Congratulations to Gerry Lester (a.k.a. Bubba) Watson, Jr. for winning the 76th Masters championship Sunday in a two hole sudden-death playoff against South African Louis Oosthuizen. Watson is the wildly long, mullet wearing, pink driver using left handed golfer on the PGA tour that has been gaining popularity since he joined the PGA Tour in 2006.
For those who love golf, the Masters is a special tournament. It rarely disappoints the viewers and this year was no exception. I’ll confess to being partial to golfers from the United States when viewing golf events. I’ll also confess to being partial to those players that have a few years on them when they get into contention.
That is why Thursday and Friday rounds were compelling to me because the play of 52-year-old Fred Couples saw him take the Masters lead into the weekend. Couples has always been a fan favorite for most, so having him in the lead heading into Saturday was pure delight. Couples bogeyed the first two holes on Saturday on the way to 39 on the front nine to fall out of contention.
With Couples presumably gone, another fan favorite, Phil Mickelson, blistered the back nine of Augusta National in 30 strokes to move within one shot of the lead held by Sweden’s Peter Hanson heading into Sunday’s final round. Mickelson and Hanson stayed in contention throughout the day, but early struggles by both players, including a triple bogey six on the par 3 fourth by Mickelson, allowed Oosthuizen and Watson to get to the top of the leader board.
Both players made par on the first sudden death hole, the par 4, 18th. Both players then hit wild tee shots on the par 4, 10th. Oosthuizen was able to punch his second shot toward the green. Watson did not appear to have much of a shot, at least to most people, hackers and accomplished players alike.
Watson was 155 yards out with no view of the green. The lefty needed a huge hook and a high ball flight just to land in the vicinity of the green. So, all Bubba did was hit a 155 yard wedge with a 40 yard hook and landed the ball in the middle of the green. Oosthuizen was unable to save par and all Watson had to do to win the green jacket was two-putt from 16 feet.
The rants? Well there is the network love affair with Tiger Woods that has gone on way too long. Woods did not have a round under par all weekend, behaved badly by swearing and kicking clubs, yet there was CBS following and interviewing him as if Woods was still the best player on the planet.
I mean people were tired of the networks over hyping Woods even when he was still relevant, but for now, he just isn’t deserving of all the attention, so stop it already. And no, it isn’t Woods’ fault that the networks do this.
Back to this patriotic thing I have with golf. What is going on with all the international golf commentators on our networks? This isn’t a hard rant, because I have become very fond of the job Nick Faldo does and David Feherty can make anyone laugh out loud. I am, however, becoming annoyed with the announcers that cannot even come close to pronouncing “par.”
No malice intended toward Ian Baker Finch, or against the Australian accent in general, I’ve always thought it was cool, but I suspect Finch is going out of his way to thicken that accent. If The Mentalist’s Simon Baker, an Australian, can do four seasons of the CBS drama without the accent, why can’t Finch call a par a par, and not a Paahh? At least try, Ian.