The Masters (open thread)

Submitted by UM Fan from Sydney on April 5th, 2018 at 8:46 AM

It has been a slow couple of days on the board, it seems. I know there are many avid golfers who frequent this blog. I'm a Rickie Fowler fan, so hopefully my guy can finally win his first major this weekend.

Today's tee times:

We all know the old farts in charge of the Masters love to NOT have people watch their tournament on television, hence the incredibly shitty coverage, but here are ways to watch it in some capacity online before the television coverage commences:


One more thing - we're down to 149 days until football starts.


This is Michigan

April 5th, 2018 at 9:14 AM ^

I don't quite understand the OPs beef with the Masters tournament coverage either. Live TV coverage on Thursday and Friday will only follow featured golfers which, unlike most other events, is rebroadcasted in a time slot more suitable for a typical work schedule. The simulcast makes for a pretty good option to get your Masters fix.


April 5th, 2018 at 9:38 AM ^

I pay for PGA Tour Live and the fact that they will show featured groups on the masters app for free is awesome. I pay for the same service for the rest of the tournaments so the fact that the masters doesn't charge anything is refreshing. Tiger is going to be in the featured group too so can't complain about anything. 

Baugh So Har

April 5th, 2018 at 10:11 AM ^

Yeah exactly. I've used PGA Tour Live as well, and The Masters app is next level. It's a seamless experience with picture quality that's more reliable than Watch ESPN with basically no commercials - just breaks in commentating and the occasional flashback or highlight. Plus you get way more dynamic camera angles, the usual Pro Tracer, and channels like Masters On the Range, Featured Groups, Amen Corner, Holes 15 &16, and Broadcast ...all for free.

Mineral King

April 5th, 2018 at 8:57 AM ^

I like Fowler, I would be ok with him winning. Regardless if you like Tiger or not he makes good tv. I personally don’t root for him and I don’t think he will ever win another major. Great golfer, but I think mentally he will never be able to put together 4 dominant rounds in a major. He knows that everyone knows the real Tiger and I think that weighs on him hard.


April 5th, 2018 at 9:22 AM ^

don’t know that Fowler will ever win a major. He does everything well, but his game does not seem to have a “next level” that major champions have. While other players charge on Sunday, Fowler fades into the pack. He also does not really have one dominant fall back feature to his game. When times get tough, Spieth is the best putter on the planet, Bubba hits the ball 400 yards, Phil can get up and down from anywhere. When Fowler starts to struggle, he doesn’t have that “at least there is always this” part of his game. He is probably the most likeable player on tour and he is a joy to watch, just not sure he has “it.”


April 5th, 2018 at 11:41 AM ^

that Tiger wins "this" Masters but he will win again. Despite his transgressions and body struggles, he is still the best in the game. Who else can take all that time off and do what he has done so far on tour this year. David Duval?? Not a chance. People like to not like him, but realistically he IS one of the best EVER.

Section 1.8

April 5th, 2018 at 1:08 PM ^

Complete, utter, raving, nonsense.

Jack won 18 majors.  Tiger, 14.

Jack finished second in 19 (!) majors.  Tiger, 6.

Jack had 48 top-3 finishes.  Tiger, 24.

On "competition": the players that Jack lost to in majors are Hall of Famers like Tom Watson, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Severiano Ballesteros and Arnold Palmer.  Tiger's competiton, head-to-head in majors, pales by comparison.  Bob May?  Y.E. Yang?  Chris DiMarco? Rich Beem?

Pressure and guts?  Tiger Woods has never once come from behind on a Sunday to win a major.  Jack did it eight times.

Jack has had a career as a Senior player that I expect Tiger will never see; he won every senior-major title that was in existence before he turned 60.

Away from competition, Nicklaus built the mightiest golf course design company the world has ever known.  He built The Memorial into the closest thing to a major on the regular tour, and he transformed much of Dublin/Columbus.  The Jack Nicklaus Museum in Columbus is an unparallelled tribute to a single player in all of golf.

And character-wise, Nicklaus is one of a handful of athletes in any sport to recieve the Congressional Gold Medal.

Sports Illustrated named Nicklaus the Athlete of the Century. 

When you look at it closely and intelligently, it isn't close.  It's barely a conversation.  Maybe a conversation just to be polite or politically correct or whatever.  It isn't close, as a significant comparison.

But I don't want to be too hard on Tiger, because he and I agree about Nicklaus, and Tiger said it: "He's the greatest champion who's ever lived."



April 5th, 2018 at 1:17 PM ^

, well said but you cherry picked a little. Perhaps you should have used names like Nick Price, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh as Tiger's competition instead of those you did. Yang beat him, sure but he was already struggling at that point in time.

I think he was trying to say that there is more competition now from a larger group of capable players and to this point, I would agree. There are a lot of guys that can win majors now, not just the same six each time. Martin Kaymer has won two on Tigers watch. Not the most household of names in golf. Tiger is clearly one of the best historically and will win again, maybe a lot. He'll win on the senior tour too, if he chooses to play on it, all the young guys do.

Section 1.8

April 5th, 2018 at 1:37 PM ^

The big "but" is that I can barely ever recall a major in which Tiger had to face down direct competition from any of those guys.  There have been some truly great matches and virtual-matches with Els in particular.  But not really in majors.  And never Mickelson, as far as I can recall, and never Vijay.  Not in majors.

I wasn't cherry-picking names unfairly.  I was picking names that Jack faced down in majors, along with names that Tiger faced down in majors.  Nicklaus versus Palmer at Cherry Hills.  Nicklaus versus Watson at Troon, and at Pebble.  Nicklaus versus Trevino more times than anybody can count; Merion, Muirfield, etc.  Every one of those, and many more, were more epic personal battles than anything I can think of with Tiger.

My reason for suggesting that Tiger won't have a career as a senior player is not any lack of skill on his part.  I just don't think his body will hold up.  And in saying that, I am particularly relying on the point that you were making which is that the talent pool on the PGA Champions' Tour is deeper and filled with growing numbers of "world" players.  And by the time Tiger is 50, I expect that there will be a lot of other good 50-year olds whose bodies haven't undergone the number of surgeries as Tiger.

You didn't mention my favorite Tiger record, which I regard as his best and most unattainable record:  3 USGA Juniors, followed by 3 US Amateurs.  It is one of the greatest records in golf, albeit almost entirely achieved by Tiger in his teenage years. 

The USGA Junior is significant for us Michigan folks, because Ken Venturi almost won the very first one ever held (he was the match play finalist) which was held at the University of Michigan Golf Course.



April 5th, 2018 at 2:12 PM ^

In his 1997 Masters win, all the players I mentioned were in that field. Competition, not that weekend, nobody was. He blew everyone out. Same at the 2000 US Open. 15 strokes clear of the field. The 2002 US Open runner up was Mickleson. He won the 2000 Open by 8 over Ernie Els and again by 2 in 2006.

Anyway, my point is those others were at the high points of their career while Tiger was around and winning. Vijay won the Masters and Tiger finished 5th.


April 5th, 2018 at 2:33 PM ^

It's good seeing you back on MGoBlog.  I am one that always wished you to come back when you got vanished for a bit.   I never minded your posts in the post Rich-Rod years  .  Even if I didn't always agree with them, I enjoyed the different perspectives and debates it brought (at the time) .



Baugh So Har

April 5th, 2018 at 2:26 PM ^

I both agree and disagree with you. Sure, if we're comparing Jack's entire life to Tiger's through 42 years then mabye your argument stands. But Tiger's not done playing yet, and he's got the rest of his life to live. Does his Foundation and exposure to course design/architecture not mean anything?


And I won't discount Jack's career (because there's no reason to – it’s legendary), but I will point out that Jack wasn't nearly as popular on tour as he has become and is now remembered. Everyone has their opinion of Tiger, but no one can deny the attention he has drawn throughout his career is like nothing else in sports history. He changed the game of golf, both in perception and approach. Courses evolved and the modern swing became more athletic. And speaking of swing changes, the fact that Tiger has successfully reinvented his swing (due to injury) 4 times is nothing short of remarkable.


Moreover, I feel like you're selling Tiger's competition short by picking and choosing no-name players who gave him trouble in one-off majors. His career has overlapped with Greg Norman and Nick Faldo (early on), Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Rory McIroy, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, and now Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, etc. You could throw in a dozen other names.


They were both tremendously long hitters for their time, playing in different eras with different equipment, and frankly, it's a useless comparison, as pointless as comparing Ben Hogan to Bobby Jones. There are multiple ways of looking at it, beyond 18 vs 14, like for instance 6-straight US Amateurs or 4 straight Major Championships.

Section 1.8

April 5th, 2018 at 3:03 PM ^

Jack Nicklaus' career overlapped with Norman and Faldo, too.  And Davis Love III.

And Hogan Snead Palmer Player Trevino Ballesteros Casper Singh Thomson Floyd Price Miller Crenshaw Irwin Olazabal Woosnam Wadkins Boros Kite Lyle Strange Weiskopf Jacklin Green Nagle Graham Charles Zoeller Sanders Sutton Stockton Littler Geiberger Lema Venturi Aoki Goalby Nichols Brewer Leitzke Hill Devlin Oosterhuis.

We shall see, if Tiger Woods ever has any sort of competition, with Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas or Dustin Johnson.  So far, that hasn't much happened.


April 5th, 2018 at 5:22 PM ^

I mean, if we're being brutally honest, Norman's career didn't really align with either Tiger or Jack. Norman's first Masters was in 1981, when Jack was already 41 years old. Jack won all of 3 tournaments after 1980; yes, one was the out-of-nowhere Masters in in 1986, but he was not extremely competitive after his 41st birthday. Likewise, by the time Tiger really asserted himself in 1997, Norman was already 42 years old. Norman won twice in 1997 and then never won again. Faldo is much the same - his competitive years in majors were really 1982-1996, and he was primarily a European Tour player outside of the majors.

DLIII is entirely different. His competitive years in majors were 1995-2005, including his lone win at the PGA in 1997. Nicklaus's and Love's competitive careers had literally no overlap.

If we go with 1962 as the start of Nicklaus's competitive career (the year of his first tournament win), Hogan was already toast - his last PGA tour win was in 1959 at age 47. Snead's last win was in 1962 at age 50, they had no real overlap.

I'm not arguing that Tiger's career is better than Jack's. I think, looking at it blind, Jack did have a better overall career, somewhat attributable to him staying healthy. However, I think it's also inarguable that Tiger's peak is well beyond anything Jack did.

Jack had 7 years where he won at least 5 tournaments, and twice he won 7. 8 times he led the PGA in scoring average, including 6 straight from 1971-1976. Tiger won at least 5 tournaments in a single year 10 times, and won 8+ 3 times. He led the PGA in scoring average 9 times over 11 seasons between 1999 and 2009. He's played in over 330 tournaments in his career and missed 28 cuts. Jordan Spieth, probably the most consistent young player right now, is 24 years old, has played in 136 events, and has already missed 22 cuts in his career.

Section 1.8

April 5th, 2018 at 7:26 PM ^

In 1986, Jack Nicklaus started Sunday T-9.  He passed Sandy Lyle, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Tommy Nakajima, Nick Price, Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros and... the 3rd round leader, Greg Norman.

As for DLIII; you are right that he is too young to have seriously competed against Jack Nicklaus in any major.

As for Hogan; you forget Cherry Hills and the 1960 US Open that Palmer won.  Nicklaus finished second.  Nicklaus was paired with Ben Hogan on the weekend, and Hogan was actually tied for the lead on the 71st hole, but he finished bogey-double bogey in the most un-Hoganlike finish in major history. 



April 6th, 2018 at 1:44 PM ^

Yes, and Nicklaus finished T6 in the 1998 Masters, where Tiger finished T8. That doesn't mean they seriously competed against each other. The point is that during the most competitive portion of Norman's career, Jack wasn't really a serious contender, except at Augusta. After finishing 2nd in the PGA Championship in 1983, he had one top 15 in a major outside of the Masters (T8 at the 1986 US Open). Norman had 30 top-10s in majors in his career, and only 3 of them through the 1983 PGA. Being competitive against each other in one tournament does not mean they had truly overlapping competitive careers.

Outside of a few holes, Augusta isn't a demanding course for distance, and really experienced old guys can do pretty well there since they know all of the tricks and undulations. See Couples finishing T18 last year at 57, Langer finishing T8 in 2014 at 56, and Mize making the cut 3 of the past 4 years at age 55+.

Section 1.8

April 5th, 2018 at 3:22 PM ^

Lest I come off as too grumpy about Tiger Woods...

Lots of golf fans nowadays complain about lots of tv coverage of Tiger, when he's eight shots out of the lead and barely making a cut, while a guy who is in second place barely makes it on the broadcast.

Not me.  I just watch, and take it in, and enjoy every second of it while it lasts because it will not last.  It's a privilege, to have watched Tiger Woods go from a 16 year-old to a 40 year old.  We are watching history, every time he plays a competitive round.

If you offered me a pay-per-view channel where I could magically watch live golf featuring a Bobby Jones, a Walter Hagen, a Ben Hogan, a Byron Nelson, a Lee Trevino, and a Jack Nicklaus, all in their prime and competing even if they were eight shots out of the lead and barely making a cut, I'd be all over it and handing over my credit card numbers to buy it.