Observations on the Masters Tournament Sunday 2021

 

crossed golf clubsFirst, it is still proudly the Masters in 2021. It is still the Masters in Georgia in 2021, and the course and clubhouse are not festooned with self-abasing slogans. I am only a very casual fan of sports, prefer high-level mixed martial arts to most other professional sports, and yet enjoy watching a good final round of golf played by the best in the world. This Sunday afternoon, after three preceding days of play, a Japanese man stood at the top of the leader board, with four men tied four strokes back. As they all turned onto the back nine, Hideki Matsuyama was holding or extending his lead one hole at a time. This was compelling viewing, versus the not-so-earnest politicized nonsense being put on by basketball and baseball organizations.

I say not-so-earnest because the NBA courts are now missing the big bold signs signaling supposed virtue. They seem to be back to trying to pay their massive salary overhead with commercial sponsors’ branding. The college basketball courts still had the false premises “UNITY” “EQUALITY” painted in bold all caps on their sidelines for the NCAA basketball tournament. My read of the signs on the two levels of men’s basketball is that the NBA players, who entirely control their league, have declared mission accomplished. Their parlor pink comrades are in full control of the national government, which was the whole point of the past year’s posturing. Never mind that President Trump was objectively better for black Americans of every economic level and showed more real respect for black citizens than the party of Xiden and the KKK ever has. The vanguard of the proletariat gets paid in every “people’s revolution.”

But let’s not spoil a perfectly good Sunday afternoon with the antics of the super-rich. Let’s enjoy a really great walk unspoiled by athletes striking political poses instead of balls.

Matsuyama started the day poorly, while a young player, Will Zalatoris, seemed to be on fire, closing to a one-stroke difference over the first few holes. But then Zalatoris stumbled a bit and Matsuyama showed championship resilience, opening the lead and holding it even as some of his drives off the tee landed in pine needles between trees flanking the course. With five holes to play, the final pair, Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele were right where they started the day, with Schauffele in second place trailing the leader by four strokes. Matsuyama found the water, then Schauffele found the water. As they teed off on the final hole, Matuyama and Schauffele were exactly where they started the day (-11, -7), so the only way Matuyama could NOT win was if he double-bogeyed, putting himself in a playoff with Zalatoris, waiting in the clubhouse at -9 for the tournament.

Matuyama bogeyed the final hole, winning the Masters by one stroke at (-10). So it was that a 29-year-old Japanese player walked off the course into history, becoming the first Asian man to win the Masters golf tournament and the first Japanese man to win one of golf’s majors. Mind you, if the race police had not force Tiger Woods to renounce his early multi-racial identity, he would have been both the first black and first Asian man to win the Masters. There surely will be a dip in productivity in Japan this week, as the nation watched in the middle of the night for their first native son to join their countrywoman, Chako Higuchi, who won the LPGA Championship in 1977. Indeed, as Hideki Matsuyama teed off on the final hole, his compatriots were likely listening and watching on their smartphones as they hustled into their places of work Monday morning.

If five hours of golf is too much for you, there is a harder, faster sporting option. National What League? National Who Association? Dude, Florida is open for business, and Dana White is bringing the show live to 15,000 screaming UFC fans, with three championship fights topping the UFC-261 card at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida. The first huge post-China-virus event will feature the first Chinese champion, Zhang “Magnum” Weili, defending her strawweight title against American former champion Rose “Thug” Namajunas. Yes, this is one institution where real diversity is a strength, as the other top billings go to a Nigerian champion facing a Miami native and a Kyrgyzstani champion defending her belt against a Brazilian former champion.

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  1. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    It might be more entertaining if the golfers fought one another in mixed martial arts, and the fighters played golf against one another. 

    I, for one, would tune in…

    • #1
  2. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    It might be more entertaining if the golfers fought one another in mixed martial arts, and the fighters played golf against one another.

    I, for one, would tune in…

    As long as You can’t hit other players’ balls.

    • #2
  3. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    It might be more entertaining if the golfers fought one another in mixed martial arts, and the fighters played golf against one another.

    I, for one, would tune in…

    As long as You can’t hit other players’ balls.

    There is a five minute time out for that!

    • #3
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    It might be more entertaining if the golfers fought one another in mixed martial arts, and the fighters played golf against one another.

    I, for one, would tune in…

    That is sort of NHL and North American club/semi-pro hockey.

    • #4
  5. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    It might be more entertaining if the golfers fought one another in mixed martial arts, and the fighters played golf against one another.

    I, for one, would tune in…

    Isn’t training for such an event the thing that started Tiger Woods’ back problems?

    • #5
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    It might be more entertaining if the golfers fought one another in mixed martial arts, and the fighters played golf against one another.

    I, for one, would tune in…

    Isn’t training for such an event the thing that started Tiger Woods’ back problems?

    Well played.

    • #6
  7. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    That fist fight between Happy Gilmore and Bob Barker between holes.   https://youtu.be/8QJiAK-s5a0?t=90

     

     

     

    • #7
  8. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Clifford A. Brown: a Japanese man stood at the top of the leader board

    Isn’t it amazing he didn’t need an affirmative action program to address all those years of anti-Asian racism that kept them from winning a green jacket . . .

    But seriously, this was a great tournament with drama at the end – and the weather didn’t ruin things! (Just a delay.)

    • #8
  9. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Clifford A. Brown: This was compelling viewing, versus the not-so-earnest politicized nonsense being put on by basketball and baseball organizations.

    Do you know the secret on how they do this? 

    Augusta National only deals in one-year contracts AND they pay for the production. CBS will bill them (probably by the end of the month) and the club will get their corporate partners to pony up the cost. And some year should CBS screw it up and decided THEY want to set the editorial control of the telecast Disney or Comcast will gladly take their place the following year.

    • #9
  10. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris Oler
    @ChrisO

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    It might be more entertaining if the golfers fought one another in mixed martial arts, and the fighters played golf against one another.

    I, for one, would tune in…

    How soon we forget.

    I’ll add that Hideki Matsuyama seems like a terrific champion. He talked a lot about wanting to inspire young players in Japan. Seems a very humble, down to Earth guy. What did he do during the rain delay? Sat in his car and played games on his phone.

    • #10
  11. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Chris Oler (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    It might be more entertaining if the golfers fought one another in mixed martial arts, and the fighters played golf against one another.

    I, for one, would tune in…

    How soon we forget.

    I’ll add that Hideki Matsuyama seems like a terrific champion. He talked a lot about wanting to inspire young players in Japan. Seems a very humble, down to Earth guy. What did he do during the rain delay? Sat in his car and played games on his phone.

    I tried to find it on the internet, but the comedy show Almost Live always started with a “XYZ will not be seen tonight.  Instead, we bring you the following programming.”

    One of the intros was “Australian Rules Football.”  It was the same thing, with a guy putting then getting creamed.

    • #11
  12. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Stad (View Comment):
    Almost Live

    Here you are, it was “Australian Rules Golf,” playing off Australian Rules Football:

    https://youtu.be/vOhsn20IsDU

    • #12
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Here is the official Masters video of every shot from Hideki Matsuyama’s Masters-winning final round. Watch the lower left for the tally of shots. A square around the number of shots for a hole means “bogey” or one shot too many. A circle means “birdie” or one shot better than the hole is rated. No marking means “par” for the hole. This video runs 11:11.

     

    • #13