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Date: 14 Apr 2007 05:31:54
From: elmer
Subject: Have These Been Discussed? (Masters)
1) All you kept hearing for the past few years is that, these days,
only a handful of people can now win the Masters because of the
alterations to Augusta National -- meaning, big hitters only. With Zach
Johnson's victory, doesn't that line of thought kind of go out the
window?

2) On a related topic, during the years when the course played wet and
long, people bitched about the conditions and how they couldn't compete
with no roll on the fairways. Now we get a dry course that played much
shorter, and what happens? Tons of bitching (albeit mostly from the
media) that the course played too much like a U.S. Open and didn't
reflect the good ol' Masters of days gone by.

3) Also related -- why all the talk that the fast course led to a
boring Masters? Compare this one, which ALWAYS had a tight leaderboard
and several different leaders, to last year's, when Phil Mickelson had
few challengers, or 2002, when Tiger Woods wasn't exactly threatened.
Don't remember hearing a lot of "boring" then. Why now? Because there
weren't zillions of birdies/eagles, and the winner had the gall to be
ranked lower than the Top 10? Memo -- this is a MAJOR ... conditions
SHOULD be difficult and challenging. And the point was made elsewhere
-- in other sports, when a Cinderella type wins, he/she/it is
celebrated as a breath of fresh air. But in golf? Too often, he/she is
referred to as a "fluke" and a non-deserving winner.


Just a hunch, but if Tiger Woods won at +2, four clear of the field,
and was never, EVER in danger of not winning -- on this very same fast,
difficult course -- there would have been little talk about boredom or
a course gone awry.





 
Date: 16 Apr 2007 05:18:39
From: rich
Subject: Re: Have These Been Discussed? (Masters)

"elmer" <eldanyoff@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:2007041401315416807-eldanyoff@gmailcom...
> 1) All you kept hearing for the past few years is that, these days, only a
> handful of people can now win the Masters because of the alterations to
> Augusta National -- meaning, big hitters only. With Zach Johnson's
> victory, doesn't that line of thought kind of go out the window?
>
> 2) On a related topic, during the years when the course played wet and
> long, people bitched about the conditions and how they couldn't compete
> with no roll on the fairways. Now we get a dry course that played much
> shorter, and what happens? Tons of bitching (albeit mostly from the media)
> that the course played too much like a U.S. Open and didn't reflect the
> good ol' Masters of days gone by.
>
> 3) Also related -- why all the talk that the fast course led to a boring
> Masters? Compare this one, which ALWAYS had a tight leaderboard and
> several different leaders, to last year's, when Phil Mickelson had few
> challengers, or 2002, when Tiger Woods wasn't exactly threatened. Don't
> remember hearing a lot of "boring" then. Why now? Because there weren't
> zillions of birdies/eagles, and the winner had the gall to be ranked lower
> than the Top 10? Memo -- this is a MAJOR ... conditions SHOULD be
> difficult and challenging. And the point was made elsewhere -- in other
> sports, when a Cinderella type wins, he/she/it is celebrated as a breath
> of fresh air. But in golf? Too often, he/she is referred to as a "fluke"
> and a non-deserving winner.

The set-up wasn't the chief culprit in the high scores, the weather - cold
and windy - was. Contrary to what they may think, ANGC can't control that.
With the exact same set-up and more typical weather I'm thinking the winning
score would be between -4 and -12 and no one would be saying boo about the
setup.




 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 20:45:39
From: Zuke
Subject: Re: Have These Been Discussed? (Masters)
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007, elmer wrote:

> 1) All you kept hearing for the past few years is that, these days, only a
> handful of people can now win the Masters because of the alterations to
> Augusta National -- meaning, big hitters only. With Zach Johnson's victory,
> doesn't that line of thought kind of go out the window?

I think they mean over the long run, which is probably still true. It
used to favor the hookers big time which is a reason Trevino never won
it. It will always favor good putters which is why you have Zach Johnson,
Billy Casper and Ben Crenshaw's name on the trophy. Not that Billy
Casper wasn't great at other aspects of the game

Do you want a more exciting Masters. Make 16, 17 and 18 10, 11 and 12.
Can you imagine the insanity if 13 and 15 were in the last three holes?




 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 10:01:10
From: David
Subject: Re: Have These Been Discussed? (Masters)
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 05:31:54 GMT, elmer <eldanyoff@gmail.com > wrote:


<snipped >

>Just a hunch, but if Tiger Woods won at +2, four clear of the field,
>and was never, EVER in danger of not winning -- on this very same fast,
>difficult course -- there would have been little talk about boredom or
>a course gone awry.

You are wrong. If Woods would have won by four, it would have made
it even more boring. The Master's is my favorite tournament of the
year. This year, however, it did not live up to its hype.

The course is too long for the very fast greens, which have
practically no straight putts. When the only way to get the ball
close to the hole is to hit a patch of green about 3 feet in diameter,
extreme length and the firmness of the greens made it impossible.

The charm of Augusta was the fact that someone could mount a charge
on the back nine and shoot a 30. The chances of this happening have
been greatly reduced. I will not say impossible, but we won'tg see it
very often.

The course set up last year was a nice compromise. There was just
enough length to make the course a bit more interesting, but not so
much that a golfer who does not drive the ball 300 yards on average
could still shoot a nice score.

If the course was playing wet and slow, it would have been a
disaster in the making and the champion would have been one of the
longer drivers of the ball. Augusta does not need to play to 7500
yards to be a great course. It was a great course long before that.

The fact is, before the modifications (tiger-proofing) took place,
the scores over the years had not really changed much. Nicklaus set
the course record in the 60's. In the 80's, someone managed to tie
the course record and then, in 1997, Woods beat the record by one
stroke.

Since that time, no one has sniffed the record. Were the changes
really necessary? I think not. They could have grown the rough a
couple of inches and left the tee boxes where they were. If you drive
the ball well, and hit a lot of greens, make a few putts, you should
be rewarded with a good score. That was not the case at this year's
Master's and, IMHO, a great deal of the charm of Augusta has
disappeared.

David




  
Date: 14 Apr 2007 20:48:31
From: Zuke
Subject: Re: Have These Been Discussed? (Masters)
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007, David wrote:

> On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 05:31:54 GMT, elmer <eldanyoff@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> <snipped>
>
>> Just a hunch, but if Tiger Woods won at +2, four clear of the field,
>> and was never, EVER in danger of not winning -- on this very same fast,
>> difficult course -- there would have been little talk about boredom or
>> a course gone awry.
>
> You are wrong. If Woods would have won by four, it would have made
> it even more boring. The Master's is my favorite tournament of the
> year. This year, however, it did not live up to its hype.
>
> The course is too long for the very fast greens, which have
> practically no straight putts. When the only way to get the ball
> close to the hole is to hit a patch of green about 3 feet in diameter,
> extreme length and the firmness of the greens made it impossible.
>
> The charm of Augusta was the fact that someone could mount a charge
> on the back nine and shoot a 30. The chances of this happening have
> been greatly reduced. I will not say impossible, but we won'tg see it
> very often.
>
> The course set up last year was a nice compromise. There was just
> enough length to make the course a bit more interesting, but not so
> much that a golfer who does not drive the ball 300 yards on average
> could still shoot a nice score.
>
> If the course was playing wet and slow, it would have been a
> disaster in the making and the champion would have been one of the
> longer drivers of the ball. Augusta does not need to play to 7500
> yards to be a great course. It was a great course long before that.
>

This is some good analysis. But nobody wants to watch guys hitting
wedges into holes. I also wonder how much the green speed has
changed over the year. That's the real dilemna. That factors into
every shot coming into the green from irons to wedges to chips and
of course to putts.
> The fact is, before the modifications (tiger-proofing) took place,
> the scores over the years had not really changed much. Nicklaus set
> the course record in the 60's. In the 80's, someone managed to tie
> the course record and then, in 1997, Woods beat the record by one
> stroke.
>
> Since that time, no one has sniffed the record. Were the changes
> really necessary? I think not. They could have grown the rough a
> couple of inches and left the tee boxes where they were. If you drive
> the ball well, and hit a lot of greens, make a few putts, you should
> be rewarded with a good score. That was not the case at this year's
> Master's and, IMHO, a great deal of the charm of Augusta has
> disappeared.
>
> David
>
>
>


   
Date: 15 Apr 2007 17:01:43
From: David
Subject: Re: Have These Been Discussed? (Masters)
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 20:48:31 -0400, Zuke <me@privacy.net > wrote:


<snipped >

>This is some good analysis. But nobody wants to watch guys hitting
>wedges into holes. I also wonder how much the green speed has
>changed over the year. That's the real dilemna. That factors into
>every shot coming into the green from irons to wedges to chips and
>of course to putts.

The greens were not always so fast. I don't remember which year,
but it was in the 60's, I believe, when they switched over to bent
grass. That is when the real speed of the greens began to show.

I agree that we don't want to see them hitting wedge in to every
hole. I think that the magic of the back nine, though, was that 13
and 15 were reachable by practically everyone who hit a solid drive.
The problem was, the golfers had to make a decision about Rae's Creek,
for example. Now, there is no more decision making. There are maybe
a handful of golfers who could consistently reach these greens and the
rest of the field is forced to lay up.

Of course, Zach Johnson did lay up on all of the par fives and
scored very well on them. If he needed to make eagle to have a
chance, though, he would have been suffering greatly.

Just because the greens were reachable, there was still no guarantee
that the ball would not end up short and in the water. Singh, and
Els, IIRC, both ended up in Rae's Creek coming down the stretch while
trying to chase Woods. That was the magic of the golf course. The
shots in to the greens were not easy, because you usually had a
downhill lie to contend with and the shot required was a high,
floating shot to a tiny bullseye on the green.

David


    
Date: 15 Apr 2007 15:48:17
From: Howard Brazee
Subject: Re: Have These Been Discussed? (Masters)
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 17:01:43 +0200, David <dgold1958@yahoo.de > wrote:

> Of course, Zach Johnson did lay up on all of the par fives and
>scored very well on them. If he needed to make eagle to have a
>chance, though, he would have been suffering greatly.

If we could guarantee this year's conditions, laying up could be the
winning strategy often. But usually the big hitters get rewarded
for going for it.


     
Date: 15 Apr 2007 20:00:08
From: David
Subject: Re: Have These Been Discussed? (Masters)
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 15:48:17 GMT, Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net >
wrote:

>On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 17:01:43 +0200, David <dgold1958@yahoo.de> wrote:
>
>> Of course, Zach Johnson did lay up on all of the par fives and
>>scored very well on them. If he needed to make eagle to have a
>>chance, though, he would have been suffering greatly.
>
>If we could guarantee this year's conditions, laying up could be the
>winning strategy often. But usually the big hitters get rewarded
>for going for it.

Howard, when the course is dry and fast, the par fives become
shorter. If the course is wet and slow, laying up will be the only
option available to 85% of the field.

David


      
Date: 15 Apr 2007 20:27:47
From: Howard Brazee
Subject: Re: Have These Been Discussed? (Masters)
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 20:00:08 +0200, David <dgold1958@yahoo.de > wrote:

>>If we could guarantee this year's conditions, laying up could be the
>>winning strategy often. But usually the big hitters get rewarded
>>for going for it.
>
> Howard, when the course is dry and fast, the par fives become
>shorter. If the course is wet and slow, laying up will be the only
>option available to 85% of the field.

Yep. A more penal green can make laying up more attractive as well.