What We Miss Without the Masters

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The day after his poignant, historic win at last year's Masters tournament, Tiger Woods took his cellphone to check for feedback on his monumental achievement.

There were hundreds of congratulatory missions on social media, but Woods was most affected by what people wanted to show him.

"I was surprised at the number of videos I got from people watching the Masters," Woods said in a conference call in February.

He continued: “I was amazed at the amount of reactions and the number of people that were sounded by the masters – the amount of emotion people showed. I didn't think so many people would be moved that way. "

No final round of the Masters will be played on Sunday. What are we going to miss? The answer was in Woods' phone.

Over time, decade after decade, the Masters have become a suggestive, collective viewing experience, a stage for great, powerful memories that illustrate recognizable human emotions: joy, pathos, redemption, despair, determination, unfortunate adversity, perseverance and purpose.

Every Sunday afternoon watching the last round in early spring, a time of renewal, is the event.

To be sure, achievements like Woods' 2019 comeback of a personal and professional collapse can be unique in each sports area, but similar mini-dramas of the human condition have played out regularly at the Augusta National Golf Club in the closing hours of a Masters Sunday. n why so many of Woods' competitors, rivals he was about to conquer, flooded the 18th green last year to witness the closing sequences.

They became no different than the fans at home who were fascinated by the unfolding scene.

Gary Woodland, the reigning champion of the United States Open, planned to fly home with his family on the last round after ending far from the lead. But when Woods completed the rankings, he hastily booked a later flight.

"I wouldn't leave," Woodland recently recalled. & # 39; I wanted to see it. I wanted to share it.

Masters officials do not reserve special seats or a reserved space for the professional golfers to watch the action if they choose to stay on the golf course after their round. The players can only wade with the ordinary people circling the last holes.

They did that to tens. It was significant to watch it with the crowd.

"Yes, there was some sort of togetherness," Rickie Fowler, one of those who stayed at the Augusta National Golf Club, recalled last month. "People more or less looked at each other and said," Is this really happening? "

"It's a scene. It's a piece of history that will stay in people's minds forever. That's what that tournament does. & # 39;

In the locker room that only for champions was located above the 18th green of that day, where space is so limited that honorary members share lockers, television was surrounded by past tournament winners. As Woods approached the final hole, Bernhard Langer, a Masters champion in 1985 and 1993, turning to his brothers, shouting, "We should all put on our green coats and be a part of it. Let's go there."

Longer, Adam Scott (Masters Champion 2012), Zach Johnson (2007), Craig Stadler (1982) and Bubba Watson (2012 & # 14; 14) screamed down the narrow spiral staircase of their private residence to join the soaring, delirious crowd that envelops the last green.

"The last day of the Masters has woo n a way to frame moments like this, "Langer said later, thronged by a growing crowd of spectators. "I'm sure someone has said it before: it's going to be like a movie set."

Twenty-five years ago, the day before the start of the Masters, Ben Crenshaw was a funeral bearer for his mentor and coach, Harvey Penick. Four days later, Crenshaw, who was in a miserable breakdown, had not been practicing all week and needed foot surgery, dissolved in tears moments after sinking an 18-inch putt to win the tournament.

"I had a 15th club in my bag this week & # 39; said Crenshaw, who was 43 years old in 2019 at the age of Woods. & # 39; That was Harvey Penick. & # 39;

A year after Crenshaw's inspiring victory in 1995, charismatic Greg Norman took a six-turn lead in the last round, his wire-to-wire flop lasted four cringe-worthy hours and lost five strokes from his playing partner Nick Faldo, who didn't celebrate after his last putt. Instead Faldo approached Norman and said, "I just want to give you a hug." Both men left the green in tears.

Phil Mickelson won the 2010 Masters about a year after his wife Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer.Weak from treatment, Amy, who was normally a fixture on the golf course, had not traveled to a tournament for 11 months before appearing behind Augusta National & # 39; s last hole for a long lasting hug from n the greenside with her husband while their three children watched nearby.

Maybe it's because the Masters have typically fallen on the calendar – the first full week of April is literally thriving with signs of revitalization – but it has the capacity to draw an awakened audience to a tournament that little by little, usually builds up to a genuine emotional release. Even the regular fan or non-golf enthusiast may know what happened to a typical Masters during the early rounds on Friday or Saturday. Maybe an invitation to a viewing party for a Sunday Masters invites interest, or is there a passionate golfer in the household who has made the last day of each Masters compulsory to watch families .

Whatever the impetus, When it seems that the final round of the Masters is winding towards one of its poignant, signature climaxes, people find their way in front of a television.

As Woods said, after his victory in 2019, he was forwarded videos of crowds gathered, on planes, airports or restaurants – just everywhere. Awesome. "

He added," There is something about that tournament. "

In the end, it's not just about what happens in that TV master setting. See how it happens.

And that's what we'll miss on Sunday.

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