A Tradition Unlike Any Other

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Nick Schallmo, Writer

The world completely shutdown when the unexpected happened in March of 2020. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 virus meant that everything was postponed, including the world’s greatest golf tournament: The Masters. Filled with exceptional camaraderie and great competition, this tradition had to be put off until further notice. At one point, fans weren’t even sure if golf was going to happen this year, but it did.

Before:

A four-day tournament held at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, it is scheduled to start Thursday, November 12, with the first group scheduled to tee off at 7 a.m sharp eastern time.

There will be no fans in attendance, which has been looming over everybody’s heads for the past 6 months. Fans are the energy and the other piece of these tournaments that the players need, averaging around 250,000 attendees every year. As shown by previous tournaments that have already been held this year, the players just don’t feel the same emotion as they do when fans attend. It really will be different.

Leading up to the tournament, there have been many storylines: John Rahm’s skip shot ace at the par 3 16th hole during one of his practice rounds. Yes, you read it correctly. Playing just under 167 yards, John Rahm intentionally skipped the ball across the pond and into the hole across the water. This young man is filled with so much talent, and his approach to his 4th Masters will be very interesting.

Tiger Woods. I mean when has there not been a story surrounding Tiger if he is playing in another Masters? The drama seems to be endless, although the story itself changes from year to year. His health has been questionable ever since back problems first arose in February of 2009. Going through multiple surgeries, Tiger has fought his way back to the top, claiming his 5th green jacket 19 months ago at the 83rd Masters. Let’s see if he can make it 6.

What will Bryson DeChambeau look like? Before the tournament, Tiger Woods actually said that he hasn’t seen anyone get as much attention before the Masters tournament since he did 20 years ago. DeChambeau has absolutely taken this game to a whole other level that involves physics and physical strength like no one before him, and like no one imagined. How will it play out?

After:

The first group was just ready to tee off, and — Mother Nature found another way to postpone play. A weather delay hit the players Thursday morning that stopped play, resulting in the tournament being behind schedule all the way until Sunday. The players had to make up the holes Friday and Saturday mornings and evenings.

After round 1, the leaderboard was pretty evenly distributed, with Paul Casey leading the field along with Dustin Johnson. Round 2 concluded with Dustin Johnson remaining atop the charts, with a steady 2 under par 70 to stay in a tie for first place.

And then it was all Dustin.

3 rounds in, the tournament was in total control by Dustin Johnson. He lengthened his lead early in his round with an eagle at the famous 2nd hole, followed by two birdies. He set himself up nicely for the final round.

And finally, after his 72nd hole, Dustin Johnson claimed victory over the young prospect Sungjae Im and Australian Cameron Smith.

The whole weekend, the weather had been weird. The 4th round was by far the hardest, with the ground drying out and the winds swirling, but Johnson prevailed to win it by 5 strokes.

This truly was a tournament unlike any other. Tiger Woods said mid-tournament, “The putts just aren’t breaking as much.” Everything was different, and the players saw conditions they had never experienced before at Augusta, largely due to the fact that they played the course in November versus the traditional April. Regardless, the players adjusted to the circumstances quite admirably and put on quite a show.

In the end, only one man got the green jacket, and that was Dustin Johnson.