Now that the 2009 Masters is in the books, I would to reflect on a few of my experiences in Augusta.
Augusta was abuzz as always with Masters Fever; however this year was it was a bit more subdued. Patrons lined the sidewalks along Washington road and scurried in and out of the gates of Augusta National like kids at a candy store. They were almost in a trance like state basking in the afterglow of having walked the hallowed grounds of Augusta National. I could tell I was at the Masters.
The economic downturn was evident as well. Weeklong badges could be purchased for a few hundred dollars. A shocking proposition considering that in past years a Masters badge would have set you back a few thousand dollars.
Inside the gates of The National it was business as usual. The packed gift shop, the long lines of patrons waiting to get their hands on those famed pimento cheese sandwiches and a cold beer in a Masters cup. There was an electric atmosphere around the golf course and I think the members at Augusta National made a call to the big guy and request perfect weather because they got it.
After years of complaints about the course setup, the tournament committee final relented and setup a fair but yet challenging layout this year. As I looked at the leaderboard I saw my share of birdies and the occasional eagle popped up as well. The roars were back at the Masters. With a winning score of 12-under par it’s clear that setup was fair and very playable. Just don’t ask Sergio Garcia that, he is still whining. I guess he played a different course.
The storylines that played out this week went from magical to tragic. Kenny Perry almost became the oldest winner of a Major Championship, but it was not to be. Two late bogeys’ and a bogey on the 2nd playoff hole cost him the championship. But despite the stinging loss he handled it with class and dignity. Kenny Perry in a true gentleman and a credit to the game.
Tiger and Phil made a charge on Sunday and put on a display of golf that electrified the crowd. Even though they both fell short, it was womderful seeing them go mano y mano at the Masters. Hopefully, we can see it again.
“El Pato” the duck Angel Cabrera now gets to take a Green Jacket back to Argentina. He became the first Masters champion from South America. A fitting winner when you think about 1968 and the memorable scorecard gaffe by Roberto DeVicenzo. Cabrera’s win served as a bit of redemption for Roberto and now he can say I was not so stupid. Congratulations Angel Cabrera.
(images courtesy of Getty Images)
"keep it in the short grass"
Edward S. Wanambwa