The Masters Golf Tournament was held the first weekend in April at Augusta National, and the competition did not disappoint. For many, the Masters marks the unofficial start of the golfing season, prompting thousands to dust off their set of golf clubs. This year’s tournament was filled with exciting twists and comebacks that made it a year to remember.
The excitement began on Wednesday the 5th during the par-three contest when American golfer Tony Finau got a hole in one. Unfortunately, when he was celebrating, he dislocated his ankle, only to set it back by himself. The grizzly injury seemed to be the end of Finau’s first Masters Tournament, but shockingly, he managed to play and finished in a very respectable tenth place on Sunday.
When official played began on Thursday, many eyes fell upon Tiger Woods who was expected to make a splash at his first Masters in recent years. As the day progressed, however, Jordan Spieth was the one who received the most attention after he came from behind to take a commanding lead into Friday, making five straight birdies on the back nine.
Cold temperatures on Friday gave way to blistering golf as the competitors fought to take command of the lead. Spieth was ahead early on, but Patrick Reed put up an impressive score of 66, which earned him the outright lead. Sergio Garcia, last year’s champion, imploded on the 15th hole shooting a 13, ending any hope of a repeat victory.
Saturday was moving day, especially for Rory McIlroy who clawed his way to within three shots of the lead. Reed wasn’t about to give up his position and he continued to play consistent golf that kept a strong lead, with the help of two eagles. However, by the end of the day Saturday, the leaderboard began to fill with names looking to catch Reed who was at -15.
Sunday came with five golfers within five shots of the lead. Reed would need to keep his momentum going throughout Sunday to hold off any challenges, and he did. McIlroy lost steam, but Spieth and Rickie Fowler didn’t give up chasing Reed. Spieth shot an amazing eight under par to claw his way into third place, just two shots off the lead.
Fowler shot a respectable five under par to finish just one shot back from the champion, Reed. Many believed that Reed wasn’t going to be able to hold off Fowler and McIlroy, but he was able to prove them wrong by holding his score of -15 under par. It was Reed’s terrific performance on Saturday that gave him a large enough lead to outlast the other competitors.
As the sun set at Augusta and the coveted Green Jacket was slipped on Reed, many people around BL breathed a bittersweet sigh of relief. The last four days were tense and had many glued to their TV’s. Unfortunately, they are forced to wait a whole year to see the world’s best pace the grounds of Augusta.
Sophomore Jack Halleron, a key member of the golf team, began watching the Masters Thursday during school but waited until the weekend to binge the tournament, watching about five hours each day. Halleron said, “It’s the best tournament in the world and one of my favorite weeks of the year.” A fierce competitor on the course himself, Halleron understands the pressure Reed, Spieth, and McIlroy were under.
Come Sunday, Halleron was pulling for Reed because he was “locked in” and a “competitor.” He was pleased to see Reed put on the Green Jacket but was sad to see the tournament come to an end.
Eric Freitag, a senior on the golf team, was equally excited to watch the pros over those four days. Freitag spent about five hours watching the tournament over the weekend, in particular, Bubba Watson. Freitag was pulling for Watson because he admires his “creative shots around the course.” Unfortunately, Watson could not catch up with Reed and ended up finishing tied for fifth place.
Freitag believes the Masters is “the most important major on the nicest course.” He will surely be tuning in while at college next year.
Headmaster Post was keen on watching the Masters as he has been an avid golf fan for years. Post recalled his years as a child when he watched golf legends like Jack Nicklaus battle Arnold Palmer at Augusta and how great that was for him to see.
Post fondly remembered watching the Sunday round at Augusta with his wife’s grandfather outside Washington D.C. He said, “I have a lot of fond memories, sitting with him and watching the Sunday round.” Memories like those are what makes watching the tournament important to so many everyday golf fans.
Another Masters has come and gone, and many recreational golfers have high hopes after watching Reed’s effortless swing. The tournament this year was full of ups and downs, and Augusta National challenged even the most experienced golfers. While Fowler and Spieth put up stellar scores, Reed was able to hold and win his first ever major.