SPOTLIGHT: Of Masters I have known

DIRTY DOZEN: The gorgeous par-3 No. 12 at Augusta National has turned some pretty rounds pretty ugly in more than one Masters Tournament.

By TEDDY ALLEN, Journal Sports

Former Calvary and LSU star Sam Burns, 25, is scheduled to tee off this afternoon at 12:19 and Friday morning at 9:01, his rookie appearance at the Masters. Odds of his winning are a most reasonable 40-1, same as the odds for Louis Oosthuizen, runner-up in the 2021 U.S. Open (and also in the 2012 Masters).

Viktor Hovland, Brooks Keopka and two-time major champ Collin Morikawa, not yet 25, are each 20-1. Rory McIlroy is 18-1, Scottie Scheffler is 16-1, and Tiger Woods, another semi-familiar name, is 50-1.

Generous odds for Woods, who almost lost his leg in a car wreck 17 months ago. But Woods has been known to surprise at Augusta, as we note in the first lesson of this refresher course titled “Masters I Have Known.”

April 14, 2019: WHAT A TIGER TALE

AUGUSTA, Ga.—The man with the best shot at beating Tiger Woods in the final round of the 83rd Masters Tournament wore the sorrowful, caged look of a guy caught at an opera he didn’t want to attend, much less be in.

And against this much history and this much Masters experience, against this tidal wave of Fate, Francesco Molinari did just about as much good Sunday as his home country of Italy did in World War II.

There would be no denying Woods, who would turn the afternoon into 2005 again—the year of his most recent Masters championship—and win his fifth green jacket by a single stroke with a 2-under 70 amid chants of “Tiger! Tiger!,” wearing the familiar Sunday red and black he wore before all the personal problems and surgeries, back when he was young and the most feared golfer on the planet.

April 8, 2018: CAPTAIN AUGUSTA

AUGUSTA, Ga. — He’s called Captain America for the emotion and passion he’s brought to both his team and game in his young and very successful Ryder Cup career.

Now Patrick Reed is Captain Augusta.

Polarizing and brash, the won’t-back-down 27-year-old won a horn-honking, move over 2018 Masters by keeping two hands on the wheel as Augusta National turned into Formula One Golf, exploding with birdies and pedal-to-the-metal charges and sudden starts and stops from some familiar faces — but in some unfamiliar ways.

When his three-foot putt fell for par at the 18th, Reed had beaten Rickie Fowler by a stroke and Jordan Speith by two with a 15-under 273 performance that started with a blistering 69-66-67 and ended with a battling one-under 71. Once he got the lead Friday, he just wouldn’t get out of the way.

April 10, 2016: SPIETH COLLAPSES, WILLETT WINS

AUGUSTA, Ga.—Turns out that at Augusta National, Jordan Spieth can’t walk on water. Sometimes, he can’t even hit golf balls over it.

In a terrifically quick-turn flip-flop, Spieth saw a seemingly safe lead and his hopes of defending his Masters title drown late Sunday in the amount of time it takes to say “quadruple bogey.” He walked to the back nine winning by five—and lost by three. (To a Danny Willett?)

April 12, 2015: ONE-MAN-GANG SPIETH WINS BY 4

AUGUSTA, Ga.—Got a problem? Squeaky door? Fitful allergies? Gear slipping in the family SUV?

The suggestion from this bureau is to give Jordan Spieth a call. After the way he won the 79th Masters Tournament this weekend, there seem to be few problems the 21-year-old couldn’t solve. He could probably fix this global warming question if he can just get a decent gauge on the slope of the Earth, maybe figure out which way the grain of grass is cut.

April 13, 2014: THE BUBBA-IZATION OF AMERICA

AUGUSTA, Ga.—In a world where redneck reality shows are popular as drive-thru lanes, it’s only fitting a guy named Bubba wins The Masters. The South is taking over. Soon kudzu will eat Idaho.

Bubbas don’t win golf tournaments at Augusta, as former University of Georgia golfer Bubba Watson did this bright Easter. Bubbas win the city am in Laurel, Miss., or Smackover, Ark., but not at Augusta National. “Bubba Wins in Georgia” is the headline after the Atlanta Firecracker 500, not after they play The Masters.

April 14, 2013: SCOTT. CABRERA. WOW.

AUGUSTA, Ga.—The 77th Masters was drowning in a sea of fine print, paperwork, and the somewhat stupefying Rules of Golf Sunday when an unscripted finish rode in from, of all places, the Southern Hemisphere.

A Chippendale from Australia and a pit bull from Argentina cursed both the light rain and the north Georgia gloaming to put on a show they’ll talk about here as long as azaleas bloom and ladies drink mint juleps on the veranda.

April 10, 2022: DO TELL …

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu

 

Georgia on everybody’s mind