TV and The Masters

By Brian HewittApril 9, 2008, 4:00 pm
Jason Gore couldnt get enough of a great thing.
Like many young boys smitten by the game and ravenous for more golf, Gore feasted on The Masters, the sports handsomest major tournament and its internationally-acclaimed annual rite of spring.
Into his living room, gift-wrapped in drama, came the broadcast of the 1986 Masters at which an aging 46-year-old legend named Jack Nicklaus took the Sunday measure of the back nine at Augusta National.
Its the reason why we all play golf, says Gore, who would grow up to play and win on the PGA TOUR. Its the only tournament I watch on TV.
Gore was 11 years old that year when Nicklaus navigated the back nine in 30 strikes to hold off an ascendant Greg Norman.
Verne Lundquist saying, Yessir. Ben Wright saying, Jack Nicklaus, waiting for absolute silence.'' Gore recites.
If Caddyshack is the film of choice for a generation of TOUR players, The Masters is the made-for-TV extravaganza that annually offers a sequel to itself that, with rare exception, delivers a compelling storyline.
Gore says he was probably in college when his VHS tape of Nicklaus Sunday charge broke from overuse. Last Christmas, his wife Megan replaced the damaged treasure with a DVD of the 1986 Masters.
Ive watched the 1986 Masters almost 2-1 over Caddyshack, Gore says now.
He watches it every day, Megan Gore clarifies.
Australian Tour pro Nathan Green was 10 years old in 1986 and just getting into golf when he got up at 4 a.m. at his home in Newcastle, New South Wales. When the broadcast was over it was time to go to school.
In 1996 Norman lost again, this time to Nick Faldo after talking a 6-shot lead into the final round. Faldos precise 67 in the face of Normans floundering 78 was the golfing equivalent of watching someone pick the wings off of a fly.
In Australia, the 1996 Masters was a blow to national pride and a tournament that would live in sporting infamy. I remember having a kind of gutted feeling, Green said. The whole country was gutted.
All across the world, boys have glued themselves to their television sets and dreamed of playing at Augusta National on the second Sunday in April.
Winning? Thats pretty much of a pipe dream, says Green, who has yet to play in his first Masters but is acutely aware of the potential for serendipity of his surname there.
Ian Poulters fashion statements had yet to be made when, as a boy, he watched the telecasts of The Masters at home in England.
I remember Woosies (Ian Woosnam) putt for birdie on 18 (in 1991) and Sandy Lyles putt for birdie on 18 (in 1988), Poulter says. Both were winning strokes, for the Welshman and the Scot, respectively.
I remember Seve (Ballesteros) with a 4-iron in his hand in 1986 (on the 15th on Sunday), Poulter recalls. The ball wound up in the water. Watching The Masters was huge growing up in England. It was great. Even when the Euro didnt beat the Legend.
Boo Weekley will proudly tell you he doesnt watch golf on TV because, he says, hed rather be out hunting and fishing. But in the next breath hell admit he caught Tiger Woods Sunday shot-heard-round-the-world chip-in on the par-3 16th at Augusta three years ago.
Weekleys high school teammate, Heath Slocum, was 12 years old and hanging out in the North Florida pro shop where his dad worked when the crowd swelled in the pro shop. Yes, the 1986 Masters was on the tube there, too.
Im sure there was some hootin and hollerin, Slocum says now. Im sure I had a club in my hand trying to make every shot he (Nicklaus) made.
This year at Augusta, Weekley and Slocum will both be playing in their first Masters.
And Mike Hulbert, who will turn 50 the week after the tournament, will be doing the Live From Amen Corner broadcasts.
In the Hulbert household in New York watching The Masters on TV was woven into the fabric of the family culture. We were kind of golf nuts and sports geeks, he says. We didnt miss a beat.
Hulbert would go on to play in four Masters, the first one in 1987. But he still remembers watching the 1979 Masters on television when Fuzzy Zoeller tossed his putter to the heavens after defeating Ed Sneed and Tom Watson in a playoff.
I still want to know where that putter ended up, Hulbert says.
Zoeller ended up in the Butler Cabin wearing a green jacket. TV was there for that moment, too.
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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."