Sport The uber-tough Masters is like the U.S. Open -- and that's a good thing
Masters 2021: How to win a green jacket in seven simple steps
Masters 2021: How to win a green jacket in seven simple stepsBecause, in spite of its trappings of tradition, Augusta National and the Masters sure change a heck of a lot. From reversing nines after the inaugural tournament to brandishing a it-sure-looks-like-rough-but-don’t-call-it-rough second cut last fall, Augusta National is in perpetual evolution. It is an evolution partially dictated by the transformation in how the game is played and what it rewards.
Are you not entertained?
I know I am. Yes, there was a lot of weird, wild golf on Thursday in the first round of the 2021 Masters —, some shots that might have sat on wetter greens but instead rolled off like they were hit onto a hardwood floor, brown greens everywhere, and just 12 (!!!) players who were under par.
I also happen to love the U.S. Open, with its similarly torturous conditions that inevitably lead to complaints from golfers and fans alike. Let’s see what happens when the world’s best are really put to the test and have to grind it out. How do they adjust? Can they adapt?
Masters 2021: Twenty years ago, Tiger Woods faced more pressure than any golfer in history
In preparing for the 2001 Masters, Tiger Woods faced endless questions about what winning four straight majors would mean, and whether he could do it.“When do you start thinking about Augusta?”
It led to quotes like this:
Gary Woodland: "I feel like I just got in the ring with Mike Tyson."
Sergio Garcia: "I feel like just came out of the ring with Evander Holyfield."
Now I'm worried Woodland's metaphor might bite off Sergio's metaphor's ear.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN)
That’s how tough it was. It felt like a boxing match to these dudes!
Yes, there have been years when Augusta has been a paradise for the biggest names in the game — Dustin Johnson took home the green jacket last year at 20-under.
The Masters doesn't start until someone putts it into the water.— Tim Reilly (@LifeOfTimReilly)
But let’s remember Danny Willett won in 2016 thanks to a 5-under in four rounds with just five other players with red numbers. Zach Johnson won in 2007 at 1-over. Those were still years when we enjoyed the ride, even if the scores resembled those you’d see at the U.S. Open.
Masters 2021: Augusta National's take on "pigs in a blanket" probably wasn't what Dustin Johnson was envisioning
Masters 2021: Augusta National's take on "pigs in a blanket" probably wasn't what Dustin Johnson was envisioningTurns out, the club's take on this classic is juuuust a tad different that what we (and probably DJ) were envisioning.
Plus, even with absurdly fast greens, there’s no guarantee the Day 1 leader — Justin Rose, whose ball-striking brilliance seems perfect for these conditions — will be able to hang on for the next three days.
Justin Rose's 4-stroke lead is tied for the largest 18-hole lead in any major over the last 75 years.
However, none of the previous 3 players to hold that large of a lead after the 1st round at a major went on to win the tournament.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo)
See? Even if putts are rolling into water and chips are going from one side of the fringe to the other, it’s going to be a wild ride. Let’s see if this struggling group can turn it around Friday and on the weekend.
Golfers when the greens are brown at the U.S. Open: "THEY'VE LOST THE GOLF COURSE!"
Golfers when the greens are brown out at the Masters: "THIS IS HOW GOLF IS MEANT TO BE PLAYED!"
Masters 2021: Will Zalatoris continues to find success by bucking conventional wisdom
Masters 2021: Will Zalatoris continues to find success by bucking conventional wisdomAUGUSTA, Ga. — It’s a funky name. Long, too—nine letters, to be exact. But it rolls off the tongue, and that’s good news for golf fans, because it’s not going anywhere.— Alex Myers (@AlexMyers3)
NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for April 17, 2021 .
Players in the protocol are: Colorado's Bowen Byram, Philipp Grubauer and Joonas Donskoi; Edmonton's Dmitry Kulikov; Los Angeles' Matt Roy; Montreal's Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson; Philadelphia's Jackson Cates; Toronto's Nick Foligno, Riley Nash and Ben Hutton; and Vancouver's Nate Schmidt and Jake Virtanen. Read more here.APRIL 15The NHL has confirmed that the Vancouver Canucks will not return to play from their lengthy COVID-19 pause Friday night versus the Edmonton Oilers as originally hoped.