The best thing about the Masters

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 7, 2011, 5:02 pm

The tradition, the beauty, the course, the competition, the sounds – there are many reasons to love the Masters Tournament. Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell weigh in with their respective favorite thing about the men's first major of the season.


AUGUSTA, Ga. – One by one, the assembled Golf Channel crew answered the $1 million question: What is the best part of Masters week? From the Par 3 Contest to Magnolia Lane, the answers were varied and all uniquely valid.

But when you strip away all the ceremony and history, what makes the season’s first major special is the golf course, and specifically the inward loop that has decided so many Sundays.

Twenty-five years ago this week Jack Nicklaus penned the ultimate Sunday charge, a 6-under 30 that featured just two pars, an eagle and a particularly clutch birdie putt at the 17th hole.

Even Nicklaus still marvels at the twisting 12-footer that defied gravity and conventional wisdom. “I have gone back and putted that putt a hundred times since. I don't think I've ever found the exact spot or the place it was before, but it's never broken left again,” he said.

The history of the Masters has been etched across the closing nine – which, ironically, was the front nine in 1934 when Horton Smith won the first “invitational.” There is no shortage of reasons to savor Masters week, but they all begin, and end, on the back nine.


AUGUSTA, Ga. – It’s the sounds late on a Sunday. It’s how the Masters offers up the greatest symphonies in golf.

It’s the soul-stirring roars and groans in an arrangement that would move Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It’s all the sweet music rising up out of Amen Corner with the leaders playing the back nine of the final round. It’s all those patrons making like the Augusta National Philharmonic.

The U.S. Open is a terrific struggle, but it’s chamber music compared to the Masters. It’s mostly a parade of pars played to a smattering of applause. The Masters is eagles, birdies and double bogeys played to crashing cymbals and banging drum beats.

The way Amen Corner sits down in a valley, the way all those towering pines hold noise, there are no acoustics quite like it in golf.

When Augusta National’s set up best for a Sunday concert, with the flagsticks in bowls at the 13th and 16th, and accessible at the 15th, with the spirits of risk and reward warring mischievously through that whole back nine, the Masters is an experience as close to the arts as sports.

Can't wait for the music again this week, but curious who will be conducting come late Sunday afternoon.
Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm