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Posts Tagged ‘The Masters’

My Excellent Man-Cave Weekend


My genetic male predisposition toward sports-oriented isolationism was rewarded handsomely over the weekend.

It started Thursday, actually, when the girlfriend took a trip to New York to visit family and friends. Suki, the dog, of course, needed her walks and attention so I took Friday off to take care of the friendly little canine over the weekend. So not only was this the perfect opportunity for a man-cave weekend- but a three-day man-cave weekend- with a Thursday night bonus.

Perhaps you looked up at the night sky recently when a rare alignment of Saturn, Venus and a crescent moon provided an unusual opportunity to revel in the mysteries of the universe and our home solar system. Well, that’s what my man-cave weekend was like. Instead of planets, there was the incredibly rare alignment of the start of the baseball season, the end of hockey’s regular season and the Masters golf tournament.

But not only were my favorite teams playing and available for viewing- they were also…winning. Opening day on Thursday at Wrigley field, featured a thrilling come-from-behind win by the Washington Nationals. Thursday night, the Washington Capitals completed their improbable return for the fifth straight year to the Stanley Cup playoffs with a tense win over Florida while the Buffalo Sabres were losing, clinching the Caps post-season appearance.

The Masters, of course, started on Thursday and so between those three events, Man-Cave weekend got off to a raucous start. Friday was all Masters, but then it all repeated Saturday as the Nationals notched another come-from-behind win over the Cubs in the afternoon and in the evening, the Caps stunned the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. After the hockey it was off to Saturday’s Masters highlights.

The Nationals finally lost a game on Sunday, but, really, who cares—it was Sunday at The Masters. Some people celebrate Easter Sunday by making an appearance at church, hiding Easter eggs for small children or generally contemplating and celebrating the changing of the seasons and the irrevocable end to Winter darkness.

I, however, was reveling in the Church of Golf at the Cathedral of St. Augusta watching mortal men battle the twin challenges of one of the most beautiful and diabolical golf courses ever designed and their own frayed nerves.

I watched in hushed amazement as South African Louis Oosthuizen holed a double eagle at Augusta’s 575 yard par-5 second hole. I’ve never seen anything like it before and never will again in my lifetime. The guy hits the green on his second shot and the ball literally takes a sharp, right turn and travels 60 feet at the perfect angle and velocity to just drop gingerly into the cup in one, final, slow, glorious rotation.

Do you know how ridiculous that was? That one golfer, with one shot, picks up three strokes at the final round of the Masters on Sunday? There have only been 4 double-eagles in Masters history- and I believe this was the only one of them that was ever televised.

The playoff ending that ultimately crowned Bubba Watson Masters champion was wonderful too. Even though I don’t particularly follow them, I capped off my magical weekend watching the Texas Rangers on ESPN Sunday night baseball- for no particular reason except I could.

I think it was Saturday night (not sure- the whole weekend was one large blur) I talked to Millie in New York. I believe she asked me if I missed her and, of course, I said, I missed her tremendously. She knew better. “You’re having the friggin’ time of your life, aren’t you? Nationals, Caps, golf. You can watch whatever you want, eat whatever you want- no interruptions. You have walked the dog haven’t you?”

I had. Honest. Only takes 15 or 20 minutes. In fact, if it weren’t for Suki’s two daily walks, I seriously doubt I would have seen the light of day. I hear the weather was great this weekend. Except for a few short ventures to the great outdoors- I would not have known because- as he intended- when God created light- he purposely made sure hardly any of it would seep into the man-cave.

Geezers Battle Tiger at The Masters

Tiger’s holding his own at -4.  In fact, it’s his best Master’s start ever.  But Fred Couples and Tom Watson are 110 years old!  And they’re at -6 and -5 respectively in 1st and 2nd place after the 1st round at Augusta.  I think I like the geezer story line even more than Tiger’s steely, remorseful return.

Tom Watson, who very nearly won the British Open last year, is 60 years old.  Fred Couples, who I saw win his 1st tournament at the Kemper Open at Congressional 27 years ago…is 50.

I’m feeling young again.

Tiger Notes

The Nike ad featuring Tiger’s dad is rather interesting.  Nike capitalizing on sorrow and human frailty.  With Tiger’s permission.  It’s been reported that Tiger’s father was a bit of a philanderer himself- but never mind.

And Billy Payne, the Chairman of the Augusta Country Club, took Tiger to the woodshed Wednesday for his “egregious” behavior.  Interesting as well.  Egregious as Tiger’s antics have been, how long was it before a black man played at the Masters at all?   Let’s see, the first Masters, known then as the Augusta National Invitational, was played in March of 1934.  Lee Elder teed off in April, 1975.  A little over 41 years.

Elder, by the way, rented two houses in Augusta that year so the people who were threatening him with hate mail wouldn’t be able to find him easily.

Morality, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder.