Well, it’s been a slow start to the golf season, for various reasons. On the first Sunday in March, I picked up a horrible flu bug in California, which then developed into a more horrible chest cold, which lasted for a good two weeks. I am feeling much better now, thank you, but it really had me down and out for awhile.
But even more of a problem, has been the miserable weather. It’s either cold or wet, or cold and wet, or snow and cold. In the beginning of all this, it really did not make much difference, because I was sick, but the bad weather has never really let up, and there is no true end in sight. I have managed to play 7 rounds, so far this year. This time last year I had played 15 rounds. I have played lousy for the same reasons, being ill and the playing conditions have not been that great. No rounds below 80, and just muddling through, until this weather pattern will hopefully break.
Since things are on such a stagnate level on the local level, I have decided to write about the Masters, which I rarely do. It will be the hot topic of the week, and everybody is making their predictions, and I have no idea who might win, but this looks like it is shaping up to be one of the most competitive Masters of all time. How this will affect the outcome, I don’t really know, but what kind of Masters will we see. In the long history of the Masters, the winning score has ranged from one over par 289 to 18 under par 270. In fact the only 2 scores not to win the Masters is one under par 287 and 15 under par 273. Three of Jack Nicklaus’s six Master wins have come under the tough conditions, where he finished even once and 2 under twice to win the green jacket. Naturally, the weather does play a factor in affecting the scores, but there is no question that the way the Augusta Golf Committee sets up the course plays a huge factor. The pin placements on those severely slope very fast bent greens can play havoc with any score card. I am sure moving the pin just a few inches in any direction can have a major impact on how difficult it is to putt, and get close to pin on the approach shot. Is anybody really going to notice such a small movement of the pin. I think not. In recent years the Masters at times has had more of a U. S. Open feel, rather than the typical Masters tournament. I don’t think there is any rhyme or reason for the way the Committee sets up the course, but I think that every year they have a score in mind that they want to win. What I find interesting this year is that there are so many players playing so well, and then to see which Masters we will be watching. One where there will be lot’s eagle attempts and going for those par 5’s in two and a winning score in the mid 270’s. Or will we see a Masters where it will be a struggle for everyone and will see a survivor tournament winner, with a winning score in the mid 280’s. Oh, the power of the Masters Golf Committee.
With the way the weather is shaping up for this week I will be probably watching more than I really want. So reluctantly I will make a couple of predictions. The scores will be high with a winning score of 283, and someone not named Rory will win their first Masters.