The events at golf's first major, the Masters in Augusta, GA, and in the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Golden State Warriors made Friday, April 12th historic, and almost cataclysmic. At the Masters, the youngest player, 14 year-old, Tianlang Guan, and the best player, world #1 Tiger Woods could have possibly turned the sports world upside down by rulings. Then to see Kobe Bryant, the Lakers' franchise player and 15-time all-star go down with what looked like a torn Achilles tendon; sports fans had to take a moment.
Guan, the Asia-Pacific amateur champ from China, was assessed a penalty shot at the Augusta National Golf Club on Friday. His playing group included the oldest player, Ben Crenshaw at 61, and Matteo Manassero. Everyone was extremely slow on Friday; backing off many shots, waiting for the wind, and pacing/sighting putts multiple times. Guan was made an example of and penalized after his 2nd shot on hole #17 when he exceeded 40-seconds, violating Rule 6-7.
There something so comforting and ceremonial to adhere to some old traditions. However, it is so refreshing and inspiring to see some new customs pave the way, or set the standard.
Having played with white balls for many years, it was nice to see the optic yellow balls come into play for increased visibility. Yet, playing with white golf balls seems so normal.
It was nice to see Jackie Robinson, #42, playing baseball because talent comes in all shapes and colors. It was exciting to see Tiger Woods win his first Master's green jacket awarded to the tournament champion, because hard work pays off no matter who you are.
What trumped all of this was when I saw former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stroll down Augusta in a green jacket as an Augusta National Golf Club member proving that no matter when it's done, doing the right thing is timeless and foremost. Rice's jacket signified her membership along with Daria Moore, as the first two women to be admitted to the Augusta Golf Club as members.
In his first start of the 2013 PGA Tour season, Tiger Woods looked like his dominant self with a four shot win in the Farmers Insurance Open. Woods finished 14 under par after a final round 72. The win is Woods’ eighth at Torrey Pines, the most of any course in his career and a PGA Tour record.
The Monday finish was the Tour’s second finish not on a Sunday this year already. The season opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions was delayed three days due to wind and rain. Saturday’s third round was delayed until Sunday due to fog covering the course.
After missing the cut in his first event of the new year in Abu Dhabi, Woods returned to the states with a bang. After opening with a first round 68, Tiger fired in a seven under par 65 on day two on the easier North Course.
After the third round postponement due to fog, Woods came back on Sunday to shoot a three under 69. With a four shot lead going into the final round, it seemed as though Woods would be hard to catch.
To kick off the PGA Tour season, a field of 30 winners from the 2012 season teed it up in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua’s Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii.
Unlike most tour events, the Tournament of Champions starts on a Friday and ends on a Monday, usually. This years event was marred by mother nature, who didn’t want to see golf played. The start of the tournament, originally scheduled for Friday, wasn’t officially started until Monday, the day it was supposed to finish.
After beginning play on Friday, tour officials were forced to call the players in and later determined the round a “wash”, due to inclement weather. With heavy pockets of rain, and wins gusting above 40 MPH at times, the course was virtually unplayable. After being unable to play on Saturday, players and officials gave it another go on Sunday, starting the round but ultimately calling is a “wash” as well due to high winds. For the tour a "wash" means that any golf that has been played does not count and the scores resent with everyone at even par.
American golfer Steve Stricker plans on going into semi-retirement this season. Wait, semi-retirement? Stricker, who has had many bumps in the road during his career, has decided to scale back on the amount of tournament’s he will participate in during the 2013 PGA Tour season.
Stricker will kick off the PGA Tour season with 30 other golfers, winners from the pervious season on tour at the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii. Stricker will look to defend his title at Kapalua’s Plantation Course.
Though he has had much success over the past six years, winning roughly $25 Million, Stricker is going to cut back to around roughly ten tournaments.