What better way to end off the golf season in Canada than with the Master in November! With very little to do this summer, golf took off in a big way for a lot of people, including yours truly, and Terry. We’re both still sh*t but we love it, and now that the weather has forced everyone inside (well, the Canadians not in Vancouver), we can at least enjoy one more weekend of golf on TV.
This year’s tournament started as any other with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hitting the ceremonial opening tee shot. However, with COVID, the tournament is missing a certain, je ne sais quoi, but there are still small victories to a tournament in November with no fans. The early morning starts are phenomenal for early risers such as myself, and I love hearing the player’s reactions to terrible shots. Case and point Rory put one in the water on 16 and his reaction was on the money.
With three more days of golf on tap, here are a couple names that I will be following this weekend. *Today’s Tee Times in brackets*.
1. Tiger Woods (2:30 EST)
You are a liar if you tell me that at the very least, a small part of you isn’t keeping an eye on Tiger. The defending Champ hit a bogey-free round on Thursday which has him sitting in a tie for 9th at -4 (68). His first bogey-free round in 11 years I might add. Tiger remains three majors behind Jack Nicklaus on the all-time list, however one more win of any sort would give Tiger the most Tournament Wins in PGA history with 83.
2. Mike Weir (2:52 EST – 10th)
This is purely based on Canadian homerism, but the 2003 Masters Champ seems to have found the Fountain of Youth in his off time. He was the top Canadian on the day with a -1 (69), one stroke better than fellow countryman Nick Taylor. This is not to say that I expect Weir to win or even be in contention, but I, like many Canadians I’m sure, have an emotional connection to Weir. He was really the only notable Canadian on tour during my childhood. Prior to Weir the only Green Jacket any Canadian could have aspired to was the one handed out to the player with the worst Plus/Minus on the team in hockey.
The fact that Weird won his only Jacket in a playoff only adds to the fond memory of that win. Here’s to hoping history repeats itself
3. Bryson DeChambeau (2:08 EST)
Bryson is a polarising player but I love him. The way he has adopted the Sport Science side of golf and his complete disregard for the standard approach and strategy is entertaining to watch. I myself have a bit more of a natural ability to carry the ball and am more of a distance hitter that loves to set up camp in the woods. I got much better at keeping the ball in play as the summer progressed, but watching DeChambeau makes me want to go out and swing for the fences every time.
Watching his first round, you would never have guessed he would finish the day below Par when he appeared destined for a meltdown. His double bogey on 13 (his 4th hole) was disastrous and you could literally see him muttering to himself walking off the green. Mike Weir shot a 70 on Day 1 in 2003, so Bryson is definitely still in the running, and will at the very least make the chase, must watch TV.
4. Matthew Wolff (Started)
The relatively new guy on tour, Wolff got off the a hot start on Day 1, shooting -4 through 11 holes before finishing the day with a -2 (70). The Oklahoma State standout played two season in college, finishing as a two-time first-team All American to go along with one National Team Championship (2018) and Individual Championship (2019). His unorthodox swing that uses his front (left) leg and a little hop off the ground to generate additional power is inexplicably beautiful.
As Barney Stinson would say, “new is always better” and while this swing may not be technical standard, it clearly works. The swing has a little Chuck Barkley flare mixed with some Giancarlo Stanton power and grace. This comparison may sounds more like Lamb and Tuna fish than PB&J but the swing is something that traditionalist have been trying to change in Wolff’s game since he was a child. Thankfully he was able to tune those people out and he now finds himself on the golf’s biggest stage.
A bit of a rough start to the day see’s Wolff with two bogeys and a birdie to put him at +1 on the day through 4 holes. Expecting him to walk out with the Green Jacket may be ambitious for this weekend, but he is someone to keep on eye on for the next couple of seasons.
5. Bernhard Langer (Started)
The two-time Masters Champ (1985 & ’93) is taking part in his 37th Master tournament of his career. The 63 year old would shatter the current record for the oldest golfer to win the Masters by more than 15 years. The current record holder, the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus. Langer finished his first round this morning with a -4 (68) to put him in a tie with the likes of defending Champion, Tiger Woods. To this point, Langer has hit Par on less than 50% of his holes, including 8 birdies through 21 total holes in the tournament.
This does come with a bogey here and there, which he has three of thus far. I love watching some of the older players on tour making a push for a final victory or Swan song as you may prefer. Langer has nine top 10 finishes at Augusta and looks dialled in today. If his Day 2 start is any indication of what’s to come, his stat line will be a roller coaster ride.
At the end of the day, if I had to pick one to win it would be Tiger. I live to witness as much sports history as possible and this would be one of the more impressive lifetime accomplishments any of use would have the luxury of watching. If you’re a gambler, take Wolff with the odds (if they still exist).
Who will you be watching this weekend?! Let us know in the comments as we all sit back and enjoy the show, because us Canadians will be without golf for at least six months!
Tune in to this weeks upcoming episode of the Podcast as Peeze, Terry and Eagle sit down with Brandon Keiller and Andrew Pace from inplayLIVE to discuss a different angle to Sports Gambling. On Weekly Sauce, Alex the Intern and Terry will be talking with Andrew Zadarnowski from Habs Eye On The Prize to discuss all things Habs, hockey and more!
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