The immediacy of sports journalism is so overwhelming these days that questions started to be raised about how many majors Bubba Watson will win in his career before his first green jacket was buttoned up.
It's a double edged sword. On one hand it's great to know everything as soon as possible, but it also doesn't give any genuinely great story the chance to marinate in our sports mind. We want to crown or tear down athletes in the quickest way possible, be it by blog post, tweet or Facebook status update. It’s going to happen on one medium or another.
Which is why, post-Masters, I took a few days off to let Watson’s victory over Louis Oosthuzien soak in and let the rest of the sports/golf media jump to conclusions and make proclamations. Honestly, it felt good to play back the tournament in my mind without the clutter of outside analysis and speculation. It’s easy to take your own analysis and feelings of a golf tournament for granted because the second it ends, you’ve got a hundred different opinions flying at you.
I watched nearly every hole of The Masters, as is custom every year, but something about seeing Watson cry on the No. 10 green after clinching his first major championship on the second sudden death hole at Augusta was just special. It reminded me of watching Phil win his first Masters and the enjoyment I got from it while he did his awkward jump with both arms raised high.
The Masters routinely provides beauty in more forms than a cultivated landscape. Watson’s wedge shot out of the Woods in sudden death on No. 10 was prettier than any of the manicured fairways. It was an updated version of Phil splitting two trees from the pine straw with a 6-iron and miraculously landing it on the 13th green in 2010. When both shots were lined up, you simply had to say to yourself, “There’s just no way...” And then it happened.
Those are the lasting memories one gets every Spring from Augusta National.
Sergio Garcia has always been an intriguing character on the PGA Tour, but I didn’t think he would get to the level he’s at now. He played with Rory McIlroy and as both struggled throughout the third round, it was pretty funny to see them hug and chum it up as their golf lives were in misery at Augusta.
What wasn’t so light hearted were Sergio’s comments the rest of the weekend:
"I'm not good enough, and today I know it. I've been trying for 13 years, and I don't feel capable of winning. I don't know what happened to me. Maybe it's something psychological. ... I'm not good enough for the majors. Everything I say, I say it because I feel it. If I didn't mean it, I couldn't stand here and lie like a lot of the guys do. If I felt like I could win, I would do it."
Well, alright then. You could tell Garcia truly meant what he was saying and after 13 years of failure and frustration at all the major championships, can you really blame him? These comments are as real as it gets and I think it makes Garcia a sympathetic figure heading into any major he qualifies for going forward. Maybe saying all of this out loud, in front of the media, is exactly what’s going to get Garcia over the top, but we’ll see.
Tiger Woods. Tiger’s golf etiquette. Tiger’s golf swing. Tiger’s language. Tiger’s ability to find the fairway off the tee. This could go on forever. He played so poorly this weekend that he had to have crushed any confidence he gained after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It’s still painful to watch him melt down rather than rise up, and even though I’m still rooting for him to be the best golfer in the world again, I still just don’t think he’s close to getting there again. Sad but true. One step forward, then steps back... and don’t forget to kick your club on the way!