The Masters – Day Two

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!

Old LionHowever, 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!

Masters – Tough First Day

Day one of the Masters is over. All the pundits are frantically justifying why their pick is not at the top of the leaderboard. They are talking about the wind, the pressure, their starting position, nagging injuries, etc, etc, etc. The performance of any professional during the Masters will vary depending on an infinite number of reasons.  But, there was always one factor that never changes!

Before I go into the one constant of the Masters, I thought I would share some interesting highlights of the 2014 first round.  Interestingly, it was what everyone expected and it was nothing like anyone expected.  Here is what I found interesting:

Back to the original point – the one constant of all the Masters is the course!  Golf monthly has a great overview of each hole that is worth checking out. However, that is not what I noticed.

Augusta National ArchiveThe only flat section at Augusta National Golf Club is the practice area and tee boxes!

As I watched the players navigate around the course, not one of them had a flat lie. Not one!  In the fairway, the ball was above or below their feet.  The hazards on the course are sculpted perfectly. The announcers constantly talked about the quick breaks and how important it is to be on the right side of the hole! The course is a monster and course management will be the deciding factor to who wins this weekend! Augusta National Golf Course is truly a gem and the next three rounds are going to be exciting.

I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links…..soon!

Quiet Hands to Break 100

The touch is a much debated topic in golf.  Some amateurs confuse touch with quiet hands.  Although ‘how’ a player uses their hands during chipping and putting is extremely important, it is a topic for another day.

Listening to the golf experts, it is obvious that quiet hands are the key to lowering your golf score. The challenge for most amateurs is to figure out what “quiet hands” mean, to what part of the swing it applies, and more importantly how can they get some! Continue reading