The oldest golfer to win the Masters was Jack Nicklaus.
The youngest? Tiger Woods.
Golf has always been a passion for Jim Johnson of Perryville. Now, he will be covering the sports' biggest stage. Johnson will be at the 2017 Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA, covering the event for Classic Country 980 KSGM.
Jim will bring you the latest from the leader board April 6-10.
Who will wear the Green Jacket?
Listen for Jim's reports on Classic Country 980 KSGM and ksgm980.com.
The Legacy of the Masters is known by many, experienced by few and cherished by all. Co-founder Bobby Jones gave the Masters immediate credibility when he played in 1934. In the 80 tournaments since then, the Masters has surged to be come one of the sport’s worlds most anticipated events.
This 81st Masters was no exception. When Bubba Watson defeated Louie Oosthuizen in 2012 at No. 10, the second sudden death hole, it marked the ninth time the Masters has ended in that dramatic fashion. This year, 2017, was number 10. Hello Sergio Garcia, and congratulations.
“Sergio is no longer the best player NOT to win a major”, those, the words of 36 year old Justin Rose, this year’s Masters runner-up. Said Sergio, “It’s been a long, long wait, but made sweeter by that wait.”
What the golfing world expected to be a bar room brawl between six players within four shots of the lead, turned out to be a duel between two life long friends and European Ryder Cup teammates, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia. These two traded blows down the stretch and finished tied at the end of Sunday’s 18, setting up a play-off beginning with a replay of hole 18. Rose blocked his drive right, into the pine needles, punched it out to give him a look at the green. His third shot found the green and he narrowly missed a par put, settling for bogey 5. Garcia piped his drive straight down the middle, found the green with his second shot, and had a near replica of a putt he had missed only minutes earlier in regulation. Second time was charm for Sergio, as he holed the putt for a birdie 3, and a Masters win.
Earlier, Rose held his hand over his mouth as his birdie putt in regulation on 18 narrowly missed. Rose, who shot 69 on Sunday, said, “I’ve been seeing it break, so I trusted the fact it was going to break and it just stayed high.” The sun was late and the grass grows toward the sun….it’ll trick even the best.
With five holes to play, Justin had a two shot lead over Garcia. Sergio birdied No. 14, then Eagled the par 5, 15th, and momentum swung his favor, as the Olympic gold medal winner maintained his poise. Not always a strong suit for Sergio.
Dating back to 1999, and his youthful bull-like entrance onto the scene, he has criticized reporters, been less than harmonious with fellow players, and in general, a little pain in the butt. What happened? Like the song lyric says, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”?
In early January he became engaged to Golf Channel reporter Angela Akins. Finally….Sergio had found happiness and a settled heart, which has nicely played into his golf game. Normally very excited and amped up, Sergio felt peacefulness, a calm, he had not felt on the golf course. He also fed off the emotions of since passed mentor and good friend, Seve Ballesteros, who on Sunday would have turned 60.
It’s been a long awaited reward to a long, often scarred and tumultuous journey to his first Major Championship, and how fitting it should be the Masters.
Least we forget, there WERE other players …..One being Matt Kucher, who made the biggest move of all competitors on Sunday. Kucher, a Georgia native, made the 18th hole- in-one on the par 3, 16th, to cap off a run of five consecutive birdies on the back side. Kuch finished at 67, tied for lowest round of the day on Sunday. After retrieving his ball from the hole, Kucher autographed it and gave it to a 10 year old boy sitting near by. Like we have always said….”golf is more than a number on a card.”
Jordan Spieth’s bookend 75’s resulted in his lowest finish at Augusta National Golf Club, in his four appearances. His round Sunday began rather auspiciously when he found the fairway bunker on one, and proceeded to bogey that hole. That turned into one of five bogies for the day, with a double bogy thrown in at 12 when he hit it into Rea’s Creek…again. He finished his round off with a little ray of hope, holing a17 footer for birdie on 18, getting him back into red numbers.
Thomas Pieters, 25, of Belgium fared well in his first appearance at Augusta, firing a 4-under 68 Sunday. The former NCAA champion from Illinois and 2016 European Ryder Cup star, showed why he is certainly is a young gun to pay attention too.
Ricky Fowler’s usual strong chip and putt game did not show up, especially on Sunday. Starting Sunday one off the lead, the orange clad crowd favorite was unable to put any pressure on the leaders while puffing up to a 4-over,76, and a tie for 11th place at -1.
Note of interest. Of the 83 members of the Media who were asked to name their top pick to win the Masters…..only Vartan Kupellan, definitely a household name, picked Segio. I would have caught the next plane to Vegas!!!
Here is some stat candy for you stat freaks. Augusta’s fairways are mowed to 3/8 inch, the tees at 5/16, the collars at 1/4, and the greens, twice cut and twice rolled, are cut a 1/8”. How fast IS that….go to your local high school and roll a golf ball on the gym floor….you’re getting close.
During a week when the ghosts of Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith, Ben Hogan, and the latest inductee into God’s Golf Hall of Fame, Arnold Palmer, roam these hallowed grounds, it was a young Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, who wears the allusive Green Jacket. One of golf’s longest dramas came to a thrilling conclusion Sunday on golf’s most emotional stage…Augusta National Golf Club.