Tiger Isn’t Back
The furore surrounding Tiger Woods appearance at Augusta last week generated an expectation that would have been hard to live up to. As it happens despite the predictable failure of Woods to be competitive it turned out to be pretty good watching with the outcome in doubt until the final few minutes. The American TV Companies finally realised that Woods wouldn’t be winning and actually showed golfers who were in contention rather than just watching him struggle to stay at Even par or thereabouts. The hype continues however with all the TV pundits saying he was back and sure to be in contention in future majors – we will see.
The Americans Are Certainties To Win The Ryder Cup
Prior to the event The golfing press was full of how well European golfers were doing on the world stage with Mcllroy and Casey winning on the PGA Tour, Fleetwood performing well, Rose looking as though he was ready to return to his best and confidence of a European victory was high and already they were talking up our chances of winning the Ryder Cup. Reality bit in as one by one they fell by the wayside. Mcllroy was particularly disappointing as for 3 rounds his putter looked as though it might actually be working for once but when the pressure was on it fell apart. Rose also had putting problems and Garcia had a Tin Cup moment. Jon Rahm looked the best of them, but he too fell apart and Henrik Stenson played consistently well without getting into a challenging position. The American younger generation of golfers dominated the event with seven American players in the top twelve and the chances of us winning the Ryder Cup look distinctly unlikely.
Putting Is Where The Pros Are So Much Better Than The Amateurs
One thing that stood out was just how good at putting the top pros are. Some of the putts that were holed were unbelievable and it appeared that the greens were not quite as fearsome as they had been in the past or this generation of American golfers are exceptional with the short stick. The lesson for the amateur golfer is that they may not be able to hit the ball over 300 yards but they would see immediate benefits if they concentrated on practicing their putting rather than hitting driver after driver on the practice ground.
The Old Professionals Gave The Masters The Best Moment
The pre-tournament par 3 event was surprisingly the highlight of the week for me. The emotion that Jack Nicklaus showed when his grandson holed in one and the way that Tom Watson and Gary Player joined in the celebrations was one of golfs best moments and to see a man who has won so many Major championships so overcome was heart-warming. Talking of the older generation of golf professionals just how well did Fred Couples and Bernard Langer do in the main event? Couples record there is incredible especially for a man who has severe problems with his back.
What Makes The Masters So Good And It Is The Best Major
Its one of four major championships and being the first in the season makes it the most eagerly anticipated so it has an advantage over the other Championships. This year Tigers appearance added an extra spice to the event as he has made a reappearance in a Major there wont be as much excitement for the other Championships. The Masters major advantage is that it is held at the same venue every year. This means that Augusta can improve its facilities so that every year it gets a little better for players and spectators. The venue itself is spectacular with flora that appears in contrast to the bleakness of the winter that we have all gone through. So, these are all advantages over the other Championships, but does that make it the best? Being held at the same venue is both a strength and a weakness its familiarity means that it tends to suit a certain type of player. In contrast the fact that the other events move from one course to another every year adds a certain uniqueness to the event and the fact that The Open is played on traditional links style courses gives it a unique sense of history. One thing is certain is that the Open and the Masters are the two premier Major championships and we are very lucky that we have two such wonderfully contrasting events every year.