(Page 2 of 3)
As Tiger said early in the week, “You don’t shoot low scores around here anymore.” The Masters used to be a lot more fun.
IN 1991, ON FRIDAY, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson came to the twelfth tee. Watson, leading the tournament, took his quick, athletic swing and hit what Steve Melnyk called “a gorgeous shot” about four feet directly over the flag. Nicklaus hit a slight push that bounced on the bank in front of the green and rolled back into Ray’s Creek.
“You dumb son of a bitch,” Nicklaus muttered, barely audibly.
From the marked drop area, Nicklaus took his third shot. “The unthinkable has happened,” Melnyk said. “Jack tried to get too cute with it.” The ball spun back into the creek once again.
When Nicklaus finally finished the hole, he had made quadruple bogey, a seven. Watson, put off his stride by the long wait, missed his short putt.
Jose Maria Olazabal had already quadruple bogied the par three sixth. These two remarkable quads set the tournament abuzz.
Nicklaus hit the par-five thirteenth in two (“the greatest long iron player ever; this is right up his alley,” said Tom Weiskopf) and made a difficult two-putt birdie. Watson’s eagle putt pulled up short. Nicklaus stiffed it on fourteen; Watson, a little outside, missed. Nicklaus made.
Both Nicklaus and Watson hit the par five fifteenth in two. Nicklaus hit the hole with his eagle putt, settled for birdie. Watson eagled.
Ahead of them by a couple of pairings, Olazabal had pulled his score back, too, so much so that when he birdied the fifteenth himself, if it hadn’t been for his quad, he would have been leading the tournament.
“Golf is all about what might have been” said the plummy-voiced Oxbridgian Ben Wright.
THE GREAT NICKLAUS three-birdie run seemed to have come to an end at the sixteenth. The par three flag was placed front right on the crest of a steep knob, with the entire green falling away steeply to the left. Hit the ball anywhere except right on that tabletop, and it would roll away thirty-five feet to the lower left.
Nicklaus and Watson both hit close to the flag, but not close enough, and their golf balls rolled down the slope, ending up close together at the bottom of the hill. Now began once of the most remarkable sequences ever seen at the Masters, or at any other golf tournament.
Nicklaus first. He rapped his putt hard up the hill, and as it lost speed and turned hard to the right, almost in a buttonhook, Ben Wright began to murmur, “That’s an awfully good putt, Jack” and then to shout “what a great putt!” as the ball fell in the hole.
Jack took an amazed bow and did his “thank you” wave to the Heavens. Now Watson. With a devilish expression on his face, he stroked his putt hard up the hill too, and it, too, made the buttonhook turn and fell in the hole. All of Augusta National seemed to erupt in the roar, and Watson and Nicklaus, smiling at each other, headed for the seventeenth hole.
Right behind them came Fred Couples and Mark McCumber. McCumber and Couples hit near-identical tee shots to Watson and Nicklaus. (“Go in the hole!” yelled one fan after McCumber hit. “Naw, it’s gonna go in the same place they all go, no matter where you hit it,” McCumber said.)
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online