The Masters...Oh goodness...what a week!! You would have found me on Twitter sharing some thoughts, and I can't quite believe I didn't follow up with a blog post - I LOVE THE MASTERS!!! From the early week weather, the cancellation of the Par-3 contest, and DJ's tumble down the stairs, there was a lot to talk about even before the first tee shot was hit on Thursday morning.
And then there's the ceremonial first tee shots - Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and missing Arnold Palmer. It was emotional for me to watch and I can only imagine how special it was for those who were there. I also loved that Rickie Fowler was there! (I'm realizing right now that there is so much more I could say about the Masters so I'm going to try to contain it!) The 4 days played out like a drama and I found myself cheering out loud and groaning at missed opportunities.
The Sergio, Justin, Rickie and Jordan groups didn't go as I had expected and the Sunday final 9 holes did not disappoint!!! I loved that Sergio got his first Major and he looks darn good in a Green Jacket. My heart did wander to Steve Stricker many times (and I LOVED that he was a featured group on Masters.com so I watched just about every single one of his shots!)...he was so close to getting another invitation for next year, but alas, he's going to need to find another way to earn his way in. I know it was more than 2 weeks ago, but I've still got the Masters on my mind!
And then...after all that, I read on Twitter that Lexi Thompson has been assessed a 4 stroke penalty and is now in jeopardy of losing the ANA which she had a commanding lead in going into the next round. You've read the articles, you've heard the bloggers and commentators give their 2-cents on it and well, frankly, it still doesn't make sense to me.
One viewer - one viewer, called in after the 3rd round was over and claimed that Lexi did not put her ball in the same spot after marking it on the green. That would result in a 2-stroke penalty...and since it wasn't discovered until after her round was over and her 3rd round scorecard signed, she'd get another 2-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. They told her as she was heading to the 13th tee and the drama ensued - despite the emotional punch in the gut and hear score changed, she found the composure and will to birdie the next hole and more and had an eagle putt to WIN ANYWAY but alas, was not able to convert. Instead, she tied, going to into a playoff with So Yeon Ryu, eventually losing on the 18th hole.
Since then there has been an unbelievable amount of comments and debates about what happened and how it should be handled. Many PGA players also voiced their opinion, many of them saying Lexi was a victim. But not everyone shared that opinion and several said regardless of how it was found, she did, in fact, breach a rule of golf. The debate about whether a viewer should have the ability to influence a player's score by making a phone in request for a review is still going on. The USGA & the R&A have done some immediate modifications to the rule, but as some have said, it hasn't yet eliminated the phone-in viewer.
I watched her interview earlier this week in Texas and it was still emotional for her...and I get it. Some people have said, "don't worry, this will just make her stronger" - and while that may be the case, my mind keeps telling me that she missing a trophy that she deserved. Oh, the rules of golf...
Fast forward to this weekend!! The Zurich Classic going with 2-man teams with Alternate Shot and Better Ball alternating formats over the 4-days. When I saw the press release several months ago I was excited!! I love team golf (I know some don't) - and while I haven't seen any on TV yet, I did listen a little in the car and it seems like the players are liking it, too!! Interesting teams and I know I need to read up on how some of them came together. SUPER excited to see Stricker and Jerry Kelly on the higher end of the leader board after day one! Loved the comment that last week on the Senior Tour they were the youngest team and this week at the Zurich they are the oldest team...Well, Go Old Guys!!
I haven't swung a golf club yet in 2017, but I feel it coming soon! Mother Nature hasn't exactly been kind in Northern Minnesota the past few weeks, so I hope that means we'll have a summer full of sun! Contemplating a new driver but otherwise house projects trump golf purchases this year (ha, these words will be tested by the end of the season!!).
Oh, how golf makes me happy. I'm smiling right now thinking of friends and fun events coming up and hoping for the same for you. It was nice to be back and jot some thoughts down, even if they might be considered "old news"...but heck, I still think about the Ryder Cup just about every day, so I guess it's nothing new for me.
And I should say I'm excited about setting up the BirdieBall putting green I won in their Masters contest!! It's amazing!! Now it's just finding the right place for it. I'll post pics and a review soon!
Happy Place, here I come!!