Daily Egyptian

That Masters is back

By Tyler Dixon

March Madness is over.

But there is still a light at the end of the tunnel for sports fans. Major League Baseball is in full swing.

But from now until Sunday, all eyes will be on CBS for the Masters.

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There’s just something about Augusta National in April. OK … there’s something about Augusta National all the time. It’s the most prestigious golf course in the country.

History can be found in the course’s every nook and cranny, whether it’s on the iconic 18th green or in the 10th hole woods, where Bubba Watson hit his miraculous shot to beat Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff to win his first green jacket at the 2012 Masters.

Yes, a green jacket. The green jacket is desired more than the trophy itself.

One man has ruled the world of sports the past week: Jim Nantz. First he called the men’s NCAA National Championship game Monday. Next he gets to be the voice of the Masters. Nantz’s voice is comforting — it can tell a story in a way not many can and it works for many different sports.

Tiger Woods, the most well-known name in the game of golf, will not be playing in this year’s tournament. Woods is missing the Masters because of his recent back surgery. As golf fan, it doesn’t hurt my feelings that Woods won’t be playing in the tournament; it gives people a chance to notice a player other than Woods who could be the next phenom.

The Masters, much like March Madness, isn’t about the best players or the best situations. It’s about Watson, who, upon winning, bawled like a baby when he was presented his jacket. It’s about Charl Schwartzel birdieing the last four holes to win, the first time that feat has been done in  Masters history.

From as far back as I can remember, the final day of the Masters was spent on the couch with my family. We would grill and watch golf the entire day.

As I write this column, last year’s champion Adam Scott is only one shot back. The leading score is 4-under-par but that could all change in an instant. The  2010 Masters’ winning score was 16-under-par while in 2007 it was 1-over-par.

Weather is a huge factor in golf. A windy day could turn a player’s dream 18 holes into a nightmare. Augusta’s outlook across the next few days is nice, with winds less than 10 mph.

There are a lot of notable names at the top of the leaderboard after the first day. Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler and Watson are all in striking distance of the lead.

As I said, it doesn’t matter the outcome and it doesn’t matter who rises or falls to the challenge of Augusta. The Masters is about tradition and that tradition will continue for many years to come.

Tyler Dixon can be reached at [email protected] or @tdixon_de on Twitter.

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