Congratulations to Bernhard Langer on winning the PGA TOUR’s 2018 Payne Stewart Award. This yearly honour is presented at the TOUR Championship in “recognition of his supreme level of character and sportsmanship, his professionalism and the distinguished manner in which he embraces the values of golf.” Continue reading
Professional golf has well over 10 different tours four our viewing pleasure. Most are feeder tours for the PGA, European and LPGA that provide the opportunity for younger players to cut their teeth in the professional ranks. These tours have developed over the years to meet the growth of professional golf and the demand for more opportunities for the expanding numbers of players trying to make it to the big leagues. All the tours that is, except one: The PGA Tour Champions. Continue reading
Golf is an interesting sport, the young seem to think they can dominate the wily veteran through sheer power, but I am not so sure. Bernhard Langer at this year’s Masters was schooling the young guns until the last round; although he had a tough last round, he did finish in T27, not bad for a 58-year-old! For the first three rounds, he used his guile, experience and confidence to stay in the hunt and that kind of golf wisdom is generally gained from experience.
This reminds me of a game of golf about 25 years ago that taught me many lessons I never want to repeat. The main lesson was to never underestimate my opponent, regardless of what they look like, swing, or equipment they use; and never think that you have them beat before you start to play!
JORDAN SPIETH! I really do not have to say much more. Leading for 7 rounds in a row and looking strong enough to make it 8. If he continues to play well he will join the élite group of Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods as back to back champions at the Masters! Although he struggled on 17 and 18, his play to date is the highlight of the tournament!
However, there were other highlights of Day 2. I am not sure what you think are the high points, but here are mine.
Say goodbye to many of the favourites! The second day of the Masters was crazy. The veterans struggled and the rookies shined. Talk about a role reversal for many of the active players. This is great for the Masters and golf in general. It will allow some younger players to make their mark and share the headlines with the stalwart favourites!
However, this is not the real headline for Day Two of the Masters. The actual headline is “the aging veterans bare their teeth”; great players from the past who always seem to shine during the big tournaments. Given their age, the were paid lip service as to their chances of winning let alone making the cut, yet here they are….in the running for another green jacket.
These timeless gladiators always play well at the right times, but who are they:
Fred Couples – 54 years old, 1992 Masters Champion. With his silky smooth swing and gentlemen persona has been a fan favourite forever. Currently tied for 7th place, he has a great chance to make a run on moving day!
Vijay Singh – 51 years old, 2000 Masters Champion. His struggles of late have not affected his performance at this Major. Winning eight tournaments in 2004, he is a proven champion and has the ability to shoot low. He is currently sitting tied for 26th.
Larry Mize – 55 years old, 1987 Masters Champion. Mize was not a big name in golf when he played. He was a journeyman player who occasionally rose to the top of the pack. Regardless, as a past champion, he is playing well and tied for 26th.
Bernhard Langer – 56 years old, 2-time Masters Champion (1985, 1993). Langer has been at the top of golf for a long time. His timeless swing, cool composure and fierce competitive spirit have enabled him to stay competitive through the years. He is a fan favourite and tied for 26th.
Miguel Angel Jimenez – 50 years old, 42 professional wins. Never a Major Champion, Jimenez earned his way to the Masters through solid play over the past year. His cigar smoking, devil-may-care attitude enamours him with the crowd. Currently sitting tied for 46th, it is unlikely he will win, but the fans will be the big winners watching him play.
Sandy Lyle – 56 years old, 1985 Masters Champion. This Scotsman was a journeyman player. He represented the European team five times on the Ryder cup with two wins. He currently is tied for 46th.
These six are part of the elusive half-century club. There were all great players and continue to demonstrate that playing golf at an elite level is not limited to younger players. The 2014 Masters does not have the drama for 2013, but definitely has the excitement!
The golfing world would be turned upside down if one of these were to player win the first Major of 2014. It would be interesting to see the media spin on how an aging veteran topped of the golfing world. What do you think?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!