What We Learned From The Masters
A week on from the golden bear officially opening the 87th Masters, we take a look back at some of the key stories to come out of the year’s first major and what we’ve taken away from the latest visit to Augusta National.
Battle of two tours
Going into this year’s event a lot of the talk was surrounding the impending battle between LIV and the PGA. Who would come out on top? How would LIV players be greeted by the gallery? How would Greg Norman react if a LIV player won? The reality of the situation…no one cares. If there was only one takeaway from last week, surely it would be that 98% of golf fans really don’t care about who is playing where week in week out. A friend asked me on the weekend my thoughts on it all. My response: “Saying you’re a fan of LIV or the PGA is the equivalent to saying I’m a fan of FIFA.” It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things which tour players are on. What fans want to see is competition at the top of the leader board between top quality players. The 87th Masters provided this in abundance!
Mental Toughness over physical strength
Okay so the main battle over the course of the tournament was between two of the big hitters out there. But one of the main reasons why Augusta and the Masters maintains that magic feel, is that you can’t simply overpower the course. It still provides moments of making the very best in the game look as clueless and powerless as the rest of us. Not one player in the top 10 managed to go four rounds under par, just highlighting the importance of mental toughness in this game – at this course especially – to be able to trust in your process and for those at the top, hang in there.
Time waits for no man
We saw Larry Mize and Sandy Lyle signing-off in their last competitive Masters in the rain on Saturday morning, in somewhat controversial fashion. But it was the sight of Tiger Woods barely able to walk on the practice greens that would have hit home to many of us. Whatever your personal thoughts on the man, it was sad to see someone losing the battle with their own body in front of the world’s TV cameras. For Tiger fans, the frustration lies in the fact that even reduced to a shadow of his former glory, the talent is clearly still there, but it’s looking ever more likely that physically he won’t ever be able to get back to the levels needed to compete on tour. Will this have been his last Masters? Or even last competitive outing?
Trees are scary
Certainly, when they are no longer vertical. I’m sure by now everyone has seen multiple angles of the falling trees at the 17th tee box. Everything seems to happen in slow motion and thankfully, or rather miraculously, no one got hurt. For a brief moment the majesty of Augusta was shattered. This is a place where everything down to the last blade of grass is seemingly perfect, so the sight of trees falling was a huge shock. The whole event acts as a reminder of the unique setting that golf finds itself as a sport, at its core the game is you vs nature. You just don’t expect nature to fight back!
Competition is key
Yes, there was something special about watching the world vs Tiger Woods. But this new era of golf, where there is seemingly a new world number one after each major, brings with it a level of competition which is keeping the game fresh and exciting. Now there are a hatful of players at the very top of the game, each of which are almost always there or there abouts for every big event. The result is scoreboards littered with major winners and a huge unpredictability factor, which makes watching all the more interesting. For me this was right up there for one of the most captivating Masters in years, long may that continue.
What were your highlights of this year’s Masters? Share with us your thoughts using the comment section below.