The time has finally arrived. The Masters is upon us in all its glory. Apparently there is a national championship basketball game on Monday night, but that game will be trumped by the Masters practice round highlights (at least in this universe).
Why is The Masters so great? Well, because it’s The Masters. The tournament is NOT governed by anyone except the members of Augusta National Golf Club. They are obsessive about the game of golf, and renewing their vigor each year to provide golfers and golf fans the perfect golf experience.
Augusta National Golf Club is a monster in itself. The par-72 slice of heaven measures in at just over 7400 yards, complete with tight fairways and nooks and crannies that make you ponder every shot like a geometry equation. The greens are so fast it’s like putting on a frozen lake. Oh, and there’s only a couple hundred million folks watching every shot…
To the tournament: There are currently 99 players qualified for the 2015 Masters (which tops out at 100 invitations), and 47 of them are from the United States. There are currently 19 ways to qualify for The Masters:
1. Masters Tournament Champions (Lifetime)
2. US Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
3. British Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
4. PGA Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
5. Winners of The Players Championship (Three years)
6. Current US Amateur Champion and U.S. Amateur runner-up
7. Current British Amateur Champion
8. Current Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion
9. Current Latin America Amateur Champion
10. Current US Amateur Public Links Champion
11. Current US Mid-Amateur Champion
12. The first 12 players (and ties) in the previous year's Masters
13. The first 4 players (and ties) in the previous year's US Open Championship
14. The first 4 players (and ties) in the previous year's British Open Championship
15. The first 4 players (and ties) in the previous year's PGA Championship
16. Winners of PGA Tour events (full FedExCup allotment only) from previous Masters to current Masters
17. Those qualifying for the previous year's season-ending Tour Championship
18. Top 50 in final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
19. Top 50 in Official World Golf Ranking published during the week before the Masters
The field is stacked this year, but the favorites are not the usual suspects:
Tiger Woods: Tiger has decided to make Augusta National his first course back from a hiatus. It’s obvious that he likes a challenge.
Phil Mickelson: His putting is ‘off’, shall we say?
Who’s looking good:
Jordan Speith: The young Texan is firing on all cylinders, and is poised to make a run at the Green Jacket.
Rory McElroy: Is this finally Rory’s year? Will his neon outfits clash with the Green Jacket?
Johnny Walker: There isn’t a better unknown golfer than Johnny Walker. Watch out for the unassuming…
Fred Couples: Yep, seriously. He has finished in the top 20 every year since 2010. His swing is so smooth it leaves you wondering if anything really happened.
Bubba Watson: He’s got the game for Augusta…if he can keep it on the fairway, look out.
If you are headed down to Augusta, enjoy yourself. Be courteous to the other patrons as well as the course. Take in the beauty that is “The National”. Enjoy extremely inexpensive pimento cheese sandwiches and beer. DO NOT ask for a Pepsi.
The official Onward Reserve Masters Pick: Jason Dufner. Why not…newly single and ready to mingle? You bet he’d wear that green jacket to Daly’s party at the Hooters on Washington Road.
Who you got?
Posted By Onward Reserve