s finest Gary Player won three times, the same as Nick Faldo, and the super Spaniard Sev Ballesteros.
More than anything, the Masters gives us memories of Jack Nicklaus, and his 6-wins. Arnie Palmer’s 4-jackets.
Augusta, home of the Golden Bear, and Arnie’s Army, and the Shark.
Today’s stars are great, from Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, the defending champ, to the Aussie Jason Day.
The next four days will be fun, with golf’s finest, trying to get fitted for a Green Jacket. The Master’s, a slice of Americana.