Wall Street Journal Reporter & Golf Columnist John Paul Newport was in attendance at Cypress Point Club earlier this week for the celebration of “The Match” which featured Davis Love III, Nick Watney, Bubba Watson, and Rickie Fowler. Just being at Cypress Point is a very special experience and it was the first time in his life that he had the chance to walk the course. The weather was absolutely perfect and only about 200 people were on the course to follow this match with no gallery ropes.
The idea of having two amateurs participate earlier this week was not considered in part because times have changed so much. Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward were amateurs in 1956 but they could still compete with the best players in the world on a regular basis in part because they were career amateurs. The best amateur golfers today are collegiate players and even the best collegiate players are not comparable to Venturi and Ward. The original idea for this celebration was to pair the elder statemen Love III and Couples together against the younger duo of Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler.
It was unfortunate that Davis Love III and Fred Couples were unable to team together as Couples had to withdraw due to a health issue because they would be ideal for any celebration of this special match. A very special moment occurred when Nick Watney made an eagle on the 10th hole because Ben Hogan had eagled the hole during the original “Match.”