2017 Masters

Discussion in 'Golf' started by Jack Lambert, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    The Masters is my favorite sporting event of the year. As Don and many others have mentioned many times in the past, it's one of the last pieces of America 1.0 still remaining that is actually presented positively (and even talked up) by the media and also sports fans. With CBS's Jim Nantz (in my opinion the best in the business; he's one of the very few non-caste announcers left.) on the call Saturday and Sunday, The Masters is always a memorable event. As was mentioned in the PGA thread, this Masters should be more emotional, as this will be the first Masters without Arnold Palmer in a long time. The King will be greatly missed this week. I'm looking forward to the memories of Palmer that should be making their way on the air this week.

    This Masters is also the 20th anniversary of Woods' 1997 win, so expect to see a LOT of Tiger worship, especially from ESPN (who covers the Par-3 contest and the first two rounds) the first couple of days. If you want to know what to expect, read this drivel from sports "writer" Bob Harig. In this piece, they interview all of Wood's playing competitors from the tournament, including President of the Tiger Fan Club, Nick Faldo. While the golf page at BSPN has gotten better, there is still a LOT of Tiger articles near the top of the page.

    http://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id...r-went-ride-tiger-woods-drove-masters-history


    Getting back to the actual field, since Woods won't be playing, this should be as good as any Masters, in terms of story lines. Red-hot Dustin Johnson is rightfully the favorite coming into Augusta. He's been lights-out as of late, and it'll be interesting to see if he can get his first Green Jacket. However, Augusta's main defense is its greens, and Johnson (although better as of late) has been inconsistent with his putter throughout his career. He'll need his best putting to win this week. Other story lines that will come up during the week will be Rory McIlroy's quest to complete the career grand-slam and win his first Green Jacket, Jordan Spieth's return to Augusta a year after his Sunday Amen Corner collapse, whether or not Jason Day will play due to his mother's cancer, Rickie Fowler's quest for his first major, and (if he's in contention) Phil Mickelson winning his 4th Green Jacket to tie Palmer and Woods for 2nd most behind Jack. Another story I noticed is that it will be Ernie Els' last Masters. He never could quite get over the hump, and his five year exemption from winning the 2012 Open will run out after this year. I'm sure the Golf Channel will be having a lot of coverage this week, so be sure to watch. One of the best weeks of the sports year!!
     
  2. Carolina Speed

    Carolina Speed Master

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    Thanks JL for starting The Masters thread. Should be a great week. If that's not enough, the Golf Channel will be premiering a three part film/documentary about Jack Nicklaus simply called "Jack". Can't wait to see that.
     
  3. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    It's sad that this might be Ernie Els' last Masters. He's currently ranked 404th in the world. He could still play in future Masters if his game improves and he qualifies for an invitation, but at 47 it looks like Father time has caught up to him.

    His duel on the back nine on Sunday against Phil Mickelson in 2004 is my second all-time favorite behind Jack's win in 1986 as that was the tournament when Phil finally broke through and won his first major, with his memorable birdie on 18 and subsequent victorious mini-leap for the ages. Els had played a few pairs ahead of Phil that day and shot an excellent final round, including two eagles, and looked to be the winner, receiving a huge ovation from the gallery as he walked to the 18th green. But Phil won in style with a sizzling back nine capped by his birdie on 18 while Ernie was at the practice green getting ready for what he thought was going to be a playoff. Els nearly won three of the four majors in '04 but ended up the bridesmaid in each. But he won two U.S. Opens and two British Opens and is one of the top golfers of the past generation. And like all South African golfers he's a class act all the way.
     
  4. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Good news: Jim Nantz's annual one-hour special before the final round is called "Jim Nantz Remembers the Masters: Arnold Palmer -- His Last Visit to the Masters." It will show for the first time Nantz's last interview with Arnie, recorded at the 2016 Masters. Palmer was too weak to hit the ceremonial first shot last year and sat in a golf cart while Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hit theirs. I remember being startled by how old and weak he looked and posted somewhere in the Golf forum soon after that I thought it would be the last Masters he would live to see.

    Found this description in one of the Pittsburgh rags today -- "Nantz and Palmer had talked about doing the interview weeks earlier and said they wouldn't decide until that Thursday morning to see if Palmer was up for the taping. "I met him in the clubhouse after the [ceremonial first shots] and we're sitting around a table and he looked at me and said, 'What do you think?' I said, 'It's totally up to you,'" Nantz said. And he looked at me and gave me that Arnie's thumbs-up and said, 'Let's do it.'

    "So we get to Butler Cabin ready to go and got Arnold to the cabin and we made it very clear if it was a struggle or the words wouldn't come out cleanly we'd stop and no one would ever see it. When the lights went on and the first question was about showing up here in 1955, it was like turning back the clock. You could see the look on his face. When the lights came on, Arnold was on."

    Nantz called it a day he will never forget. "He never returned. That was his last visit to the Masters."

    Between The Masters tournament starting on Thursday, the special on Arnie and then the three-parter on Jack, it doesn't get any better than this for golf fans.
     
  5. CrazyFinn

    CrazyFinn Guru

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    And best of all, no Tiger Woods! It will be an enjoyable 4 days for sure. My new HD TV is all setup, unless you're there in person, watching the Masters in HD is the next best thing.
     
  6. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I completely agree Don! It should be a great special this year, and I'm very much looking forward to that interview. I'm very much looking forward to everything getting started up.

    It looks like Jason Day will be playing this week as well, to answer one of the stories I had talked about in my first post.
     
  7. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I see that Dustin Johnson had a question today in his press conference that went something like: "When did you believe you could become No. 1 in the world?"

    His response? "When Tiger stopped playing."

    He barely played with Tiger, and yet he still has the attitude of many of the golfers that played with him. Yes, he was a great golfer whose accomplishments rank him among the greats, but the fact that all these white golfers hold him up to be "unbeatable" is ridiculous. Woods played in an era where besides Mickelson, Els, Singh, and Goosen (for a time), there wasn't much other talent on tour, especially not as much as there is today. I was younger back than, but the those five (and maybe Sergio and Furyk) were the golfers that were talked about. If any of these guys had an "off" tournament, there usually was nobody else to pick up the slack. I'd wager that Woods wouldn't have nearly the number of wins he does if he had played in this current era, where anybody can get hot for a week and win a tournament. For instance, what if he would've been playing somebody like Spieth or McIlroy in a playoff rather than say, Rocco Mediate or Chris DiMarco? Simply put, if he'd have been playing with more talent, he wouldn't have won as much as he did.
     
  8. Carolina Speed

    Carolina Speed Master

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    CRAP! That just made me sick JL! I was just beginning to like DJ too. Just lost a little respect for him. Why don't these guys grow up and be men!
    I would wager an even bigger bet if I were a betting man, which I'm not, that Woods wouldn't have won 8 Majors, much less 14 if he would have played in the Nicklaus era! Here's a list of the players Nicklaus competed against including himself and Majors won:
    Nicklaus 18
    Player 9
    Watson 8
    Palmer 7
    Trevino 6
    SEVE 5
    Floyd 4
    Casper 3
    Irwin 3
    Nelson 3
    Norman 2
    North 2
    Zoeller 2
    Strange 2
    Miller 2, didn't win a lot of Majors, but was probably as good as Els. That's 15 of some of the greatest players of all time in one era. How would Woods stack up against these guys, while having to drive with persimmon woods with a sweet spot the size of a dime, not with today's metal woods with the sweet spot the size of a silver dollar! Heck, he might have not won any Majors, come to think of it!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  9. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    Great post CS, and I completely agree. Pardon me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember hearing any stupid comments like that from these guys you listed. Pardon me if I'm wrong on this, but I don't believe right off hand Phil ever said that Tiger was "too good" for him to compete with. I know Phil beat Tiger head-to-head a few times when they were paired together. Do you think somebody like Jack or Watson would have uttered such foolishness if they were going up against Woods? That was half the problem, most of the golfers in the field had mentally conceded tournaments to Woods when he was playing well. You're never going to win against somebody with a defeatist attitude like that.
     
  10. Carolina Speed

    Carolina Speed Master

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    Right JL. Just heard Nicklaus say on The Golf Channel today that he and Arnold, Player, Watson, etc. wanted to go out and beat each others brains out on the golf course and shake hands after it was over and go out to dinner. As great as Nicklaus was; Arnold, Player, Watson, Trevino, etc. were never afraid of Jack. In fact, Arnold had Jack's number in the beginning, and Watson and Trevino beat Jack head to head a number of times, especially in Majors. Remember, Jack finished second 19 times in Majors. That's a record nobody will ever break.
    That's why I'm a big Jordan Spieth fan. He doesn't seem to be afraid of anyone and wants to win every time he plays. I'm really pulling for Spieth to get 10 or 12 more Majors before he's done to quell some of this Tiger talk.
     
  11. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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  12. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    There's been some tough wind today at Augusta so far. The current lead is -2, held by a couple of young European players, Belgian Thomas Pieters, Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick, and also by Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler is currently -1, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson are at even, as are Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia. Bubba Watson is +1, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed are at +2, and Jason Day is +3.

    Dustin Johnson has officially withdrawn from the Masters due to his back. It's a shame, as Johnson had been on fire coming in.
     
  13. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    William McGirt, a 37 year old journeyman, is the current 1st round leader at -3 along with Charley Hoffman. Jason Dufner is at -2. Phil, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Sergio, and Ernie Els are all at -1. It's good to see Ernie playing well today. Jordan Spieth had a quadruple bogey at 15, and currently sits at +3, where McIlroy is.
     
  14. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    Charley Hoffman shot a great round of 65 today to take the lead at -7. William McGirt finished at -3 and Lee Westwood finished at -2. These were the only guys who shot better than -1. Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose lead a strong contingent at -1. A total of 11 players finished under par. Rory finishes at even after a strong back 9. No offense to Hoffman, but I hope the field is able to catch up with him tomorrow and Saturday.
     
  15. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    Charley Hoffman did indeed come back to the field today with a +3 75, bringing him to -4. Sergio Garcia shot an impressive round of 69, tying Hoffman at -4 for the lead. Rickie Fowler is currently at -3 in third. Phil Mickelson is -2 total, in 4th with William McGirt, who was over par this morning. Ageless wonder Fred Couples is tied for 6th at -1!! McIlroy and Day are both at +1. Rory didn't have his best stuff today. Justin Rose and Jon Rahm are both -1 as well. Jordan Spieth is struggling again, even for the day at +3.

    It looks like Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson, and reigning Masters champ Danny Willett are all going to miss the cut.
     
  16. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    Currently, Thomas Pieters is on top with Garcia and Hoffman at -4. Phil and Rickie Fowler are tied for 4th at -3. There's a host of big names back in the range of +1 to +4, including McIlroy, Spieth and Day. I could see any one of these three making a charge early tomorrow. It looks like it'll be a fun weekend, with a LOT of players close to the lead. A ton of storylines to follow.
     
  17. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Phil fell back to even with a few bogies down the stretch. Spieth birdied 18 to get to even par, which is a great comeback considering he shot a 9 on the 15th yesterday. And as usual, 57 year old Fred Couples is in the mix. Definitely a great leaderboard and anyone at +4 or better is still in it. The weather is supposed to be perfect tomorrow -- 71 degrees, sunny and wind at just 5 mph.

    If Phil doesn't win, I'd like to see Sergio break through and finally get a major. If neither of them win, then seeing Jordan Spieth bounce back from last year's disaster at the 12th would certainly add to his already near-legend status. I don't have an issue with Fowler, but there's definitely too much media and DWF love for him compared to his accomplishments, apparently because of his exotic heritage.
     
  18. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I agree Don. Phil's putter let him down a bit today, but he's been one of the best on tour in putting this year, so hopefully he can sink some tomorrow and come out firing. He'll be paired with Spieth; that should be a fun duo.

    I'd like to see Sergio win as well if Phil can't pull it off. DWFs absolutely hate him, so it'd be even sweeter if he was able to win. I'd go Couples (how would this win not be epic?) and Spieth after those two.

    It should be a great Moving Day! I'd say anybody at +2 or better still has a great shot.
     
  19. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    Regarding Fowler, I'd have to agree as well. I personally don't mind him and think he's a good golfer, but I think the media overrates him. For instance, they were trying to add him to the "Big 3" of McIlroy, Day, and Spieth last year. I don't think four wins in eight years justifies that hype at all. I just read that this is his first ever lead or co-lead in the majors, which makes the hype even more unjustified.
     
  20. Carolina Speed

    Carolina Speed Master

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    Good posts JL and Don. I only got to see the last hour or so yesterday. I've made my opinion known before on who I generally want to win, Spieth for several reasons. First, he's usually outspoken about his opinions and doesn't seem to care what others think. Not in a rude way, just confident and not PC. When he was in contention for a win early on in his career near Christmas, one of the announcers wished him "Happy Holidays," he said "Merry Christmas." Second, he does get media coverage, especially during his 2015 run, top 5 in every Major and winning 2! As both of you have said, Fowler gets way too much coverage for what he's accomplished. He's up there with Spieth or more in terms of coverage, but hasn't accomplished nearly as much. I've also noticed that ESPN, NBC, CBS, etc. doesn't cover Spieth much at all, unless he's right there in contention. For example, yesterday when I got home, I turned to ESPN to watch the end of round two, although Spieth was moving up the leaderboard, in what has been mentioned as a pretty good comeback, there wasn't much coverage of him. His birdie puts were all delayed, not live as would have been with Phil or Fowler, instead they were showing guys ranked 100 or worse that were not making the cut. If I remember correctly, the same thing happened when he was coming back to win the US Open. I kept seeing him come up the leaderboard, but there was no coverage until he got into or close to the lead. Third, Spieth just seems like a real quality guy, like Palmer and Nicklaus. Gentlemen and ambassadors of the game, and not overly cocky or arrogant. Fourth, as I've said, he's young enough and won some Majors early, he could actually challenge for double digit Major wins and or get close to Woods.
    Yet, if Spieth doesn't win, I would like to see Phil get another Masters. Sergio would be a good story as well as Couples at what, 57 years old. Anyway, it's stacking up to be another great Masters no matter who wins.
     
  21. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    I watch a lot of the Golf Channel during majors, and they don't cover any of the golfers in depth. For example, when they go to the highlights they'll show just a couple of shots by the leaders, whereas practically every shot of Tiger's rounds were shown and drooled over. There's a lot of other things about their coverage I dislike, but the Masters is such a wonderful tournament that they can't ruin my enjoyment of it. And Brandel Chamblee is a great analyst and Frank Nobilo is almost as good.
     
  22. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I've been watching Golf Channel a bit, and I wasn't aware just how packed the leaderboard was with "big names." Jason Day has birdied four of his last five holes to get back to +2 as well. In addition, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose are at -1, Kuchar is off with Rory at +1, Adam Scott is Even, Reigning PGA Champ Jimmy Walker is -2 through his first two holes, getting him to +1 for the day. Those are in addition to all of the guys mentioned! A lot of great storylines to follow on Moving Day. The guys on the Golf Channel were saying there probably won't be too many low rounds, so any guy that shoots 3-4 under par should be in a good spot Sunday.

    I actually wouldn't mind seeing Jimmy Walker win in addition to the guys mentioned; he'd be the first guy to win two consecutive majors since Mickelson did it over a decade ago, winning the PGA Championship in 2005 and the Masters the following year.
     
  23. Carolina Speed

    Carolina Speed Master

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    I have to retract my earlier post, for the meantime anyway. There has been pretty good coverage of all the contenders today on CBS. I also like the tributes to Arnold Palmer.
     
  24. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    As everybody gets underway in the 3rd round, Spieth is making a charge, up to -4 on the leaderboard. Sergio just holed a long birdie as well, putting him one back of Charley Hoffman at -5.

    It looks like Phil and Rory fell off the pace a bit.
     
  25. Carolina Speed

    Carolina Speed Master

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    Great round 3! Should be another classic Masters finish tomorrow. Here's the top 6, final 3 pairings and 7th place Adam Scott.
    1. Justin Rose -6
    1. Sergio Garcia -6
    3. Rickie Fowler -5
    4. Jordan Spieth -4
    4. Charlie Hoffman -4
    4. Ryan Moore -4
    7. Adam Scott -3
     

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