Congratulations to Danny Willett on his 1st major victory in taking the 2016 Masters!
If a man ever entered a major tournament under the radar, it was the then-11th world ranked Willett, who now goes to #9.
And the world #2 (again) player, sadly, doesn’t know quite how to swing a golf club, although he has two major trophies on his resume already, while the nearly-demoted to #2 player in the world (but still #1 – Jason Day) has a swing that is tearing up his lower back, and the #3 player, with 4 majors on his mantel (Rory McIlroy), can’t decide which way to best miss the most of the putts he strokes.
I won’t revisit yesterday’s shocking turn of events too much, as they are being beaten into the historical ground even as I write this post.
Suffice to say that, however badly I felt for Jordan Spieth following his unthinkable 7 on the 12th hole following two consecutive bogeys (you see, it wasn’t just one bad swing, but several in the space of three holes for a loss of 6 strokes from 10-12), I felt almost as if the ghost of Bobby Jones had arisen and had his say about how to win a Masters tournament.
How could the man who founded the Masters tournament, were he alive, have countenanced a player who couldn’t put the ball in play, and was about to walk away with back-to-back titles?
That is tongue-in-cheek, of course, but here’s my point:
Simply, I personally don’t believe that anyone who hit the ball as badly as Spieth did on the weekend deserved to win that major, however talented a player and awesome a putter and course manager he may be.
The minute there was a hint of pressure on Spieth, whose lead went from 5 on the 9th tee to 1 while standing on 12, he promptly brain-locked and rinsed two perfectly clean balls with swings that shouldn’t be seen on the Web.com Tour.
The swing is only one part of the overall game of golf, true, and while you want a solid, even great swing with which to play the game, you can also prosper with not much of a swing to speak of, if the rest of your game is good to great.
Spieth is a brilliant short gamer, in everything from pitching to putting, and he is a great manager of the course.
Part of the reason he was even still in the lead to start Sunday was that his misses always seemed to be the one miss on a hole where you can recover.
But his swing was so woeful the entire week, getting iffier and iffier after Friday, that I was incensed no one could muster anything to challenge his lead.
After the Amen Corner catastrophe, remember, he still finished in a tie for 2nd!
That is the state of Modern Golf Swing golf – a man can hit it so badly that he has no clue where he is going, but the equipment allows him to hit it just straight and far enough to get it to the green and pull rabbits out of his hat time and time again.
The full swing is supposed to account for half the strokes in a par round, remember – it should be much more difficult to win tournaments if you can’t hit a decent ball, just as it should be difficult to win if you putt like Ernie Els.
So, I don’t grieve for Spieth – he had no business being in the lead on Sunday, the way he was swinging, and he entire field looked hapless and silly while he was there.
And that’s about all I have to say about it. The entire week was a display of Modern Golf Swing insanity.
CBS as usual, I might add, was its usual terrible self in broadcasting surely the most uninspiring televised final round ever in a major, except for the excitement provided by the back 9 play – once again, they put all their eggs in the basket of the player they hoped would win, and fell flat on their faces when he didn’t.
I can’t remember how many times we heard roars around Augusta National during the weekend while we watched Spieth and his caddie discuss everything under the sun while Spieth took a hundred practice swings, threw grass and reached for his towel.
OCD tics and all, while brilliant plays were apparently unfolding around the course.
CBS? Nope. Frozen solidly to Speith’s group, for minutes at a time without a single swing being made. It was atrocious.
Spieth’s wasn’t the only quadruple-bogey of the day – CBS threw in their own in the form of their coverage. Ugh.
So, the first major of the year mercifully is over, and we can now examine our navels ’til the cows come home and Players Championship rolls around.
Have a great Monday, all!