This week is Masters Week.  The first major of the year in men's golf.  The Masters signifies the start of spring (along with baseball's Opening Day) in the United States.  And it's got as much, if not more history, than the other three majors (PGA Championship, U.S. Open, British Open) combined.

The first time I watched the Masters on TV was 1981 with my Dad.  And my all-time favorite golfer, Tom Watson (I said my favorite, not the best golfer) won the second of his two Green Jackets that year.  And I fell in love with it.

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Maybe it's how CBS (who's broadcasted the Masters for more than 60 years) presents the tournament.  Maybe it's because the Masters is at one place every year, Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia.  Or that some of golf's all-time greats have won the Green Jacket (Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Watson, Woods, just to name a few).  I'm not sure.

There's always the opposite of winning, of course.  There's losing the Masters.  Roberto Di Vicenzo signed an incorrrect scorecard in 1968 to lose by one shot to Bob Goalby.  Ed Sneed bogeyed the last two holes in 1979 to fall into a playoff and lose to Fuzzy Zoeller.  Or how about the many times that Greg Norman ALMOST won the Masters.  He was tied for the lead on the 72nd hole in 1986 and bogeyed 18 to lose to Jack Nicklaus.  Or the very next year, when Larry Mize chipped in on the second playoff hole to beat Norman.  Or when Norman choked away a huge lead in 1996 and lost to Nick Faldo.  Or the last time he contended, in 1999, when he lost to two-time champion Jose Maria Olazabal.

Or the great shots.  I mentioned Mize's miracle shot in 1987.  Tiger Woods' incredible chip-in on 16 in 2005 (one of the ten greatest shots I've ever seen) to set up his playoff win over Chris DiMarco.  Or any one of Jack Nicklaus' great moments (too many to mention).  Or Ben Crenshaw's 80-100 foot putt on 10 in 1984 to set him up for a victory.

Maybe it's all of these things as to why I love the Masters.  Or maybe because you can score really low.  But there's enough danger out there to get you when you least expect it.  Anyway, golf's greatest tournament begins this Thursday.  The Masters has left all the other majors in the dust in terms of prestige, IMO.  The U.S. Open has screwed up their tournament because....well I'll stop there,  There's too many reasons as to why they've lost prestige.

The Masters is truly a tradition unlike any other.  American Dustin Johnson is the defending champion. Can he make two in a row?  You just have to watch to find out.

 

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