The walk was familiar. Hold the driver, tap it on the fairway, hold the driver, tap it on the ground.
Tom Watson is 63 and would shoot 7-over-par 79 Thursday. But when he and his playing partners, Ryan Moore, 30, and Kevin Streelman, 34, walked off the eighth tee, Watson collected all the applause.
The Masters is where the past and present meet. Watson had the worst round in his group, but he was once the best golfer in the world. Fans from the old days greeted him like an old friend and younger fans also cheered..
In what other sport can a former star still compete with younger athletes? OK, NASCAR and Mark Martin. Aside from that, I mean.
• A fan kept yelling “Dores” at Brent Snedeker. Snedeker used to be a Vanderbilt Commodore. The fan yelled it and yelled it like it was a special inside joke that would make Snedeker run over and invite him to the house for a beer. Snedeker didn’t. Once “Dores,” is shouted 10 or more times it is almost as bad as “Get in the hole!” I would revoke the badge of anybody who yells, says or thinks, “Get in the hole!”
Other fans repeatedly yelled encouragement to Sergio Garcia with what they apparently believed was a Spanish inflection. Hola! Wasn’t. Garcia didn’t invite them for a beer, either.
• I picked Keegan Bradley to win the tournament. I had not realized Bradley was a trendy pick until I saw that everybody looking for an outsider nominated him. I’d rather be right than popular. So I’m going with my heart and picking a longtime favorite my friends grow tired of hearing me rave about - Marc Leishman.
• Charl Schwartzel birdied the last four holes to win the 2011 Masters. It was a thrilling and deserved victory. But don’t you think Schwartzel sounds like a thing? When I see his name on the scoreboard I think dessert (“Honey, the Schwartzel was marvelous”), a body part (“The ligament damage was minimal but I believe I pulled my Schwartzel),” or a finishing hold in wrestling (“Oh, no, the Flying Schwartzel.”)
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