Its finally that time of year friends and without a doubt it is my favorite time as a golfer and a fan! The Masters touches the soul of every golf fan one way or another. The course, the history, the start of the Major season, the perfection that is the event on a whole, or knowing that it signals the beginning of golf season for most of us in the States, it does it all one way or another. There is something mysteriously beautiful about this week in the golf world and it has always resonated with me at a different level compared to any other event in the world. Even for those who have never been on property, the Masters has always brought so many special circumstances to my life during that week. My week has always started with a call to my Dad saying “hey guess what this week is” and more often than not he would say “The Masters” which was the only time he ever really knew what was going on with the tour schedule. Throughout the week I adjust my schedule so I can geek out for at least a day or 2 by planting myself in front of multiple screens to take in as much as I can of its perfection. As the week proceeds plans are made for watching parties and betting on who is going to concur the test that is Augusta National. We all discuss entering the lottery for the following year for that chance to step foot on what is heaven for any golfer. It’s impossible to touch on all the things that make this week so special to all of us, we start counting down until the following year as soon as the green jacket is slipped on the champion. We owe so much to the greatest Amateur Champion the game has ever seen, Bobby Jones. If it wasn’t for this man and his amazing vision of transforming that chunk of land that was a nursery into the rolling fairways and flowing greens that is Augusta National, who knows where the game would be today.
The story lines always seem to be present when the players make their way down magnolia lane. Whos hot and whos not, who has the best odds, will we see a repeat winner, will we see Rory complete the career grand slam, and my favorite of all of them, could we possible see a charge of Sunday red down around Augusta. Its hard not to want to see Tiger do it again, especially at The Masters. It would feel like an old friend you haven’t seen in years coming home. His history here and making a comeback falls right in line with Jack in 86. Jack was thrown by the wayside being referred to as “the old bear” with nothing but doubt surrounding his chances, and we all know how that ended up. How fitting would it be to see a resurgent Tiger follow in the paw tracks of the golden bear? With some water in the forecast leading up to those opening tee shots on Thursday I without a doubt it’s going to raise the big cats chances to be in the mix come the back 9 on Sunday. With that being said, a slightly softer and slower Augusta tightens up the field for everyone. It would be great to see Rory muscle his way around the course giving the slam a respectable run, or to have Frankie Molinari dissect the course like he has seemed to do week in and week out for the last 6 months. The best part is Augusta brings everyone into the picture one way or another. We could see a struggling star catch his stride once again, a dominant force run away with it, a hungry young gun establish himself, or maybe just maybe the beginning of the 2nd act in the majors for the best player of all time.
One thing Augusta has shown us time and time again it to expect the unexpected. It is an exquisite blank canvas waiting for someone to sculpt a timeless masterpiece. Once we all shake the goosebumps we are overcome by having the Golden Bear and the Black Knight lead us off at 8:15, from then on we all will be holding our breath till the end. The experience as a whole envelops the us, we dream of walking the fairways, navigating Amen Corner, crossing the Hogan bridge, hitting that butter cut coming up the hill on Holly, rolling that life changing putt in on 18, and slipping on a jacket in the most beautiful shade of green any golf fan has ever seen. We are sure to see an unbelievably masterful performance this week friends and it truly is a tradition unlike any other.