The Masters: More Than a Game

Will Biggar

It is that magical time of year again – Masters week in Augusta, Ga. The skies are blue, the azaleas and dogwoods are fi-nally in full bloom, the course has been vacuumed and there is a soft wind whis-tling through the pines. Even the shadows will look beautiful on this graceful week-end as we can finally put winter in the rearview mirror. The weather may call for rain, but you get the feeling the golf gods would not interrupt the stage that is being set for this weekend. For sports fans, it is truly a remarkable event. Without a doubt, there is no better golf tournament than the Masters. The greens this week are playing at such a fast pace that even the simplest of putts might quickly turn into a golfer’s worst nightmare.

You can almost hear the roar of the crowd from birdies and eagles across the course. The wind will swirl at the 12th hole in the center of “Amen Corner” as golfers can only guess which direction it is really coming from. It represents one of the few places in golf where no lead is considered safe. Just ask Greg Norman, who blew a six-stroke Sunday lead in 1996 to Nick Faldo. In a place that has seen the “Golden Bear,” Jack Nicklaus, defy odds to win the Mas-ters at age 46 and Phil Mickelson’s 18-foot birdie putt to clinch his first major in 47 attempts, spectators can only hope they will be able to witness Augusta’s next defining moment. There will be a great deal of action between now and the back nine excitement on Sunday afternoon, but I cannot recall a tournament with more hype than this one.

Tiger Woods is coming off his first PGA Tour victory in 30 months with a win at Bay Hill two weeks ago. It marked the first time in two years that we finally saw that look in his eye that let the sports world know that Tiger is playing to win. If you watch golf, you know the look. It’s the one that says, “No matter what anyone does, I am winning this tournament.” There are few things in sports that are as exciting as Woods playing well down the stretch of a golf tournament. And what better place to stage a comeback than the Masters, a course he tore apart 15 years ago when he became the first African-American to win at Augusta, while doing it in record break-ing form? The only thing America loves more than a public downfall from stardom is their chance at redemption. That is the setting for the weekend: a chance for Tiger to be the face of golf once again. A Tiger Woods win would be the best thing for golf since his 2008 U.S. Open victory on one leg.

As much as the media criticizes Tiger, everyone knows that golf is not nearly as exciting when he’s not competing down the stretch. The stage is set for a great weekend, now we can only wait and hope to witness history once again. I just hope the man holding the trophy on Sunday is wearing red.

Contact Will Biggar at [email protected]