The Masters

So I tape delayed the Masters today…..Easter Sunday…and here I am, at 9:30…picking up the action where I left off earlier today.

Some random thoughts….

I have been to Augusta and the Masters…thanks to an invite from my friend Mike Hickey.  It was a fantastic few days…tons of laughs outside the course and an incredible time on the course. My favorite day was actually Tuesday…for the practice round…because it was as relaxed as could be.   We talked to Fuzzy Zoeller and by yelling encouragement to Gary Player…sold a guy a membership to Glen Arbor Country Club in Bedford.  I was really glad to go down there with Mike, Jimmy JJ, TO and Andy. We met up with my college roommate Creature too…and we bumped up to some of the guys I know from the TV business….who were ridiculously tight, boring and snobby outside of a few guys like Baker and Pickle. It’s so much more interesting watching a golf tourney when you have seen the course.  After traveling to Augusta, I have a new appreciation for this tournament.

When the coverage opened on Thursday, on ESPN, and I heard Mike Tirico’s voice for the first 12 or so minutes, I admit to being bummed. But very swiftly, the CBS crew came to the rescue…and everything just felt right again.

The CBS announcers are really really solid.  Ian Baker Finch is so damn knowledgeable.  Right up front today he commented that Peter Hanson would be better off surrendering the lead to Phil, enabling Hanson to be the aggressor instead of the protector. I bought it. Verne Lundquist is just a plain and simple classic voice…and his role in one of my favorite movies, Happy Gilmore, only improves his standing in my eyes.  Sir Nick Faldo, with his three Green Jackets, also brings incredible credibility to the action.  He and NBC’s Johnny Miller are my personal favorites. Sometimes I think Ferety tries to hard…but then he pulls something so simple out of his hat that I back off on my critical view.  His call on the second hole, of Louis Oosthuizen’s double eagle…”could be very nice…could be very nice…Oh, come to papa….YES!” was really phenomenal.

One great thing about the Masters tournament…these players are human too. Take Phil on the 4th hole Par 3…..He slings his tee shot off the grandstand into the bamboo….holy crap!   We watched how many guys miss 4 footer putts?  I guess what makes these guys so damn good is that they don’t get phased when a shot goes awry…..they just get back on the horse and do what they need to do….and stay within themselves.

It’s been interesting to read the coverage in the papers…both digitally and via good old fashioned home delivery ….. this week too.  I am most impressed by the player’s attitudes…..they just stay SO POSITIVE…and waste no energy on things when they come up short. Look forward, not back.  What a lesson for all of us…

I have little feeling for Tiger…plus or minus.  I feel he has “paid” for his transgressions and credit him for the work he has put in to get back to the higher echelon of his field.  I think that in his time away from the game, many others have gotten the chance to build their confidence levels…and who fears Tiger today as nearly the entire field once did? Nobody.

The final pairing is now on the 10th hole. I have no clue what is going to transpire from here on out. I am going on record…..Bubba Watson is gonna win this thing…with the pink driver.

Taco’s Last Bite: MLB season started this week. Yankees have dropped two to Tampa. Anyone who thinks these guys are running away with the AL East needs to think again. I pick the pitching rich Rays.

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