Nothing ever quite signals the beginning of spring like the Masters tournament from Augusta. While not my favourite Major – the US Open’s penal challenge provides better entertainment for this twisted observer – the Masters is probably the greatest and most awe-inspiring golf tournament there is. Providing unsurpassed beauty, and a steady supply of indelible memories, the Masters is surely the ultimate golf tournament.
My Favourite Masters Memories
Here are my three favourite Masters memories. What are yours?
“IN YOUR LIFE…” Unfortunately, this is undeniably the most iconic golf shot ever hit. Ugh.
In the same way that Tiger closing with two bogeys to fall into a playoff with Chris DiMarco in 2005 rather tarnished the miracle of the 16th; Mickelson missing the putt that followed this miraculous shot could have overshadowed his eventual victory. Anyway, just enjoy it; this is Mickelson as his most imaginative best.
Quite simply, my favourite golfing memory of all-time. Even though Peter Alliss ruined the moment on the BBC by mistaking Mickelson’s victory putt for a mere playoff forcer. And, has anybody ever found the footage of Ernie Els tucking into an apple on the practice range, with an air of knowing resignation, before hearing the unmistakable roar of American success from the 18th?
1. Mickelson -12
2. Bradley -11
3. McIlroy -10
4. Snedeker -10
5. Woods -10
The main storyline will be the potential battle between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods; a duel that every observer surely hopes to see come Sunday night. However, I think Mickelson – boasting a phenomenal Augusta record – could enjoy the slightly reduced spotlight for the first three days, hope that McIlroy and Woods fail to live up to the stratospheric expectations, make just enough important putts to keep the field at bay and might eventually lope in to the Butler Cabin to be adorned with his 4th green jacket.
No first time player has won since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979; however, Keegan Bradley – winner of last year’s USPGA championship –with his massive hitting and towering iron play; boosted by the confidence of a major victory and in relatively good form could go very close.
If I was a gambling man, Brandt Snedeker would be my outside bet. A previous third place finisher, a winner on tour this year and a refreshingly quick player, Snedeker is a slightly different breed of journeymen American; and one who could be very close to the summit of the leaderboard come Sunday night.