These Guys are
Good Pretty Good Better than You.
Whether it's all part of the hoax or not, Tiger Woods looked almost human at The Masters.
In fact, Augusta National Golf Club made a bunch of professional golfers look silly this year. The combination of the weather, the rock hard course conditions, insanely slick greens and magnitude of the event made for unprecedented high scores at The Masters this year. The more it gets to you, the more it'll get to you.
The shot that doesn't fly as far as you'd expect and spins back into the water starts you thinking.
Now that you're thinking, you miss a putt by less than an inch and it ends up 10 feet away from the hole which makes you nervous.
Now that you're nervous, your next tee shot finds the trees and forces you to lay up (if you can get out) and now you're scared.
Now that you're scared, you remember where you are and you try too hard instead of just playing your game.
Now that you've abandoned your game, you'll be lucky to shoot even par.
Don't try to tell me these guys made bad swings, poor decisions and squeaky putts because their skill sets weren't strong enough. They should be able to adapt to difficult course conditions, formulate sound strategies, club up and calm down. They got rattled on that first demanding day and their mental games failed them.
The strangest thing about it all for me is that every golf writer or blogger I've read is complaining that it was no fun to watch! Au contraire!
Now it's not that I enjoy watching people suffer (not that anyone who gets invited to play at Augusta - in The Masters, no less - should be considered to be suffering at any time) but watching them struggle a bit allowed me to relate a little better to the players.
Of course, if in some parallel universe I actually got to play that course in those conditions from a special set of tees at a reasonable distance even without the added pressure of the event, I'd be lucky to break 100. But the point is, their struggles were recognizable. I am very familiar with punching out from the trees and hitting from drop areas and three putting. I could practically feel myself there doing it.
Unlike Zach Johnson whose dream of playing in The Masters was realistic, most of us will have to settle for watching others do it. Perhaps a realistic dream for mere mortals is to watch them do it in a recognizable fashion.
For me, this tournament was not only not boring, it took entertainment to a new level for golf. Even if my skills could improve enough so I could play more like the pros, this may have been the closest I'll ever get to playing Augusta.
Monday, April 09, 2007
These Guys are