You know that feeling you get when you see the Post Office, UPS or FedEx truck pull up and you know they are bringing a box to your doorstep? ( Actually, that happened to me today! - new golf shirts!) That same excitement and anticipation is how I feel as Masters Week approaches. The Masters has been my favorite week of the year ever since I was rooting for Greg Norman in high school...I still remember that fateful Sunday and friends actually calling to see if I was okay. Ah, the Masters.
A few years back I remember writing that I had lost my Masters Enthusiasm... Charl Schwarzel won and there was all kinds of excitement, but for me, something went missing. But this year, with all that is happening as we come into the week, I can't help but think that this year there is going to be one dynamic moment after another.
More memories are flashing in my brain right now...Kenny Perry almost winning, Phil's shot on 16, Louis Oosthuizen's Double Eagle, Tiger in red fist pumping, Fred Couples' ball hanging up on 12, Bubba's creativity and emotion, and Adam Scott in the dark with camera flashes that made it like daylight. Oh and that dang purple striped shirt that Larry Mize wore when he holed out to win. Ah, the Masters.
Tiger playing has been the talk of week so far, but it's been interesting to see how people think he will do this week. I think before seeing him at the practice round today most weren't giving him much of a chance (except for the odds makers!), but he looks relaxed and actually enjoying himself at Augusta. Could that be the secret ingredient?
Can you believe I've gotten this far and not mentioned Steve Stricker yet?! I'm THRILLED that Steve is playing this week, but I will temper my enthusiasm because he hasn't played much and is coming off of surgery this winter. But as a dreamer, I'm not leaving out the chance the stars could align, the approach shots hit the middle of the green and that putting stroke gets hot. He deserves a Major in his list of accomplishments and I'm going to go with it!
My Heart Pick of the week is Matt Kuchar. Another player deserving of a Major, Matt has been on the leader board here before so I'm hoping this year we could see another charge. Wait, just give me a second as I contemplate a Stricker-Kuchar pairing on Sunday!! I've gone on record saying he will win at -11...and I'm still a believer!
But believe me when I say he will have to get past some amazing talent to don a green jacket. Where do we start? Defending champion, Bubba Watson - he's primed to win again and the course loves him. Then there's Rory - ready to claim the last of the Majors to make his career Slam complete...and honestly, I think he's ready. And I'd love to see it - he's a favorite of mine.
Then there's the Aussies...Adam Scott and Jason Day - I'm a fan of them both and like Rory, I think Day is ready for this title. Adam Scott is bring back his long putter, and frankly, I don't blame him! I suspect we might see both of these guys on the first page of the leader board most of the tournament.
Ah Jordan Spieth...I looked back to my last year's crystal ball predictions and I said he wouldn't win in 2014 and he didn't. But I knew he would win in 2015 and I think he will be a factor in the Majors, but I'm not sure if this is the one, and I'm not sure why. But he oozes talent and I love his passion for the game. Let's just say I won't be sad if he wins on Sunday.
I can't help but be excited for Erik Compton - at 35 he's making his first appearance at the Masters. You know his story - double heart transplant recipient - and my heart would love nothing more than for him to have a great week. He's inspiring both on and off the golf course.
There's so much more to day - so many more players to talk about!! But I think I'll take a break here and be back tomorrow.
Wait...just one more...Phil Mickelson - I was so excited to hear that he was making a run at the Shell Houston Open last week - I'm a fan and Phil just makes the Masters better - I know he's up and down right now, but it's like a homecoming at Augusta and he may just settle right in.
If you're not on Twitter, the Masters week tweets alone are worth it!! So many good reads today! Also see my Masters primers spots for a little more info as we get ready for the BEST WEEK OF THE YEAR!!
I love golf and I love to write, so I can't think of anything better than having a happy place like this to write about golf to my heart's content. Thanks for joining me!