The Tradition. The Masters. The Green Jacket.
I’m not sure what day it was when I became my dad. One thing is for certain, it was probably when I started to enjoy watching golf on television. I don’t believe I am alone when I say that I grew up in a household with a father who never played golf but who inexplicably always watched it on television. The Masters. Back in those days, there were about 5 channels you could actually watch.
As a child, I remember sitting there wondering how my father could possibly be enjoying The Masters or any other PGA golf tournament. He was sleeping on the sofa! I could see why he enjoyed it. It was the 1970s equivalent of washing down a few Ambien with a bottle of Nyquil. Today, I enjoy watching golf while my children sit in wonderment about why I am a viewer. At least I speak to them about the game, The Masters, and just how difficult the game of golf is. I’m not sleeping.
In any event, here we are on opening day of The Masters. The weather is reportedly excellent. Sunny. Warm. Windless. Augusta National Golf Course provides a fairly intense challenge to the professional golfing community.
Tiger Woods is looking (desperately) to regain the form he had when he was far-and-away the greatest player to ever play the game. Along with his fall from grace in the real world have been his plummeting skills at his chosen profession. A new year, a new chance to get back on top. I do have to say that unlike many who believe that Tiger Woods winning nearly everything was what made golf fun to watch – I’m on the other end of that scale. I’m not a big “dynasty” fan in any sport, unless it’s my rooting interests, of course. However, when I have little or no rooting interests, I enjoy seeing a tight competition. Tiger falling back to the field offers viewers that part of the game’s enjoyment again. Perhaps The Masters will be bring about the turnaround.
Phil Mickelson is the favorite this year. With a win in The Masters in 2011, Phil Mickelson can join the exclusive “four (ugly) Green Jacket” club along with the aforementioned Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and the great Arnold Palmer. He’ll also have won The Masters back-to-back.
Other people who appear to be on the contenders list at The Masters this year include Fred Couples, Martin Kaymer, KJ Choi, Nick Watney, Bubba Watson, and Lee Westwood.
Gaining some serious attention, if not better odds, is Japanese golfer, teenage sensation, Ryo Ishikawa. Ishikawa has pledged to donate 100% of his earnings to the relief efforts in earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan. Good for him. What an exciting storyline this would be if Ryo Ishikawa can take home the green jacket.
“A tradition unlike any other” resonates from the voice box of Jim Nantz. I’m looking forward to watching it. That tradition occasionally yields a few surprises, just like we witnessed in the Men’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament. Perhaps we’ll be seeing a new, fresh face donning the Green Jacket at The Masters this year.