The Masters Was an Instant Classic and I’m Happy for Tiger Woods, But My Wallet is Not

Joey B previewed The Masters last week and boy was this year’s event a doozy. That was a full four days of entertainment. From watching in between meetings at work on Thursday and Friday to sitting my ass on the couch all day Saturday and then waking up early on Sunday to watch the last 5 or so hours. It was an instant classic.

The Masters was awesome last year too with Patrick Reed swooping in and snatching the green jacket like an 80’s movie villain. Just an emotionless robot looking rich kid with ice in his veins. Reed finished at a just ridiculous -15 to win the event. I watched last year at my house and then at the bar before heading in for a Celtics playoff game and it was thrilling. So I figured 2019 would have a tough time topping what was such a great event last year.

Really all you’re hoping for is that Tiger is in contention come Sunday. I know a lot of people say that, but it’s true. Whether thats a reflection on the absolute void of exciting and entertaining personalities in golf is a valid question. Either way though, Tiger is must see TV when he’s within reach of victory. Going into Sunday he was just 2 strokes back and there was about 6 or 7 guys all within 3 strokes so it was going to be a battle. Add in the fact that they pushed everyone’s tee time up on Sunday because of an incoming storm and it was Tiger time before I even had my morning coffee. It was too early the perfect time to crack that first Sunday morning Bud Latte too.

Tiger looked like a man on a mission, but a couple of gimme putts he missed had me thinking he just wasn’t going to have enough in the tank.

The legend of Tiger has faded a bit in recent years, or so I thought. Less and less do we see guys just wilting under the mere presence of Tiger on their six. Well lucky for us the guy Tiger was chasing, Francesco Molinari, is exactly who he was paired up with on Sunday morning. So every time Francesco tee’d off, Tiger was staring a fucking hole in the guy’s back. And Molinari could *feel* that.

With a two stroke lead he started to melt when he put his first shot in the water on No. 12. Even Tiger’s caddy, Joe LaCava, was shocked:

LaCava said that Tiger was all business after Molinari, inexplicably, put his tee ball in Rae’s Creek. For LaCava, it wasn’t something he saw coming. Molinari, who’s so steady it’s borderline infuriating, wasn’t a player you’d peg as a candidate to drop a ball in the water on the back nine of a major.

“[Molinari]’s one of those guys, he’s not going to go away,” said Lacava. “I was a little surprised he hit it in there. I was thinking this is a perfect 8 iron for him, it’s probably a smash 9 iron for us. I actually thought he was going to hit not to two feet, but 15 feet left. I was very surprised. Things definitely changed.”

The cameras cut to Tiger and you can see his eyes come to life.

It’s like when Eminem gives the mic to Papa Doc in the final rap battle and he slowly realizes that Papa Doc just doesn’t have anything left.

After that it was a wrap. Tiger slowly but surely chipped away at Molinari’s lead before just having to two putt on 18 to win The Masters. No problem.

It was an incredible scene to watch and say what you will about his past transgressions, but I love a good comeback story. People thought his career was over, his back was in shambles and here he was putting for his fifth green jacket.

It means so much more to him these days too. I first saw it at the PGA Championship last year where he narrowly lost to Brooks Koepka and he walked off and hugged his kids and looked like he was about to cry, but in a good way. Like he was beaming with pride because all though he didn’t win, he was healthy, he played his balls off, and his kids saw it.

He was a fucking legend back in the day, a complete force of nature, but his kids were too young to see that. Tiger even said it in one of his interviews Sunday, for the longest time he was just “the YouTube golfer” to his kids. So for him to be dominant and winning majors in front of his kids who are now old enough to understand and appreciate what they’re seeing is a huge change for Tiger. And now the chase of Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors is back on.

It wasn’t all gumdrops and rainbows though as the price of admission for me seeing Tiger return to his former glory was a shit ton of my own money. I had Brooks Koepka at +2,500 and Xander Schauffele as my longshot at +4,000 to win The Masters. Both of them finished ONE stroke behind Tiger. That hurt. Xander was a guy I bet on solely because of how confident my barber was in telling me to do so just a few weeks ago. So I thought well I’ll feel like a real schmuck if I ignore this divine intervention and Xander goes on to win. Welp, my guy was gunning for it late and missed a couple of putts, but would have at least gotten into a playoff or even won it outright if not for Tiger. Tiger picked a great day to pull a vintage performance out of his ass.

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