A Damn Furriner Wins The Masters

Garcia Masters
BobLee
April10/ 2017

A Damn “Furriner” Wins The Masters

There is one subject about which I consider myself The Ultimate Authority – The Evolution of My Opinions on Sports, Politics, The Human Race, et al. The basis for that evolution is found in 1 Corinthians 13:11 – “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

I thought of that yesterday as I watched “Sunday at The Masters”. Over the past 40+ years I have missed very few Sunday at The Masters’ . I recall business travel on some Sundays but I was in a hotel room in time to see the final few holes. In my world there is no such thing as “must see TV” particularly in this age of endless replays. But Sunday at The Masters would be on a short list of “prefer to see if feasible”.

I played golf regularly (3-4 / month) for 25 years then quit cold turkey 14 years ago. I played to a 12 HDCP at the time. “Quitting golf” when I did was a VERY good decision for me based on an understanding of my temperament, personality, priorities and the nature of the game itself. During that period I had a business services contract with the three professional golf tours so I was constantly around the game and its top players of that era. I have been to Augusta four times during Masters Week and recommend it as a bucket list check-off for any sports fan. Augusta National and Mount Rushmore are two Wonders (man-made or natural) that, IMO, totally live up to the highest of expectations.

Augusta National

In golf, unlike almost every other sport, the “venue” plays a major role in the outcome. Football, basketball, tennis and, for the most part baseball are played on very specific dimensions. Playing on “the frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field in December versus a domed stadium “matters” and NASCAR tracks can be peculiar but in golf every course is different. That said…. The Masters is always at Augusta National and every golf fan knows “that back nine” as well as his own course.

Allowing for tweaks here and there to accommodate the evolution of equipment, it is the same course today where I watched Arnie and Jack (the fat version) duel in the early 60s. Over 50+ years various eras of players have come and gone but Rae’s Creek flows on. With the possible exception of Lee Trevino all the “greats” have won a green jacket along with a number of one win wonders.

Even when a whozit wins there is usually high drama involved as he emerges victorious over more “famous” players.

To today’s title – A Damn Furriner Wins The Masters – yes, a “foreigner” won this year – Sergio Garcia from Spain.  Sergio“Foreigners” have won a lot at Augusta. The first one I recall was Gary Player (South Africa). Player – Palmer – Nicklaus traded back & forth in the 60s. I recall not liking Player because he was “not an American”. Over the years that reasoning applied to Seve Ballisterous, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Sandy Lyle, et al including some lumpy guy from Argentina whose name I can’t recall. I’m sure I was not alone in my overt sense of overly caffeinated patriotism when it came to who won The Masters.

It probably goes back to Jesse Owens “defeating Hitler” in The Olympics back in the 1930s and those Olympic battles for ideological supremacy with Russia and East Germany in the 60-70-80s. If their athletes defeat our athletes then somehow their political ideology is superior to ours.

In the case of British golfer Colin Montgomerie it was that he was “lumpy” and had a ruddy complexion and never smiled. Which probably makes more sense than any other reason.

As yesterday evolved, the two young American golfers – Jordan Speith and Ricky Fowler never mounted charges. It came down to England’s Justin Rose or Segio Garcia. “Sergio” has been on Tour for 16-17 years and fans have developed their own like/dislike for him for whatever reasons. Rose is not controversial at all but among the top dozen players in the world. Sergio won in dramatic fashion.

It occurred to me that “where they were from” made no difference to me whatsoever… and had not mattered for quite a few years. I think that is a healthy evolution for me. As regular readers of BLSays well know…. “who wins games” has not mattered to me for some time now other than as a story angle.

I watch sports to see the rare, the unusual, the “never saw that before” take place…. Not to live vicariously thru the exploits of the participants…. Regardless of their nationality.

With “my Cardinals” off to a very uninspiring 2-4 stumble out of the gate, that mature approach might serve me well over the next 156 games.

##

BobLee
  • TheCowdog Reply
    2 weeks ago

    Somewhere, a thousand or so waitresses and barkeeps cringed.
    Garcia is a notoriously cheap b*****.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      “The evil that men do lives after them… the good is oft interred with their bones.”

      • TheCowdog Reply
        2 weeks ago

        I don’t know that it’s evil to stiff the peeps serving you…But it ain’t right.

        I know the good people that Sergio, poor boy without a major, has dissed along the way .
        He’s an as*****. Pure and simple.

        • BobLee Reply
          2 weeks ago

          OK. There are quite a few of them among us ….

        • Doug Reply
          2 weeks ago

          I’ll cut Sergio some slack. Europeans, including Spaniards are not as accustomed to tipping as we are here. Workers in the Spanish hospitality sector and across the EU are usually full-time employees and are paid a salary for the work they do. My European work colleagues always reminded me that the US 15-20% was not expected and was considered way over-the-top when I was on working trips there.

          • BobLee
            2 weeks ago

            Makes sense. I’m not any sort of authority on Sergio as a fine fellow, so I defer any opinion.

  • Former96Heel Reply
    2 weeks ago

    My list of reasons to love AGNC and The Masters is too long to go through, but I have always loved that when the PC cops tried to shove their agenda on them, they simply said Hmmm, we will save the advertisers the decision and go commercial free until this dies down.
    They did allow women in, but on their own terms. And money doesn’t buy you either a membership, nor a sponsorship. Being CEO of IBM or Secy of State may.
    Having the guts to stand on your principles may be easier when you have deep pockets, but there are scores of instances where larger stacks of money folds faster to the PC threats. The ACC and NC first among them.
    .
    It’s been a few years since I was lucky enough to go, but it is also by far the best value in all of sports. This years badge had a face price of $325 for the week. And the concessions are typically priced about where you find them at your local high school booster club tent. Oh, and the cleanest public restrooms a man or lady will ever encounter.
    .
    One thing about golf that still gets me, is every so often, usually in the Masters Friday or Saturday, and sometimes in the British on Sunday, an old timer finds that one day where experience overcomes youth, and they can go toe to toe with the best in the game. In no other sport can someone like Fred Couples finish in the top 15, or Tom Watson have a chance to win like in the British in 2009. That is unique and special to golf alone.
    Imagine if Bob Gibson could walk out on old timers day against the Cubs and actually put in 1968 quality innings, even if for a little while.
    .
    As long as the Lord grants me time on this Earth, I will always remember that Sunday in 86, watching with my dad. It’s my Billy Crystal father-son Yankee Stadium for the first time moment.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      Essential with a visit to AGNC is a pimento cheese sandwich (wrapped in green paper so it does not mar the surroundings if discarded). As noted, it is everything one expects it to be.

  • NCSU68Grad Reply
    2 weeks ago

    My late FIL watched golf a LOT. Never played the game….not one round of Pitch and Putt or Putt Putt. BUT, he knew a LOT about the game from watching. He also said that watching golf was more rewarding than Pro-Football on Sunday afternoons. You could easily drift off for your afternoon nap during Golf and wake up and fall back asleep….while the NFL was (usually) not that restful.

    Have NO issues with a Furreiner winning. The game has evolved. Golf also seems to be one of the FEW sports where the participants do NOT make political statements or cast around their warped opinions and tell folks WHY THE MASSES should be following their Einstein (of Plato or Soc-it-2-me) logic and theorems. I like that.

    I diligently watched the Masters when Tiger was playing. Sort of feel sad for him since he can’t get his groove back. I still think it happened when Mrs. Woods took a swing at him with a 2 wood and he had to duck and threw out his sacroiliac…. you never know….hopefully, he can still swing “other things” and get some personal satisfaction.

    Hope your eyes are healing and you get a good report from the doctor….if you don’t mind sharing, keep us informed.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      All post-op reports are positive with healing on schedule. Next 2-3 weeks will tell how much vision will be restored.
      .
      Hopefully PGA Tour can remain politically-free zone but “bad guys” will be lurking to spoil it if at all possible.

  • Rummie Reply
    2 weeks ago

    The correct spelling is Angel Cabrera. He has also won the US Open in 2007. I remember reading after his open win that while other players showed up with their swing coaches and their sports phycologists, Cabrera showed up with a carton of Marlboros.
    I’m happy for Garcia. He is so talented but seemed a head case, particularly at majors. He seems to have that behind him.
    Masters Sunday is my favorite televised sports event of the year.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      I “might” watch the US Open and British Open but I always watch Sunday at The Masters.

  • Doug Reply
    2 weeks ago

    I managed to check off two bucket list items in the same week. A visit to Augusta National was the leader in the clubhouse until Friday PM when I learned I was going to be grandfather for the first time. A baby girl. ANGC and the UNC BB win quickly took a back seat to this event. God is good. We are blessed. Get a lump in my throat every time I think of it.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      No comparison !!!

      • Doug Reply
        2 weeks ago

        BTW, and all this time I thought furriner was spelt with one arr-ruh.

        • BobLee Reply
          2 weeks ago

          either works.

  • Bill Reply
    2 weeks ago

    As you know, I am a golf fan. So I was glued to the screen yesterday and was rewarded with an afternoon of excellent golf and some high drama. Unlike other sports–I’m thinking specifically of last Monday night –golf is virtually never affected by referees. That fact certainly added to my enjoyment of the day.

    For reasons I still don’t understand, I was a Gary Player fan way back when he, The King and The Golden Bear were at their peaks. Maybe it was because I respected the way he got the very most of of his relatively small frame. Saw him in person several times at the old New Orleans Open and was always amazed at his precise iron play. So I got past the anti-ferriner thing a good while ago.

    Cabrera also won the U.S. Open in 2009. His nickname is “The Duck” because of his distinctive gait.

    There was a time when lots of U.S. golf fans didn’t like Sergio very much because he seems to play his best in the Ryder Cup and is very animated and outspoken when he plays in that event. His nickname is “El Nino,” The Bull. As in raging bull. However, it seems to me that most of the hostility had died down. He had had the label of “best never to have won a major” for quite awhile now, so I imagine there is some sympathy in play for him. Just a couple of years ago, he questioned publicly whether he had what it takes to win one. Guess he does. Seemed to me like he handled himself very well after the win, as did Justin Rose.

    Generally speaking, pro golfers still come across as reasonable and articulate, which is another reason I’m still a fan after all these years.

    Have a blessed Holy Week and A happy Easter.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      Comparing the deportment of PGA golfers to athletes in “other sports” takes us down a dark and stormy road …..

  • WolfPack00 Reply
    2 weeks ago

    I was glad to see Sergio win. I quit following golf when Trevino retired but still like to see who is contending in the Majors. Sergio has always seemed to be a good guy and had never won a Major. It was a good win. I was actually leaning up against a pine tree waiting for a turkey to show itself as the event was winding down. Didn’t know Sergio won until this morning.

    “You can feel it when you drive”…LT.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      As with most all sports celebs…. I’m sure Sergio has both fans and non-fans. I’m not sure I am either one.

  • The Expatgriate Reply
    2 weeks ago

    My bad. Will you accept Angel Carera? I still admire the grace with which Señor De Vincenzo accepted the ruling. In contrast, I remember absolutely nothing about Cabrera except his name which surfaced after the earlier post. I looked it up in my handy-tandyu World Almanac, the poor man’s Google.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      Thats him! Probably a fine fellow.

      • goose Reply
        2 weeks ago

        He’s a great guy. He tossed my then 10 yr old a ball on the 4th tee a few yrs back, and forged a lifetime memory for the young one.

        • BobLee Reply
          2 weeks ago

          A lot of “fans for life” are created by athletes with such “small unforgettable gestures”. 🙂

  • The Expatgriate Reply
    2 weeks ago

    My recollection is that “the lumpy guy from Argentina” was Roberto Vincenzo (sp?). Technically, he did not win although he had the low score. He signed an incorrect scorecard and he didn’t get a green jacket. So, he didn’t really win, or so The Poobahs said. In the grand tradition of golf, which I have never played, he took it with astonished good grace, which may be why I remember it. Some of the Coaches I Have Met would do well to emulate the good señor.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      No, not Roberto de Vicenzo…. there was another one in the past 5-6 years. De Vicenzo was involved with Bob Goalby in that scorecard issue in the 60s.

  • 70'sTarheel Reply
    2 weeks ago

    Golf is the only sport(?) that I watch. I reluctantly gave up on the Heels because of TGU and the ACC/NCAA hypocrisy- I haven’t watched or listened to a game in over a year. I still want them to win, however. The NFL lost me with the national anthem ruckus. I can honestly say I don’t miss the games. Funny how other matters of interest can fill the time. Golf still attracts me on Sunday afternoons with its gentility and occasional dramatic turn. Yesterday’s final round sure provided the drama. Like you, I didn’t care who won. It’s liberating to pull for someone to make great shots to win rather than hoping the other side fails. (Though I still hope Duke fails!)

    • BobLee Reply
      2 weeks ago

      I’m pretty sure you (and I) are not alone in our evolution as sports fans. I admit to not following golf other than the majors.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>