By Mick Holien
Here it is past mid-week already and the Masters for some is stored away in our memory bank.
And everybody had a player they were rooting for.
Maybe it was 2015 winner Jordan Spieth, who seems to always be sniffing at a tournament lead sitting just a couple of birds back.
There are plenty of young turks to choose from with a variety of games, from long drivers to precision putters.
Sunday the young stars were all hovering and of course Phil with a monster round also could have been in the mix but while distracted a bit with Matt Kuchar’s ace on the course’s last par three, you could feel as the fairways began to fade away oh-fer, as is the Spaniard Sergio Garcia, was playing his way into the crowd’s favor.
Indeed that has not always been the case with the crowd as Garcia previously has criticized American galleries for their raucous language and rude behavior.
Some of his criticism is no doubt warranted but let’s face it he doesn’t exactly carry himself amicably.
Even though Garcia squandered a back-nine two shot lead on Sunday he battled through to find himself left a single putt for the W but his shot trailed badly and after 72 holes it was back to the 18th for a winner-take-all playoff with 20-tournament winner Justin Rose..
With a well-placed drive now left two putts to claim the green jacket, Sergio used most of the cup before the ball dropped home and jubilation ensued.
The hard arm pump toward the gallery and Sergio’s displayed deep emotion told one story but the scenario I was most impressed with was more about the support each player passed to his fellow competitor, good friend and former Ryder Cup teammate.
Not only was it evident on the greens and walking down the fairways but in victory lane Garcia even stopped to pay pleasantries to Rose’s even extended family.
It certainly was fitting especially considering the rich tradition that surrounds the Augusta course and the Masters tournament.
Not just a deep sense of respect but the two competitors almost kibitzing on the last three or four holes was extremely refreshing especially considering they both were vying for their first Masters crown.
For a non-golfer there’s just something about the PGA where each player demonstrates either by manner or dress a different personality and game approach.
I guess I’m hooked.