- I love golf. I love playing it, I love watching it, I love talking about it. The Masters is golf’s biggest stage. Last week, it lived up to its billing and yes, I loved every minute of it.
Kenny Perry, who is close to a year from being on the Champions Tour took on his good friend Chad Campbell and put on a show. Perry, who had never one a major, found himself catching up to Campbell, even after he shot an opening round 65.
Campbell started off the round unlike any other with five straight birdies, then started off the back nine with four straight. Yeah, uh, that’s really good. Not to be outmatched, Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry shot the lowest 54 hole score in seven years.
To watch these guys tear up arguably one of the toughest courses in the U.S., really put things in perspective for me. First and foremost, I’ll never be that good. Probably not even in my dreams. Second, Augusta National is the best venue to showcase the sport of golf. Third, it even was tough enough to stop the charge of Tiger and Phil. Golf is such a funny sport. I think what I’ll remember about this years Masters is the three player, sudden death that was played.
Campbell, Cabrera and Perry marched back to the tee box at 18 all tied up. Perry had just hooked a drive into a bunker and worked his way back. So, how would he respond? He stood up, and pulled drive again. Campbell put a nice shot into the fairway down the left side. Perry followed. Cabrera took a page out of the Jon Frank school of driving and put it on the right side into the trees. Toast right, thanks for playing Angel. Wrong. The next series of events made me realize that its one shot that keeps you coming back, or in Cabrera’s case, started the comeback. Campbell’s shot went right but landed on the fairway. Perry’s in the green side bunker. Then Cabrera lined up his shot in the trees. There was a small opening of light that Cabrera was looking to punch it through. It didn’t go as planned. Like a hacker he pounded it through the woods and off a tree. From there, it was just fate that took over. The shot landed on the fairway, dead center, starring down the fairway. It was then that I thought Cabrera might just need to call his tailor.
Now, if it were me, I would have pounded it off the trees, under a beer tent, or most likely into a water hazard on a neighboring hole. Not these guys. They just casually got up and down, putted in and sent Campbell home wondering. Perry and Angel kept on moving though, for more free golf. It was there that Cabrera iced it with a great putt. Hello, green jacket.
It was Perry though who still managed to steal the show. It was his classy comments to the media that might have even overshadowed Cabrera’s first jacket. Perry did what every American wants athlete’s to do. Admit that he blew it and got beat by a better player. His sincerity put the events into perspective, its only a game, and Kenny was still happy with his performance. It was refreshing, vulnerable, and without spin. Thanks Kenny. You made The Masters easy to watch, and you were easy to root for.
You’ll get one, eventually.