The first week in April is one of the biggest sports weeks of the year. We have the NCAA hoops finals, major league baseball kicks off a new season, and the grand event of all, the Masters Golf Tournament begins.
Last year I made my first trip to Augusta and what a treat. So much history going back to 1933 when the club was founded by the legendary Bobby Jones. To be able to walk the same fairways as Presidents Eisenhower, Carter, Reagan, Ford, Clinton and Bush, and to stand only steps away from greens that challenged the greats like Palmer, Nicklaus, Player and Woods, is nostalgic and exciting all at once.
Every hole has its own name, mostly named for local flowers. Hogan’s Bridge is named after Ben Hogan, one of the all-time greats and there is the infamous “Amen Corner”, holes 11, 12 and 13, which are the most picturesque and treacherous found anywhere in the world.
Last, but not least, your visit is not complete until you have a Pimento Cheese sandwich ($1.50) and a Georgia Peach Ice Cream Sandwich ($1.00) for dessert.
I love to play the game of the golf but I am not a big watcher of it on TV. I am not a big “bucket wish list guy” either but I will tell you, if you can land a ticket for the event, say yes and go, no matter what! You will be drawn in by the aura of this magical golf course, the players elevating their skills, the possible drama of a thrilling duel and, I promise, you will become a Masters fan.
If you don’t have a ticket, clear your family obligations, take care of all your chores and errands in the morning and find the time to watch the final two rounds of the weekend on your big screen with or without your favorite beverage (as well as with or without family and friends!).
Congrats to the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina for winning the 2017 men’s College Basketball Championship. I do not know about you, but I found the final game tough to watch due to such poor shooting, way too many fouls called and too many commercials, making it difficult to stay up to midnight but I did tough it out.
Baseball Opening Day ceremonies are done and now the grind begins. Plenty of the so-called experts are handing the American League pennant to the Boston Red Sox on a silver platter. Me? I will never root for the Sox and let’s not forget about the Toronto Blue Jays who play in the same division, the defending AL champs, the Cleveland Indians and over in the west division you have the much improved Houston Astros, the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers.
With the Devils missing the playoffs again the only good to come from that will be that their very talented radio play-by-play announcer will be out earlier and often chasing the little white ball and doing community service for the team. What a great call Tuesday night by Matt Loughlin on John Moore’s game-winning goal in OT.
Remember to find the time this weekend to watch the Masters on CBS and appreciate that there are very limited commercial interruptions, especially on Sunday, the final day of the event. I expect to see one one these players, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day or Henrik Stenson, coming up “Holly”, the 18th hole, battling to win the Green Jacket.