The Road to the Lanes a Bit Bumpy


Never, it seems, has the road to Magnolia Lane been so difficult. And we're not just talking about what it takes for the players to get to Augusta National. This year's Masters will never be forgotten - that's for sure!
Martha BurkAnd it hasn't even happened yet.
How much of the 'Hootie vs. Martha' controversy can we take and still somehow be excited about the tournament at hand? That's for everyone to answer. Unfortunately, Hootie Johnson's been talked about more than Tiger Woods. And Martha Burk has been a topic more than Phil Mickelson. Heck, recently, Rev. Jesse Jackson's talked about making an appearance and he's not anywhere near the top 50 in the World Golf Ranking! And let's not forget about the Ku Klux Klan, who seems to want a piece of the year's first major as well these days.
As easy as it might seem to say 'all right, enough's enough,' it's just not that easy. And so, not taking sides, what's to be expected is really the unexpected.
The rest of this column will focus on golf however, as I try to move beyond what has been a major distraction for the sport and the tournament that golf fans seem to equate with the true start of the golf season.
So, here's some storylines deserving of attention from the true golfer.
Tiger Woods1. Tiger goes for three straight - what could be better than that? 2. Perhaps Phil winning his first, his first of any kind, after coming back from paternity leave.
3. Ernie finally finds the green jacket - the one he's really wanted since he was a kid. That'd shake up the debate of who's No. 1... or would it?
4. Possibly Jack, making yet another run. Now that would be news!
5. Monty says he's going to play perhaps 12 in the States. How about the Scotsman making his mark on American soil at Augusta?
Jack Nicklaus6. Canadian Mike Weir??? Who'd be thinking about the Stanley Cup?
7. Charles Howell III.... watch the Augusta kid win it in his backyard? Could be the best story of the year.
8. Davis Love III finally puts it together and sports the green instead of the tartan a week later at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
9. Final twosome on Sunday - Adam Scott vs. Aaron Baddeley. The future is now? Take that Tiger.
10. Hoch sinks two-footer to win the Masters. Paybacks from the golfing gods.
These are all possibilites - some more realistic than others. It's just nice to put them down in print, don't you think? I can't think of many other articles I've read lately that put the focus on what might actually go on inside the ropes.
The road might be a little bumpy before we hit Magnolia Lane. But, if the Masters tells us one thing - it's that, more often than not, come the Monday after the final putt is holed, we'll be given something great to talk about.
I just hope the players can squeeze inside the gates without incident to make it all happen.
Related Links:
  • 2003 Masters Tournament Mini-Site
  • Tournament Coverage
  • The Augusta National Membership Debate: A Chronology