Saturday, April 7, 2012

I Don't Know Golf, But I Take Requests: SilkyJ's Saturday Masters 'Preview'

Disclaimer: I don’t golf. I never have. If I ever do, I will require a 200 handicap. I am very bad. The extent of my golf experience? Putt-putt at Valleyfair. I was bored and no one wanted to hang out with me during our 10th grade field trip, so I went and played 3 rounds of Valleyfair putt-putt by myself. Very, very poor scores. Double bogey golf, as an aficionado might say. Damn windmill.

Unlike the Gopher hockey article, which started with a similar disclaimer, I have watched golf before. I am familiar with the practice and rote memorization (and luck) necessary for a successful round of golf. I’ve never done it myself, but having witnessed practice rounds at Hazeltine in person, I see the pressure inherent in preparing for such a tournament.

In my Sprite™ Refreshing Moment of Clarity (Soda companies, please sponsor us for shit like this.), my most vivid moment golf memory came in 2009, at the PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Course in Chaska, MN. This is slightly off topic, but please bear with me.

I had just returned home from a friend’s house. The TV was on, tuned in to the very end of the PGA Championship, happening just a few miles away. A group of us had attended the practice rounds earlier in the week before the tournament began. Driving home, I had seen the Goodyear blimp, ‘Providing us with these spectacular images.’ I arrived home and witnessed, live, the battle between Tiger Woods and Y.E. Yang for the championship. Tiger was chasing history, trying to join Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus as the only men to win the PGA Championship 5 times. Y.E. Yang was trying to defeat the immortal, indefatigable Tiger. I remember watching Yang play a masterful second shot from the fairway and sealing the victory with a birdie putt on the last hole.

That was the last time Tiger Woods would be in the top three at a PGA major event.
Fastforward 2+ years. Tiger is two weeks removed from winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his first victory in two years. A few days later? The Masters. ‘Steeped in tradition’ – Jim Nantz.

There are few others that are as connected with the Masters as Tiger Woods. I welcome all arguments. The man’s won it four times, and has not finished out of the top six since 2004. 2004! Think about that. What have you done better than the entirety of Earth’s population in the last eight years? Tiger owns this shit.

What’s so important about Tiger? Why can’t anyone get behind the youthful cheekiness of Rory McIlroy? The lefty-ness of Phil Mickelson? The damn-it-I-want-to-drink-with-him-ness of Rocco Mediate? Tiger represents the casualness in all of us. We may tune in to see the drama of Tiger, but we stay for the idiosyncrasies of these other players. Tiger is that moment of pure greatness that this generation struggles to see. Tiger draws in the casual viewer (myself included) with the promise of history. Who doesn’t want to say that they were watching, live, just barely home from a friend’s house, when Tiger made history?

Tiger’s recent absence from the podium at a major has been noted. Tiger’s success at the Arnold Palmer Invitational has been noted. Tiger’s history at Augusta National has been noted. The recipe is complete for Tiger to resume his quest for history.

Third and Final Round coverage of the Masters will be on throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday on CBS. Come for the history. Stay for the idiosyncrasies.
(Editor's Note: Tiger endured one of his worst rounds in his history at the Masters--a +3 75--Friday, punting one of his clubs at one point and prompting former Masters champ and current broadcaster Nick Faldo to surmise that Tiger "has lost his game...and his mind." He entered the weekend eight shots behind co-leaders Jason Dufner and ageless wonder Fred Couples, pictured above humoring Tiger.)

1 comment:

  1. I predicted Bubba Watson would win this year’s Masters. No lie. No joke. No bullshit. If I had the time to be a regular contributor to this website, you would already be marveling at my nonpareil foresight. So soak this moment in for a second……(deep breath)….. okay maybe a little bit more………..yup…………… goooood. Now that you have reached some level of being impressed by my opening statement I will divulge the following information that will surely lead to an abrupt retraction of that emotion: I have predicted Bubba Watson to win every professional golf tournament he has played in since 2009 and most of those he hasn’t.

    Why may you ask? Because I have a boner for the guy. A full-fledged, raging hard on. If this comes as a shock to you that I would be sexually aroused by another man then you should probably stop reading this. Why? Because everything I am going to talk about from here on out is graphic in sexual nature and deliberately vulgar. For those of you are that are still reading: You are sick fucks.

    Anyway, Bubba Watson is my everything (and by everything I mean everything I like in a golfer that plays professionally). He has all the sexy qualities I desire: He hits the ball FAR, I mean REALLY FAR. And he finds the fairway. CONSISTENTLY. Not to mention he has fantastic chest hair. He is a goofball, trick shot, and Gallagher act all mixed in one. And he is in a boy band. And he drives the General Lee. For real. But he also rarely hits the ball straight. What? Why? Because he is also badass. He sees a straight line and says, “Fuck it. We’ll do it live.” And by “doing it live” he means he is going to hit some crazy shot that either hooks, slices, or bends in some fashion that is more ridiculous than I can describe. And it is extremely effective. [editior’s note: this mentality was evident in Watson’s last round on Sunday, particularly on the second playoff hole where he hooked a golf ball around a camera tower that proceeded to cut 40 yards laterally and onto the green where Watson eventually won.] On top of that, the man has never had a golf lesson in his life. Your mind should be sufficiently boggled at this point.

    If there was a real life equivalent to Ricky Bobby, Bubba Watson is it. Southern drawl, gameday intensity, and he always goes for it. Always. Which in golf is not easy to do nor always a good decision. But the man has balls. Big ones. And they work too. And the only thing bigger than the guy’s balls is his heart. He is a walking charity machine and is constantly looking out for others. The dude even has a pink driver for breast cancer. A pink driver. Say what you will about how it looks but I think it is pretty clear that Bubba Watson does not give a [explicit] what you think of him. He just balls. Hard. And he doesn’t care how he looks doing it. Notice the all-white attire on Sunday with green socks. All-white except for the green socks and the green jacket. Ballin'.