Musings On The Masters
Well, another Masters, another wonderful, but sometime wild week. I hope you all enjoyed the finish, one of the best in Masters' history to me.
Adam Scott's clutch birdie putt on 18 to take the lead was awesome, only to be outdone a bit by Cabrera's unbelievable approach to only a couple of feet to tie. Wow.
Then for them both to hit such tremendous approach shots to 10 on the second playoff hole, and for only an inch either way to keep the playoff from going to 11. Wow, again.
All in all, another great Masters, as we've come to expect every April.
So, now on to the Tiger debacle. The noise is deafening, and the tilt seems to be only determined by whether or not you are a fan of his or not. Those who are say that justice was done. Those who aren't claim the opposite, that he should have been DQ'd, even if he had to do it to himself.
Here's how I see it. First of all, he took a willful action to violate the rule regarding the proper drop. I feel certain it was an unknowing breach of the rule, but his action to drop further back than the rules allow was definitely willful, as he expressed to the press after the round. Tour professionals are supposed to know the rules. Period. He didn't, so he was wrong.
The so-called "HDTV rule" was instituted as a result of a couple of instances where home viewers "caught" golfers in un-willful and unknowing breaches of the rules, i.e. a ball quivering, a blade of grass moving in a hazard. The ensuing rule allows the committee the ability -- but does not require them — to waive the DQ penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. This wasn't the case in the Tiger situation.
But the bigger picture is whether or not the TV audience should be involved in the outcome of an event at all. They don't have that influence in any other sport. We'd never see the end of a basketball or football game if they did, as there are multiple infractions on every play.
I say the USGA and all other rules-making bodies should simply rule that any infraction that is only caught by the TV audience is considered not to have happened. Period. That would make the future so much smoother.
I didn't watch a lot of the tournament, but did see a clip of Rory McIlroy hitting a wedge approach from 121 yards, and leaving the shot at least 45-50 feet long and left, in a bunker. I was appalled. How can a tour professional miss a 121-yard shot that badly? Really???
Here's why that can happen. Rory only carries three wedges, a PW of 47, along with a 54 and 60 degree wedge. His "textbook" distance with his PW is about 135-140 and his 54 maxes out at 110-115. So he didn't have that shot, essentially. His 20-25 yard gap between these wedges caused him to have to grip down much more than he'd like, and then still try some kind of serious manipulation. And he botched it. Like so many others.
Why do these guys not avail themselves of more technology and options at the short end of their sets? Most carry 5-6 clubs that go over 200 yards, and only 3-4 that go less than 150-160?
Very puzzling to me.
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Totally agree that viewers calling in possible rule infractions/violations should not be allowed. If the PGA wants the instant replay, use it only after another golfer throws a red flag to challenge the shot (tongue in cheek).
Kurt the Knife says:
golfer on starboard tack has right of way.
Come on people.
Adam Scott has a similar wedge set up (47-54-60).
Maybe the difference is that (a) Rory shouldn't have hit it to 121 yds if he doesn't have a club for the next shot and (b) Rory shouldn't have pulled his wedge shot.
What impressed me the most was that Angel Cabrera pulled out a 3 iron for the 2nd playoff hole for his tee shot, and hit a very good 2nd shot (I'm sure it wasn't with his wedge), good enough to leave him a very makeable putt (that he missed tying Scott by 2 ball rotations).
If you're not going to fill the short club gaps, you have to think and manage around that, which means leaving yourself a better distance away. This applies to both pros and amateurs. How many amateurs try to go for 2 on a par 5 with their 3 wood, leave themselves a 30 yd 3rd shot and blade it with their 60 degree wedge?
Hit from your distance. You're welcome.
Sorry for the "you're welcome" - I'm not Bubba. :)
Hit to your distance so you can hit to your distance again.
Agree with everything the wedge guy said, as I have said to others Tiger should have been DQ'd for the exact reason outlined above. I was also appauled by Rory's 140 yard wedge shot that was only supposed to go 125 max, even with the wrong club he should be able to hit a PW 125 or close enough. Hey, it probably caught a gust, because there was sooo much wind around!
Whatever, the only reason he was not DQ'd was because Augusta already ruled on it once and changed their ruling; that simple... They blew it and thus the hole thing got blown out of proportion.. so no DQ...
To play devil's advocate here, I also saw Rory hit a 3 iron to about 20 feet from 240 out, over the water on hole 13. I think the issue is less Rory's bag composition (nearly identical to the bag he leveled the field with at the US Open) and more his familiarity with his new brand and him not laying up to a proper distance.
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