Monday, April 11, 2005

THE MASTERS

Despite the weather, stop and go playing, and course conditions, the Augusta National Golf Club, again, brought us a Sunday finishing round that will go down in history. Somehow, some way, this course seems to always deliver a nail-biter on Sunday.

The worst Masters I ever saw was the one Tiger won by 12 strokes in '97, setting a record that will be around for many years. It was boring because the field, except for Tiger, was playing for second place. It was the same for our golf pools at work, too. Tiger was so dominating that we would remove him from the players' picks because it was a foregone conclusion who would win.

Before Sunday's Masters I didn't think Tiger had a shot at Nicklaus' records of 18 majors and 6 green jackets; I've since changed my mind. Barring injury, I think those records will fall to Tiger.

Tiger's goal is to break these records held by Nicklaus, and he may do just that. However, there's one record not even the great Tiger will break and, considering all the factors, I think it's Jack's best performance at Augusta without winning.

At the end of the final round, the leader board read as follows:

O'meara -9
Couples -8
Duval -8
Furyk -7
Azinger -6
Nicklaus -5.

The year was 1998. Jack Nicklaus was 58 years old. Tiger finished at -3.

Need I say more?

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