The 2011 Masters, best since 2004
Another April is half gone and another Masters is in the books. To the casual American golf fan this Masters may have looked like a bit of a letdown but, I thought it was the best since 2004 when Mickelson won his first.
The theme once again was youth, talented youth and more talented International youth.
Well, there’s no point in getting into Rory McIlroy everyone saw it, it happens and Rory McIlroy will be OK. It was hard to watch but it’s also hard to feel to bad for the kid, he’s got a Hoganesque Swing and a whole career in front of him.
For the second time in the most recent three majors a young South African player that came out of Ernie Els Foundation walked away a winner, that’s pretty impressive and we owe Ernie for being such a force in youth golf programs.
Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation
1. MISSION STATEMENT
“To identify talented young South Africans predominantly from families of limited resources and provide them with educational and life-skill assistance and playing opportunities in order to produce successful, well-rounded and educated young golfers.
Charl Schwartzel is an unknown to many who are casual watchers but to the enthusiast, he is known as a hell of a player. I think he is far more talented than Louis Oosthuizen. Frankly, I’m not a big Louis fan, I think his Open Champ has a big asterisk next to it at least as much of an asterisk as a Major Champ can have. You may remember last year at St Andrews, he missed the weather almost every day. Granted, he took advantage of what he was given and for that we have to salute him, but, I doubt we’ll ever see Louis win another Major.
Schwartzel on the other hand, I think he’s a winner. Well, obviously he’s a winner but you know what I mean. Not to say Schwartzel had a bunch of bad luck at the Masters, he did Eagle out on 3 after a Chip-In birdie on 1, not exactly something you can count on in the future. However, if you watch the European Tour you’ll notice Charl is in it every week.
Both Louis and Charl are living walking testaments to the importance of junior golf programs. Once again, Thank You Ernie Els.
The only player other than Schwartzel to finish with 4 rounds under par this year was Angel Cabrera, what a solid player. Pretty amazing, Cabrera has a US Open and Masters under his belt. His US Open came at Oakmont, I think it’s safe to say Cabrera is a gamer with a nose for the big one.
Jason Day, every major player out of Australia has been talking about Day in recent years and rightly so. This kid has an unbelievable golf swing and a pretty solid putter to back it up. Day went pretty much “unconscious” both literally and figuratively on Friday indicating in the post round press conference that he couldn’t remember where he made birdies or what he shot? I think that’s called “in the zone”, I’ve never been there, so I’m not completely sure?
Geoff Ogilvy and Adam Scott were pretty much zoning on us as well on Sunday. Ogilvy went on a birdie run starting on 12 and not ending until after 16.
I thought for sure this was Adam Scott’s day. When he stuck it in close on 16 the way he did I thought it was over, he just got steam rolled by a birdie festival otherwise he’s wearing a first green jacket in Australia’s long golf history.
Tiger’s Progress and Major Numbers 15, 16
Then there was Tiger. I can only hope that all the people who have been screaming “Dump Foley” will shut up! Sean Foley is Tiger Woods’ “Swing Coach”. Tiger’s swinging was absolutely fantastic on Sunday. The driver was pretty much perfect and the famous Tiger cut-shot was in full effect. That is the shot shape that made Tiger, Tiger.
The only time the swing failed him at all was on 13 when he double-crossed the iron and went just left of the green. It was a miss, but it was a slight miss that only Augusta can make look so devastating.
People, the swing is back.
The putter is coming, everybody better jump back on the bandwagon early because it’s filling up fast.
All in all it was an excellent Masters Tournament once again. We have the TPC coming in May and then the US Open.
I don’t think Tiger has a US Open in him quite yet but, I’m calling the 2012 Masters and the 2012 PGA go to Tiger.
That gets him to 16 and he only has 3 more to go to officially quell the discussion of who IS THE BEST EVER.
As if there were ever a doubt.