We couldn't record this week so we geek'ed out via Email.... ENJOY
Another fantastic Masters this week. The tournament started with an emotional tribute to the King, and came full circle with an emotional playoff victory by Sergio Garcia, who after 18 years, finally got his breakthrough major victory on what would have been his boyhood idol's 60th Birthday. Two questions to start:
How does Augusta deliver magic seemingly every year? And Honestly, did you think Sergio would ever win a major championship?
Augusta Delivers Magic because of the way it was Built, Of All the great Pieces Golf Channel Did in the Lead up, The discussion with Players About The Back 9 struck me most. Although it is Stats wise the easiest hole on the Course(15th), no player named it such. They all citied the Difficulty with hitting the 3rd Shot in made. Long winded I firmly believe that the Architecture of the Course is what creates the Magic, it lends it self to greatness.
Now On To Sergio... Honestly I thought he was destined to A Colin Montgomery career. Consistently Good but never great, As we watched the back 9 unfold we thought it would be another Major heartbreak for Sergio, The Tee shot on 13, The Missed Putt on 16 and 18. I thought the missed opportunity in regulation was the Kill Shot. Short putt blocks it right. But i was wrong and he finally put 3 straight shots together when he needed it most. It was exhilarating and very fun to watch.
Lets continue the Sergio Discussion and I'll Pose a question for you.
Each year we complain about the Lack of Masters TV Coverage, but it seems that once the final putt drops we wish the Tournament was still going. Should some of the Other majors follow and limit coverage to create some tension?
I agree with you on Sergio... I thought he might get a fluke US Open because of his ball striking. I figured he'd catch a hot putter and win by a bunch, but I never thought he had the mental fortitude to grind out a win against someone matching him shot for shot. Especially not at Augusta... a course he admitted he didn't like just a couple of years ago.
As far as coverage, Augusta has always had a "less is more" philosophy and it has definitely made the tournament special. I think you might be on to something there... Especially about the PGA. I think the US Open and British get away with it because of the history, but the PGA often just feels like another PGA Tour event.
Onto our "Baes": Obviously, we're both crushed that our personal favorites... Rickie and Phil both came up short after very promising stretches during the tournament. I have a theory as to what happened this week, but before I drop it on you, I want to get your take as to what's preventing Rickie from getting over the hump...
With Rickie I don't think its anything preventing him from Getting over the hump, I feel like he road a hot short game to the Friday Lead and sunday, his ball striking was a little off.
There was a telling stat shown Sunday morning, of all the contenders he was one of 2 not in the top 10 in GIR. At a course like Augusta I think you need to be near the top in that category to have a realistic chance of winning. There are far to many ways to make bogey around that course even when hitting the green!
(Side Bar) I feel since 2014/2015 (when he had a chip on his shoulder) he has maybe been a little to preoccupied with all the stuff that creates his enormous image, when expectations were highest he tended to not show up (80 first round last year at the masters.) There is something different about him this year though. Both Butch and Claude Harmon can't speak enough about the amount of preparation he is putting into his mental approach as well as his physical game. It takes moments like this to get where someone needs to go, everyone short of Jack and Tiger had moments where they got in a position to win a major and faltered. I personally think that he is on the right Trajectory this year to claim his first major and It wouldn't surprise me if he Does it at the US Open.
As for Phil, It was more of the same of what we have seen from Guys of his age (Furyk being best comparison) Still Highly Talented, but it will take a special week for them to get it done. You did make comments like his putter is letting him down, but that's been His nemesis since the British Open win. I still Like him to compete again at the British as he seems to have embraced Links Golf in a way that ages very well.
Any other surprises or disappointments from the week?
Other than DJ not playing of course.
Ok... let me tell you what really happened to Phil and Rickie... They got Speithed. #speithed trending... Phil and Rickie are both really fast players. I can't imagine how frustrating that draw must have been for them. Correct me if I'm wrong, and admittedly it's a small sample size, but the only person who's been paired with Jordan who's won a major is Jason "All" Day.... the only guy actually slower than Jordan Speith.
To your question... the Dustin Johnson incident.... probably the biggest story of the week. He's been basically unbeatable this year, and has played well at Augusta as of late. You've got to think he'd have been a factor in the championship. We'll never know.
That is an interesting observation, I wish we had a budget for a Fact checker though (Sponsors........anyone.............Bueller)
Onto DJ, You and I both were excited to see what he would do with all this new found confidence on a track that he has had success at. I don't think this hinders him going forward and I believe when he returns at the Wells Fargo in May he will be ready to go. I still predict 2 majors for him this year, what say you about his long term Prognosis.
I'd also like to comment quickly on the finish, Is there anyone more Regal than Justin Rose? Even when he loses the man is way classier than me. I agree with him that its better to Lose to a birdie than it would have had Sergio 2 putted.
Last Question Before we wrap this up.
With a weeks worth of perspective, what are your thoughts on the Lexi Thompson situation?
Lots were said early in the week, and we got some great soundbites. The Best being Phil, who basically said the got the call right, then threw shade at a few PGA Tour Professionals.
With all that said, are we sure call in's should be allowed the next day? I feel like once a round is over and card signed Viewer call in's should be doneski. Lastly I will agree with Tiger Woods on this that Leaders and Popular players are at a Disadvantage in this age of Hi Def DVR's.
This is has been fun... Maybe we can actually put content out on a weekly basis now.
2/3 majors is a bold prediction for DJ this year. Hopefully, this will just be a minor set back for him and there are no lingering effects. Birkdale is a good spot for him though because it's probably the "fairest" and most straightforward of the open venues.
Good call on the Lexi situation. We breezed over it last week. Actually what Phil said was he thought they got that particular call wrong, and should retro actively give her the trophy. He did say there are some guys on tour that are loose with how they mark their balls, and the tour should crack down on it.
I thought this particular application of the rule was pretty low rent. No one can possibly be laser precise with replacing the ball. There was no intent and no advantage gained, so there should have been no penalty. I'm not for completely banning the call ins; because it protects the field. But, yes, once the round is in the books, it should be a done deal. The only possible exception to that would be if an egregious and intentional violation was caught. In that case, we're talking DQ anyway... the rule change only covered things the player couldn't have been "reasonably" aware of.
This was fun! Hopefully, our fans enjoy and let us know what they think! We'd love to hear from you...