If you promise not to let Billy Payne read this, I’ll let you in on a little secret…The Masters is just a golf tournament.
Honestly, that’s all it is. It’s 99 players, Par 72, 18 holes and four rounds. It seems like more because we care about it so much. It’s the first major championship of the year. It draws an unrivaled field of players. The media pays more attention to this golf tournament than any other all year. CBS tells us over and over it’s “a tradition unlike any other.”
Maybe The Masters deserves that kind of respect. Players definitely value a win there more than other places. They gear up for this event for months. That probably leads to a better golf tournament.
But, it’s still a golf tournament. Players tee their ball, swing their club and hope for birdies. It’s not really that different from TPC Scottsdale or the John Deere Classic – the best golfer for four days wins.
So who’s the best golfer this week? My gut tells me it’s Bubba Watson.
Watson has won once already this season and racked up two other top 10s. He played brilliantly to earn a spot in the Final 4 at the WGC Match play event. His long drives will enable him to attack Augusta National in ways other players simply cannot.
What about experience? You need experience to win at Augusta.
Maybe, but it’s not like Bubba’s never been here before. He finished T20 and 42nd in his only two starts at The Masters. He didn’t compete last year. Since last April, he’s been one of the best players on the planet. He’s left his mark on last year’s PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup and the WGC earlier this year.
Earlier this week Martin Kaymer suggested Augusta National was easier for left-handers. Of course, Phil Mickelson was asked about this comment. Maybe they should have talked more about it with Bubba. It’s another reason to think he’ll play well this week.
The Masters is just a golf tournament. But, because we care so much about it, The Masters is a golf tournament that defines player’s careers. Watson has come into his own over the past 12 months. He’s a talent and a likable figure in the sport. A green jacket would solidify what we already know…Watson is one of the best.
People like Watson because he seems like a simple, humble man. He’s the kind of guy who still sees The Masters for what it is…a golf tournament. It’s that kind of perspective that might earn him a chance to win it come Sunday.