Every year when the last putt drops at the Masters and the green jacket presentation ends, Jim Nantz says goodbye I get a bit sad. This event — more than any other in my golf life — always has pulled me in, and I have to say the pull has been incredibly strong through the years.
That pull led to me as a young professional reading every single piece of material I could get my hands on about the event, the course, Mr. Jones, Mr. Roberts and any associated history. The most amazing things seem to happen each spring on these hallowed grounds.
This past event gave us so many great stories.
Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer — two senior players in their mid-50s and both former Masters champions — thrilled the golf world again. Guan Tianlang, a 14-year-old golfer from China, gave a new golf nation perhaps its first “major“ thrill, and I’m sure inspired a nation of junior golfers to dream bigger dreams.
Best of all, a golfer with a silky swing that we all have marveled at and wondered why, finally answers his destiny. Adam Scott, a talented, professional, role model, and now Masters champion, rolled in two beautiful putts — one on the 72nd green and one in the playoff — to secure his place in golf history.
The final thought and observation I left that event with was the sincere and warm embrace Angel Cabrera and Scott shared moments after Scott’s winning putt dropped. I asked myself if that had been another major champion would he have reacted as graciously toward Scott?
It was great for the game to show the over 200 countries watching that it’s possible to compete at the highest level, and still behave as gentlemen and congratulate a fellow competitor on a job well done.
The Masters is the “Class Act” of sport. It always seems to exceed our hopes each year. It does so with such high standards. What a great model event that so many other sporting events and sporting organizations should look closely at and ask one simple question: could our organization perform at that standard?
I can’t wait until next April! Can you?
Tom Patri gives lessons at the Quarry on Immokalee Road, and is at Friar’s Head in New York from May-December. Patri is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher. Visit Patri’s website at www.tompatri.com, www.facebook.com/TomPatri or email him at email@example.com.