If there is one sporting event that brings out the pure sports fan in me, it has to be The Masters. As on of the four major championships on the PGA tour, it is the tournament that marks the beginning of spring and all of the wonderful events that come along with the season. From a very young age, my Dad has always been a huge golf fan. Nicklaus, Palmer and Faldo were all common names and my house and we all knew that Sunday meant that the final round was going to be on the T.V. all day. I couldn’t tell you what half of the golf courses are named or who won each tournament, but my Dad can tell you that Jack Nicklaus shot a six under par 30 on the back nine at the Masters in 1986 to win his 18th major championship.
For all of the ladies out there, picture the Augusta National Golf Club like a scene from The Notebook. A huge white clubhouse marks the entrance with hundreds of beautiful flowers surrounding it. The Georgia sun is shining and I’m pretty sure that most of the gentlemen there have southern accents. I’m sorry Ryan Gosling, but you have nothing compared to this golf course. The course, which was once a plant nursery, has so many natural elements that add to the experience. The stone bridges and pristine fairways have been the back drop to some of the most exciting matches in PGA history. The Nelson Bridge is one of the most iconic scenes on the course. Part of “Amen corner,” the stone bridge that takes golfers to the 13th flag. If the scenery isn’t catching your attention and exiting golf is more of your thing, don’t worry, I can talk about that too.
Let’s remember 1960, when the great Arnold Palmer sunk a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th to tie for the lead. Palmer then became only the second player ever to birdie the 18th and secure his green jacket. The 1989 Masters tournament is always the one that sticks out in my mind. My Dad has called this tournament one of his best memories and is able to make Jack Nicklaus sound like a superhero. Nicklaus, who was 46 years old, birdies 9, 10 and 11 and storms from behind. “The shot,” comes on the 15th when he strikes his 4-iron to ultimately eagle the hole. Birdies on the next two holes pushes him to the top of the leaderboard. He secures his 6th green jacket, when many thought he was too old to do so. It is a classic underdog story that normally come from the Masters Tournament. Want to experience the magic for yourself? I have the tournament on VHS and DVD!
Augusta National is a place that will forever hold a lot of memories not only for me, but for sports fans of any age. What sporting event sticks out in your mind as a favorite? I would love to hear about your favorite sports venue!