The 2016 Edition of The Dormie took a bit of a break for March Madness but we’re back for golf’s first major
Augusta National Golf Club: Par 72, Yardage: 7,435 yards
This entire post could easily be written about Augusta. Long time readers will remember Matty D’s love letter to the course two years ago. Augusta National Golf Club was built and designed by Bobby Jones in 1933 and the first Masters was held a year later as the “Augusta National Invitational Tournament.” After five years, the Club simplified the tournament’s name to its now legendary name: The Masters. The area of land Jones used to make the course was formerly a nursery and because of that reason, each hole is named after the flower beds that once laid there. For this and the early April weekend it is usually played over, the Masters screams everything about Spring.
The course has gone through some changes in the 83 years since Jones’ first design. In short, the competition committee tried to “Tiger-proof” after Tiger Woods’ 1997 dominant performance. However, dominant wins by Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth in back-to-back years and the longer distances players can bomb their drivers have not forced further lengthening. The competition committee has kept most of the glorious tradition alive, from Amen Corner (holes 11, 12, and the drive out of 13) to using many of the original pin locations on Sunday.
TV Coverage (Eastern Time):
Thursday and Friday: 2:00 – 7:00 pm (ESPN)
Saturday: 3:00 – 7 pm (CBS)
Sunday: 2:00pm to finish (CBS)
The Masters features by far the smallest field of the four majors. This year only 89 golfers qualified which includes all previous champions who decide to play as well as many amateurs from around the globe. Jones himself was an amateur and wanted his tournament to celebrate amateur golf.
As with any Major, many golfers bring plenty of stories to the table; and the Masters can turn their stories into legends. With no Tiger, Phil Mickelson represents the late ’90s/early ’00s crowd as a three-time champion. Interestingly enough, Phil went two years between his first and second (2004 to 2006) and four years between his second and third (2006 to 2010). Will it be six years between his third and fourth Masters titles? Rickie Fowler is an interesting case this year. Last year he a hot pick having finished second in the previous three majors. Coming into this year’s Masters, Fowler has been up-and-down. Rory McIlroy looks to complete the career Grand Slam and win his 5th major championship. Like Fowler, Rory hasn’t been spectacular as of late; really since coming to the US for the Northern Trust Open. Both are great golfers however and have the ability to win the Green Jacket. (Rory sooo close in 2011, just like…) Jason Day is this year’s hot pick. Having won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC Match Play recently, the Aussie is poised to make it two-straight majors. The main concern with picking Day is his injury-prone status. Lastly, we come to last year’s champ: Jordan Spieth. Spieth looks be the first since Tiger to win back-to-back titles. Jordan dominated 2015 but isn’t sinking the monster putts he did a year ago. While any of these guys have red flags around picking them, they’re certainly your front runners for the Green Jacket.
The Cut: -1
The Winner and Score:
Matty D is going with Rickie Fowler this year. Rickie knows how to hang around in majors and finally broke through last year winning the semi-major: The Players. As for me, I’m going once with my boy Rory. McIlroy has taken a new approach to majors this year after a lackluster finish at the PGA and missing the British due to an ankle injury (from playing soccer with his friends). This new serious Rory even skipped this year’s Par 3 Contest (which should be happening around the time of posting). That’s enough for me to take my boy. Rory wins at -8.
Disagree with my picks? Let me know in the commentsFollow @geordo9