Random thoughts after watching four days of coverage of the 75th Masters while wondering whether magenta might have been a better color for the green jacket:
• Now is the toughest time to stand out as a professional golfer because the global popularity of the game exploded when Tiger Woods dominated at such a young age, and the youngsters who wanted to be the next Tiger are now hammering drives down fairways.
The top seven finishers came from six continents (Africa, Australia, North America, Europe, South America, Asia): 1. South African Charl Schwartzel; 2t. Jason Day (Australia) and Adam Scott (Australia); 4t. Tiger Woods (USA), Geoff Oglivy (Australia) and Luke Donald (Great Britain); 7. Angel Cabrera (Argentina); 8t. Bo Van Pelt (USA) and K.J. Choi (South Korea).
• Former Kansas University golfer Gary Woodland of Topeka shot 69, 73, 74, 70 to finish at 2-under par, tied for 24th. That’s even more impressive when considering he finished behind just seven American golfers: Woods, Van Pelt, Ryan Palmer, Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker, Fred Couples and Ricky Barnes.
Woodland caught fire twice during his first Masters. He was 6 under on his final six holes Thursday and 3 under during a four-hole stretch (No. 13 through No. 16) on Sunday.
Woodland’s best holes: No. 13 (4 under), a 510-yard par-5, and No. 15 (3 under), a 530-yard par-5. His worst: He was 3 over on both No. 7, a 450-yard par-4, and No. 12, a 155-yard par-3. For the tourney, he had one eagle, 15 birdies, 43 pars, 11 bogeys and two double bogeys.
• Holding a four-stroke lead going into the final round, Rory McIlroy lost six strokes to par on the first three holes of the back side and shot a 37-43—80. McIlroy, 21, learned a lot watching Woods on TV in Northern Ireland. Woods could learn a great deal from watching McIlroy on TV after shooting that 80, such as how to be gracious in defeat. It seems as if Tiger’s main goal when interviewed on TV is to make the person asking him questions feel stupid.
It’s so painful watching the interviewer thanking Tiger, basically for being a jerk to him. The networks ought to consider either not interviewing him or asking him the questions we’d all love for him to answer on live television.
“Tell us, Tiger, how long have you been referring to yourself as Tiger after hitting a less-than-perfect shot? I guess what I’m asking is how long have you been afflicted with third-person disease?”
Or: “So, Tiger, are you seeing anyone?”
Or: “Since you got caught with your pants down and everyone in the whole world learned the intimate details of your love life, you don’t seem to putt as well as when you played the role of an angel. Any correlation?”
On second thought, maybe just don’t interview him.
• One of the toughest calls in sports: Jack Nicklaus won 18 majors, and Tiger has won 14. Will Tiger catch him and pass him? I’ll say Tiger does get to 19. Without missing so many short putts during the weekend, he would have won his 15th on Sunday. He’s still such a creative, clutch shot-maker. He looks primed to win three majors through 2015 and another two in his 40s.