Monday, April 5, 2010

The Masters - A Great Exhibition, Not Much of a Tournament

Despite it's "major" status, don't confuse the annual get- together at Augusta National for a contest to decide one the year's best players. A great spectacle, yes, a great tradition, yes, a harbinger of spring golf season, indeed, a great tournament, no way.

With a field of typically less than one hundred players, watered down with past champions powered by Avodart, the Masters' selectivity eliminates about 50 world-class golfers from the get-go. This year's list of tired champs includes Mark O'Meara, Ben Crenshaw, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Craig Stadler, and Raymond Floyd. At least six of these guys are has beens on the Champions Tour. And...before you bring up Tom Watson on the heels of his Open Championship performance last year, I'll paraphrase Mr. Watson himself, who remarked that he has a chance in links golf where shot shaping and course knowledge plays a role, but he conceded having no chance at the 7,435 yard turbo-charged Augusta National, where bombing drives is paramount to approach the bikini waxed greens (salute Gary McCord) with something resembling a wedge in your hand. As proof consider this partial list of who didn't get an Augusta invite. J.B. Holmes, Stephen Ames, Ross McGowan, Bubba Watson, Jeev Milkha Singh, Rickie Fowler, Bryce Molder, DL III, Matthew Goggin, Charles Howell III, and Martin Laird. All of these guys staying home this week are ranked in the top 100 in the world. I'll take 7 of them and play the oldster past champions for your house. You in? Didn't think so.

Before you go all four letter word on me, let me say "I love the Masters". The beauty of the course, the quirky tradition, the Bobby Jones heritage, all wonderful. Just enjoy it for what it is, a timeless anachronism, and realize what it's not, a great golf tournament.

Til' next,

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