On the Eve of the 2019 Master’s Final Round

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Calm and quiet B.C. water’s

 

“I’ll wake up [tomorrow] around 4am, maybe 3:45 am … start the process of getting this body ready and get after it.” – Tiger Woods

 

Here we sit at the three-quarter mark. If Tiger wins tomorrow, it will be a win for the ages. 

Tiger is already this generation’s golfer. This much has already been established, like a known-fact on any online encyclopedia. Jack Nicklaus was the golfer of the previous generation; now, it is Tiger’s turn. This we know. As for me, it’s exciting to have been following him and his game, all these years. There is a sort of self-assurance in knowing I have grown up with Tiger’s rise in the golfing world and in being part of his monumental career. I feel like I am Hardy Greaves in the book-turned-movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Hardy was a young, impressionable boy who got to caddy for Junuh during one of the most sensational golfing showdowns between the golfing legends, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagan. 

As The Masters is played each year during the same month as my birthday,  I was only 10 years old when Tiger first came to Augusta National as an amateur in ’95. I had just turned twelve when Mr. Red won his record-setting first Masters in 1997 at 18 under par. Tiger had literally shattered a ton of golfing records in his historic ’97 Masters win. It was a very thrilling experience for me to witness on TV; yet, I had no idea what exactly was unfolding before my eyes and what this large dent in the history books would do to me, along with so many other golfers – not to mention the entire golfing, and even sporting, industry. Even still, I knew Tiger’s fist-pumping win was a big deal and something I would remember for a long time to come. After all, who hasn’t seen the replay at least a couple of dozen times on the network stations of The Golf Channel, SportsNet, or TSN? What I didn’t know was just how inspiring this win would make me feel and how deeply moving it would be to recall in the years to come. I still get chills when I see the highlight reel of one of Tiger’s ultimate, adrenaline-pumping, sensational Major wins.

On asked what he had executed well during the 3rd round:

“Everything. I drove it well and hit my irons well. I made some putts. I just let the round kind of build…The goal today was to start at six [under] and make sure I got to double digits and I was able to do that.”

In his usual and expected Sunday red – only this time wearing a mock turtleneck shirt, reflecting the same style he  had worn when he last won The Masters in 2005 – Tiger is once again in a position to win this prestigious tournament. Only this time, to come from behind, which is a position he hasn’t been in before going on to win one of his prior fourteen Major tournaments. Even so, Tiger has an opportunity to make another electrifying charge and re-write the history books. Only this time, given all that Mr. TW has been through recently, his win would prove to be even more dramatic, remarkable, and unbelievable.

It is incredible what this guy can do – and can still do. If you think about it, all the “young guys” on Tour grew up watching Tiger during the height of his reign. And in many ways, Tiger was their hero growing up and now they have the opportunity of a lifetime, and a dream come true for them, to be able to compete with him. The only difference is that now he is beating them instead of the other way around. 

For now, we’ll have to wait and see what comes of tomorrow’s final round and what kind of game Tiger will bring as he makes the turn in hopes of leading the pack down the back nine stretch.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been in contention here…I’ve been in the mix with a chance to win major championships…and that helps.”

– Tiger Woods

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The Master’s – Tiger’s Back: Thru 2nd Round

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9th hole, Par 4, 2nd shot
Lynx Ridge GC
Mother’s Day 2019

 

I get to play golf for a living. What more can you ask for – getting paid for doing what you love. – Tiger Woods

 

Magnetic. 

That is the one word to describe Tiger this week at The Masters, especially in round two. He simply draws people to him as he always has, and always will.

We are now at the halfway point at the 2019 Master’s Tournament. Two rounds of 18 holes down, with two more rounds to go. As a comparison, at The Super Bowl the halfway mark is called half-time. During a live New York Broadway show, they’d call it an intermission. Only at The Masters, as in every other weekly professional golf event, the end of the second round (of four rounds) marks the cut, whereby roughly half of the players who did make the cut get to go on and play for money on the weekend. Thus, the rest of the field who didn’t make the cut miss out on earnings for that given week. However you describe this midway point, the fact remains that the 85th Master’s Tournament sees at its top of the leaderboard the biggest names and stars in professional golf. Even if you’re not a golf-fanatic, like I am, you would be hard-pressed not to know most of the names that hover their way around this sacred, famed white leaderboard at golf’s first major tournament of the year at Augusta National.

Tiger was on fire. Especially with his putter. Sure, he left a few putts on the table (who doesn’t, anyway?) He literally couldn’t have put the fire out in his game, had he tried to. He canned two long putts on holes 9 & 11, with a near-make from downtown, narrowly missing at hole number 10. My jaw dropped. It actually hurt when it hit the proverbial ground beneath me. Watching this 2nd round with my Dad in our living room, we both couldn’t believe what we were seeing and what was blissfully unfolding before our eyes. Tiger Woods, or TW, would have had four-in-a-row clutch putts, had his birdie attempts on 12 found the hole prior to the siren going off to signal a course evacuation, due to an impending lighting warning. 


– 

One of the announcer’s made a comment that Tiger was performing as an “above-average” golfer. I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous this statement sounded. Mr. Woods’ performance was sensational and his demeanour was the most laid-back than the golfing world has ever seen him. This was especially true in a Major, not to mention at The Masters; golf’s ultimate prize to have your name alongside history’s greatest champions. The winner of this prestigious tournament gets a lifetime invitation back each year this tournament is played in April. The stakes are high, the achievement even higher.

However, when things didn’t go his way or when the putts didn’t drop as he’d hoped, Tiger expressed his disappointment mildly and quickly, and then he just went on with his next shot as he played his way around the famous golf course. In short, he was gracefully able to recover and move on; thus, exhibiting remarkable resilience. Tiger did this in a seemingly effortless way, shot after shot, hole after hole. Truth be told, I don’t think any of us, fans or foes, have seen Tiger react or express himself in this way ever before. His composure was almost as stunning as the game he produced through the first two opening rounds. The way Tiger handled himself inside the ropes displayed and revealed a new Tiger: a more mature and sensible grown man. After all the struggles he has gone through and faced in recent years, Tiger has proved he has grown from a cub to the pride male, once again leading the pack.

It will always be the ball and me. – Tiger Woods

As the TV viewers caught a glimpse of the sun setting over the reflection of the historic pond at hole number 16, this mirror-like effect not only reflected a new angle of the course golf fans everywhere probably hadn’t seen before, it also reflected that the weekend was only just beginning on one of the biggest stages in golf, with the biggest and greatest name in golf right there along for the ride. 

At the start of the week, and before the tournament began, I predicted Tiger would win at -14 on a Facebook prediction thread. Currently he sits at -6, tied for sixth place and one off the lead. In this tournament, and especially when Tiger is in the hunt, anything is possible. I, for one, hope the golfing scales tip in Woods’ favour. I guess we’ll have to wait until the back 9 come Sunday afternoon.

Music in One Word

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Music

 

Inspires. 

Soothes. 

Heals. 

Mends. 

Awakens. 

Pulses. 

Alive. 

Powerful. 

Far-reaching. 

Contagious. 

Life. 

Grand. 

Impactful. 

Humanizing. 

Transcendent. 

Eternal. 

Evanescence. 

Escape. 

Immortality. 

Moving. 

Profound. 

Sustaining. 

Creative. 

Shared. 

Passionate. 

All-encompassing. 

Therapeutic. 

Sensational. 

Sensory. 

Gripping. 

Reconnects. 

Love. 

Divine. 

Electric. 

Eccentric. 

Out-of-this-world. 

Universal. 

Boundary-less. 

Borderless. 

Catapulting.  

Uplifting. 

Moving. 

Grooves. 

Flow. 

Transforms.  

Changes. 

Overjoyed.  

Releases. 

Hope.

Energizes.

Restores. 

Revives.

Triumphs. 

 

Music!

Master’s Week at Augusta National

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“This is The Masters. It’s got the beauty, it’s got the color, it’s got the sound and the breezes. Everything together makes this place special.”

Nick Faldo

It’s that time of year where for me, as a Canadian (Alberta) golfer, the golf season truly kicks off the golfing season: The Master’s.

The historic drive up Magnolia Lane, that most of the golfing world only gets to experience on their Smart TV’s, signal’s the start of the annual start-up to the first of golf’s four Major tournaments. As I have heard, the only thing the TV fails to do for its viewer’s is show the severe elevation pitches that are evident on each hole, from tee to green. Even still, the entire course is in immaculate condition.

Golfer’s everywhere across the rugged, Canadian landscape have eagerly awaited this moment to come since dropping their final putter on their final round last season. Then fall came with golf course closures. Christmas followed with having received some golf-related presents under the tree. The winner’s-only event of last year’s winners kicked off our new year in Maui. Other PGA Tour tournaments came and went each week, eventually building up to the crescendo at the peak of the golfing schedule: The 2019 Master’s.  

This prestigious and prominent tournament is played every year in April at the same course, since its inception: Augusta National Golf Course. The course has incorporated some big changes in recent year’s, including allowing female’s to join this once all-male club membership, lengthening the tees on certain holes, as well as hosting the Ladies Amateur Championship this year, right before the Pro guy’s tee it up.

“The winner of this tournament doesn’t just win a major, he becomes part of the history of the game, and that’s what excites me. This tournament creates something that is very special, and year in, year out, history is made here.”

Phil Mickelson

The entire tournament is steeped in some very rich and historic moments that would stir the heart’s of even non-golfer’s alike. Whether it’s Tiger’s near-impossible chip-in at #16 from off the green, Phil’s first major win (and a few more after that), or Mickelson’s sensational second shot from the pine trees, through a gap in the trees at the par-5 #13 landing on the green, pin-high, or Sergio’s monumental first Master’s win pointing to how it was his year to win in 2017, to of course, the co-founder Bobby Jones’ vision and creation of this tournament (also an accomplished amateur golfer himself), and finally its familiar 18 holes of bliss that every golfer knows full well, where the opportunity to play this crown-jewel of a course, would be the opportunity of a lifetime!

The Master’s officially starts first-thing during Master’s Week on Thursday morning, often with dew still on the grass and a frosty, chilly tempterature, with the traditional starter’s hitting their opening drives on the first tee. What seemed like forever, this iconic tradition feature’s the Big Three: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. Of course, Mr. Palmer is no longer with us, although his presence is still very much present on this ceremonial opening drive and all throughout the Masters tournament week. After the drives are launched, the presentation is followed by the Augusta National Chairman declaring that the tournament has officially begun and “to have fun,” as former Chairman, Billy Payne, would always remark. 

I, for one, am eagerly awaiting this year’s Master’s Tournament and getting out on the fairway’s this 2019 golfing season. 

Glorious Water – Part II

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The author, Dwight, on a recent expedition last summer
Fisherman’s Wharf; Victoria, BC

 

“The tides are in our veins.”
– Robinson Jeffers

 

Just being around water is all I seem to need in order to relax. The mere sight of water or the hearing of its movement is enough to settle me, distract me from the moment, and bring peace into my being. Even in the busyness of my day, the sight of a waterfall can do wonders for me, as it brings the much-needed oxygen, and minerals too, to fill my lungs with this goodness.

I have come to be on the lookout for these places of water sanctuaries. At the place I work at, there are a couple of waterfalls that appear to drop from the wall they are mounted on. These wall waterfall’s are quite lengthy and are a haven to my soul. Like air for my next breath, just being around these falling streams of water are life itself for me. I often find myself taking a diversion or alternate path to where I am headed, just so I can glance at the sight of these miniature falls. Instantly, I am renewed and refreshed; almost made new again. It’s as if I almost don’t need to grab that coffee I was desperately craving for (which is often the reason I end up passing by these hanging waterfalls.) It seems that water is for me what chocolate is for other people. There is no explanation for this craving, other than I just need it. To me, water is a sacred gem that deserves to be treated with such reverence and holy awe.

Often when I write I’ll play a video on YouTube of waves crashing on a beach and imagine, and try to visualize, I am on a beach in Maui – which is my ultimate relaxation place. I try to invoke all areas of my senses and to feel, or remember, the pleasure that water brings me. It doesn’t matter the timeframe either, whether it’s for five minutes or five hours or five days. Any amount of time around water is sufficient and often does the trick for me. Of course though, the longer the time the better I’ll feel. Also, when I go on vacation I always try to find a place where there will be water, whether it’s by a pool, a lake, or an ocean. The volume of water doesn’t matter, just as long as there is H20. 

Glorious Water

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Sport silhouette on the water
Summer 2018

I love being around water – it is life to me.

Author’s quote

 

Water. 

Who can describe this substance? Who can attempt to articulate its powerful and magnificent force?

Water is a seemingly fleeting and evanescent element, that literally can slip through our finger’s. It cannot be held, grasped, or contained; yet, we rely on it for nourishment for our bodies. And water is just that: a necessary invitation to intake for our own survival. 

Its expanse knows no end and its devastation no end. Even still, we depend on it for our own amusement and enjoyment, including water sports fun, such as: rowing, water-skiing, skim boarding, boating, snorkelling, or diving. For when you’re on top of the water you’re gliding and when you’re under it you come alive & are awakened to the sub-water universe. To add, when you’re on top of the water you really don’t know what’s all beneath it. It’s a big unknown and sizeable mystery. This applies to any size of body of water, whether it’s a marsh, a stream, a river, a lake, a canal, a channel, a strait, or the ocean. What’s under the water is just as enticing and exciting as what is above it. 

Nothing is more powerful, elusive, or mysterious than water. To illustrate, not even the Periodic Table of Elements has enough room in its columns or rows for the element of water. This may seem odd as water is the most basic and fundamental element of life. Even still, water is the most basic element that composes all the other elements. The reason for this is simple: they all depend on water for their unique composition. 

A Good Night’s Sleep – Part II

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Beautiful Palm Springs, California

Photo taken by the author

 

“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.”
– William Penn

“Many things – such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly – are done worst when we try hardest to do them.”
– C.S. Lewis

 

As the sun follows the moon in nature’s rhythmic pattern, just as each season follows the other during the calendar year, so also is sleep nature’s way of working in us as individual’s. This is so because in everything there is a natural restoration to the balance of all things created.

Sleep contributes in a large and powerful way to our bodies biological and circadian rhythm. And just what is meant by the term, circadian rhythm? Below are some descriptions of this term:

  1. Our body’s rhythms are governed by a “master clock” located in a tiny region of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. It works much like a conductor, striking up one section of the body’s orchestra as another quiets down, taking its main cue from light signals in order to stay in sync with the 24-hour day. (1)
  2. The circadian timing system (CTS) has been shown to be involved in the coordinated daily variation of almost every physiological and psychological system evaluated thus far. Maintaining synchronized circadian rhythms is important to health and well-being. (2)
  3. Often referred to as the “body clock,” the circadian rhythm is the 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, and eat—regulating many physiological processes. This internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature, and determines whether one feels wide-awake and energized or tired and depleted at different times of the day. (3)
  4. Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle. (4)

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”
– Irish Proverb

I know for us in the West, the minimum eight hour sleep that is recommended by healthcare professionals, is often not always followed as we are surrounded by activities, of all kinds, that compete for our attention, which naturally results in our own lack of sleep. However, each of us knows by now, or is in the process of learning and discovering, what is the number of hours of sleep needed, in order for us to function well the following day and to maintain our optimal levels.

Like anything else in life, some people are better than other’s at falling to sleep, and staying asleep. For these people, their heads need only touch their pillow (or whatever they set their head on, horizontal or otherwise) and they are instantly out. Meanwhile, for the rest of us mortals, it can take a significant more amount of time for our eyelids to reach that shut-eye effect and for our brain’s to finally turn-off. The gift of sleep, as I am coming to discover, really is just that – a gift.

“I love to sleep. I’d sleep all day if I could.”
– Miley Cyrus

“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”
– Homer

Sources:

(1) https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/power-of-circadian-rhythms

(2) https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/892.html

(3) https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/basics/circadian-rhythm

(4) https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/what-circadian-rhythm