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Expecting a thrilling finish at the Masters

Sports Geek
Jeff Sauer
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Jeff Sauer
ALL |

Augusta National is all about perfection.

Jennifer Aniston-like perfection.

You become aware of it as soon as you get inside the gate, where an attendant insists on pouring your store-bought coffee into a Masters cup, whether you want him to or not.



Because image is everything at Augusta.

Strolling down the fairways, you notice that each blade of grass appears to have been hand-groomed with a scissors, and the spectacular azaleas, flowering crab trees and white pines that you’ve seen on television don’t give justice to the dreamlike magnificence that stands before you.



It’s 7,435 yards of sheer bliss, just waiting for the world’s top players to battle for arguably the most coveted championship in golf this week, and one thing is certain: Whoever walks away with the green jacket on Sunday will definitely have earned it.

You get the feeling that something special is about to happen at the Masters this year. Perhaps a playoff? Maybe three or four of the big names going down to the last hole? Maybe a little controversy? Something is brewing.

Rory McIlroy is motivated. He held the No. 1 ranking in the world for a single week before Luke Donald reclaimed it recently.

Probably ticked him off a bit.

Woods and Mickelson are ready. Even if they’re lagging behind going into the weekend, their birdie binge capability can vault them up the leader board faster than green grass through a goose.

Don’t count out the cagey veterans that yearn for the prize that has eluded them throughout their storied careers – Padraig Harrington, Jim Furyk and Ernie Els – all have won major championships, but not at Augusta.

This year’s tournament could be one for the ages. Tune in and watch one of the premier sporting events of the year unfold on Easter Sunday.

You won’t be disappointed.

As Jim Nantz reminds us, the Masters is a tradition unlike any other.

“Say this much for big league baseball – it is beyond question the greatest conversation piece ever invented in America.”

– Bruce Catton

So what do you do when your baseball team averages less than 18,000 fans per game over the past five years?

You rename it, spend $191 million on free agents and build a fancy new ballpark, complete with bulletproof aquariums behind home plate and a swimming pool out by the bullpen.

Build it and they will come?

Maybe.

I’m not sure why Major League Baseball oddly chose to play a couple of games in Japan last week to kick off the regular season, but the big show in America starts tomorrow night at the aforementioned home of the Miami Marlins, with the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals coming to town. Catch it on ESPN.

Whether the fans come out and support the former Florida Marlins remains to be seen. Apparently, they have a little problem with heat, humidity and rain delays down in Florida. Thus, the new retractable dome stadium will keep it nice and cozy inside.

Still, fans from South Beach are fickle about filling the stands, and attendance wasn’t all that great during their championship years.

Keep an eye on this club on the field, however. On paper, they look like they’re capable of playing deep into October.

The same can be said for another team that might make some noise this year – the Washington Nationals.

There, I said it. As hard as that was to type.

Dare I mention that the Kansas City Royals might … ?

Ah, never mind.

Let’s just be glad the boys of summer are finally back.

Jeff Sauer is a longtime western Colorado resident and former Roaring Fork Valley resident. He can be reached at soprisjeff@yahoo.com.


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