The Masters Is Out of Control

Spent most of the afternoon watching the Masters, like many golf fans. Am I the only one disappointed and more than a touch bored? The course is playing like a U.S. Open setup, with more punches from underneath pine trees than any one telecast should have.

The greens seem awfully firm, but the fairways don’t allow for much roll, and the new trees planted limit most recovery options, and many of the spectacular shots. I’ve never seen more carnage on a short par five than on 15, where Singh dunked one in the water on the approach and poor Geoff Ogilvy hit two in the drink with a sand wedge.

All of this has made the tournament ponderous to watch, with rounds topping out at more than five hours. The entertainment factor might appeal to those that enjoy watching surgeries on the Health Channel, but unless you enjoy seeing someone’s beating heart torn from their chest, you’ll probably not have fun witnessing this year’s Masters.

So who wins tomorrow? No one, aside from Retief Goosen, managed to break par yesterday, though Tiger managed to hang tight and Stuart Appleby kept from melting down despite a triple bogey on 17. If I were a betting man, I’d but it on Tiger to shoot 71 and win by three or four strokes as the rest of the field continues to fall back. It will be a win by attrition, but a win through championship play. It is a U.S. Open setup and the event is playing out like a test of survival, rather than a test of shotmaking abilities. The powers that be at Augusta National should be paying careful attention so that this doesn’t happen again. What a mess. Let’s hope Sunday isn’t as much of a disaster and something is still salvaged from all of this.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I’m in complete agreement with you. This is nothing like any Masters I’ve ever seen. Will someone shoot 31 on the back tomorrow, as Phil did in 2004? Will we see group to group hole-in-ones on 16? Not likely. I hope Stuart Appleby wins tomorrow, because I like his story. If not, I hope a Bradley Dredge type wins, because that’s what this year’s competition comitee deserves: a no-name no-story one-time major winner who survived because he took no risks. Bobby Jones and MacKenzie are currently spinning at 1440 rpms in their graves! AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

  • Bored?! While watching the only golf tournament that gets me excited weeks in advance? {/sarcasm}

    I actually fell asleep this afternoon!

    For the second consecutive year, there is no drama or excitement at the Masters.

    I remember saying last year on Ian’s blog that I was sure they would set the course up easier on Sunday to bring some heroic possibilities into play. Of course, it didn’t happen.

    I’m hopeful that will change this year but I’m not holding out hope. It would be nice to think someone actually has a chance of shooting 67 on Sunday but even breaking 70 seems like wishful thinking.

    But I’m a glutton for punishment and I’ll be watching tomorrow afternoon.

  • With the LACK of Eagles & Birdies, it’s hard to get excited about The Pros making Pars, or “good bogeys!?” Of course the REAL excitement comes in the form of train-wrecks like Appleby’s 7 on #15!

  • The R&A were severely criticised in 1999 when the rough at Carnoustie was deemed to be too deep – hopefully, they’ll have learned for this year’s Open.
    The USGA were similarly taken to task for the course setup at Shinnecock in 2004 when it became virtually impossible to get a ball to stop anywhere near the 7th hole.
    Yet no-one in any position of authority dares to criticise the powers that be at Augusta! I can only assume they’re afraid to upset Billy Payne & co, and next year’s invite might get lost in the post.
    I hate watching the best players in the world struggle to break 80. The Masters should not be a war of attrition – it’s about the possibility of a back nine birdie run to shoot 65 and win the tournament. Why is there such an obsession with length and protecting par? It’s a complete turn-off for me…

  • Rediculous, it is a Major tournament, how about someone rises to the challenge set by the weather and course conditions. Rather than cry about birdies and eagles, put your self on your local courses tee box… on a 30 mph gusty day… wouldn’t you find excitement in attaining an even par round.. hey maybe on a sunny and 70 day par would be great… Augusta offers the challenge, lets watch history rather than pouting for an easy victory for that Tiger guy… Step up, the grey goose did.

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