Masters Great, But Let’s Not Get Carried Away

In golf, there are four tournaments worth watching and they are the Grand Slams.  As far as television goes, there might not be a better view than Sunday at Augusta.  But, as far as majors goes, I only rank the Masters as the third most important major.

Unlike the others, the Masters is an invitational and not all qualified players get to play the famed course at Augusta National.  Unlike the others, the event never shifts sites, limiting how challenging or difficult the major can be.  The United States Open, The Open Championship (British), and the PGA Championship rotate courses each year which makes it more of an even competition.

The U. S. Open is the toughest challenge in golf.  More often than not, the winner has to survive the course to be crowned champion.  The Open Championship uses four different course and the PGA Championship is often referred to as U.S. Open Light—they use the same courses but make them a bit more forgiving.

Players like Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw and Jose Maria Olazabal have won at Augusta but nowhere else.  Does that mean they are lesser players?  No, but it does mean that their game is best suited for Augusta and perhaps not so for the other three majors. 

The Masters is run but the members of Augusta National, meaning that they have to invite you to play.  In one way that’s kind of neat because they don’t take orders from the USGA or R&A or the PGA of America.  In another way it’s bad because they can invite a 75 year old former winner and not invite a player who is 55th on the current money list.

The Green Jacket is great, but if you gave me a choice of which majors I would want to win, I would go U.S. Open, British Open, Masters, PGA.  Of course, if I won two Masters and nothing else, I’d sleep very well. 

The Masters can be hoity-toity to say the least.  It took them forever to let blacks in as members (and still, they only have three), and they still don’t have any women members.  And, they can come off a bit self-righteous.

But, come Sunday, I’ll be watching.

Johnny Furgele

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