Some thoughts on The Masters

The Masters has been run and won. Once again it dished out some amazing drama and was compulsive viewing for us golfers.

Here’s my take:

  • Phil Mickelson made one mental error (his tee shot on 12) that probably cost him shooting one of the best ever rounds in major golf. It nearly seems unfair but is why golf is such a great test.
  • I couldn’t believe the commentators gave Phil that putt on 15. I’m not a big fan of commentary but conceding a tricky 4 footer is a big no no. I wasn’t surprised when he missed.
  • Statistics should only be used as a guide. When Perry was playing 17 with a two shot lead the commentators were quick to point out he hadn’t had a bogey for 22 holes. I think they were saying that he was unlikely to make another. Pity he bogeyed 3 of his last 4 holes (including the playoff holes) as I think he deserved to win. Although useful at times, statistics can’t predict the future.
  • Chad Campbell played great golf – a bit unlucky and a terrible way to exit the tournament.
  • Couldn’t believe Tiger said he had the worst warm up he has ever had. I don’t think this should matter. Warming up before the round is just that – warming up. It isn’t a measure of how one is going to play. This is one of the first times I’ve heard Tiger say something that isn’t positive and bordering on being average.
  • Angel Cabrera played a gritty round of golf. He never looked like winning in regulation and was all but out of it on the first playoff hole. His up & down for par on the 19th was one of the best efforts I’ve seen. He also made great putts on 16 and 18 in regulation. His performance was the perfect example of playing golf – he wasn’t playing great golf but still managed to play the last eight holes in 3 under par. Sometimes it is possible to play well, even when things aren’t going to plan.
  • No matter how much experience we have golf can still be a difficult game. Despite playing almost perfect golf at the age of 48, Kenny Perry stumbled at the final hurdle. It was painful to watch and something I hope he can recover from. It was mentioned he took three years to get over his PGA collapse in 1996 – this one could take longer. I hope not as his performance should serve as inspiration for all.

Now that an Argentinian has won at Augusta it must be time that an Australian achieves this feat. We’ve managed to get close a few times but haven’t managed to get over the line. Maybe next year…

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  • David Pryde

    Reply Reply April 14, 2009

    Yes, the Masters was great viewing as usual and, for a change, I agreed with the TV concentration on Tiger and Phil.
    Without doubt the man who played the most ‘automatic golf’ was the winner. He didn’t fuss when bad shots happened, as they nearly always do, and his approach allowed him to hit those vital shots under pressure.
    Unfortunately Kenny Perry’s swing is more contrived, certainly effective, but under pressure is not so automatic.
    The commentators forget that early in the round Angel dropped shots to Kenny whereas Kenny did it later on, and they forget that the final round is 18 holes not 16 – a bit like Ogilvy’s US open win – 18 holes not 17!!
    BTW playing automatic is not so easy and I am still trying to come to grips with it on all shots – a work in progress.
    Also I thoroughly enjoyed the previous article about Michael Clayton and you, however the chances of you swinging quietly in future are practically nil unless a quiet version of your swing can be made automatic-ha!
    Cheers Cam and keep up the interesting website comments.
    David Pryde

  • Steady(OZ)

    Reply Reply April 15, 2009

    Hi Cam,
    good post. Kenny Perry admitted himself on an interview straight after he finished, that he “…got really nervous and found it difficult to handle.”
    It just goes to show even the best golfers suffer with feelings of stress and tension. The secret to handling it is going automatic because it gives you the optimum chance to play . In effect what your are doing is blocking out all the what if’s and staying in the present, ignore any distractions from yourself or others.Cheers

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