Brock’s Random Thoughts: Why I Love “The Masters”
The 84th Masters Invitational golf tournament begins on Thursday at Augusta National GC in Augusta, Georgia. It's being played for the first time ever in November (from its traditional April date) because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic (also being played without fans).
In my opinion, this is the greatest golf tournament in the world. It has surpassed the U.S. Open, British Open (we call the Open Championship the British Open in America), and the PGA Championship in stature.
I've been a fan of the Masters since Tom Watson (my all-time favorite golfer) won his second Green Jacket in 1981. And I've watched every tournament since then. CBS does a terrific job covering the tournament on TV every year. Jim McKay, Jack Whitaker, Vin Scully, Pat Summerall, and Jim Nantz have been the lead TV voices throughout the years.
I love the course, it's absolutely gorgeous on TV. And I love the way it's set up. Almost no rough and wide fairways to reward good tee shots. But there's danger all around: Slick, sloping greens, water everywhere, and bunkers in spots where you don't want to hit into them (but it's also not impossible to get out of).
I love the concept of a Champions Dinner (which is done the Tuesday before the tournament begins). And the Par 3 Contest on the adjacent Par 3 course is a crowd favorite (too bad it won't be played this year-we know why).
The roars of Augusta are unmatched anywhere in golf. The patrons help make that atmosphere the best.
And some of the greatest players of all-time have won this tournament. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, Phil Mickelson, and the aforementioned Tom Watson all own the prestigious Green Jacket (given to the winner).
Favorite individual tournaments??? It has to be 1986 when Jack Nicklaus shot 65 to win his record 6th Green Jacket. But 2019 with Tiger Woods winning unexpectedly (pictured above) is pretty close. But every tournament is great in its own way.
It'll be weird to see no fans at this year's Masters. They a major part of the lore of the tournament. Hopefully, in April they will return.
Maybe someday, I will be one of the patrons in the crowd. It is 3rd on my sports bucket list (behind only the Super Bowl and the Final Four).
And finally, I get to hear "Augusta", by Dave Loggins. That's the music you hear when CBS and ESPN come on the air. There's nothing like it in sports.
The Masters truly is "A tradition unlike any other". Just a special, special tournament.