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. 


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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.