Two Sundays ago, as I leaned backed lazily in my desk chair at The Free Press (where I’m usually deprived of Sunday sports viewing) while watching a live streaming of the 75th Masters, I came to one conclusion: golf is back and better than ever.

Adding to the azaleas and southern charm that encapsulate Masters weekend, there were seven lead changes in the final round, a fresh-faced 21-year-old’s rise to the leaderboard and epic meltdown, a legend’s surge for a fifth Green Jacket and a South African’s late break to win his first Masters on the 50th anniversary of his countryman Gary Player’s first win at Augusta. All this made for arguably the most exciting Masters in recent memory.

Even though this event — which has a special place in the hearts of many golf fans — happened two weeks ago (I know, it’s a little late), it is still on my mind, as the most hyped-up golf season of my lifetime is possibly ahead.

Tiger is on a quest to make a career comeback and his Masters performance — minus his putting woes — set the tone for what may be a preview of the rest of the season. If he can get his flat stick stroke back we may be seeing some vintage Tiger at some point in the next few months.

After being added to the list of memorable calamities in golf’s majors by giving up a four- stroke lead in the final round of the Masters, young-gun Rory McIlroy was back to business this past weekend as he finished third at the Maybank Malaysian Open. And at only 21, he seems to have many exceptional seasons ahead of him.

And then there’s Charl Schwartzel, the 26-year-old South African who came out of nowhere in the final round by parring 10 straight and finishing with four consecutive birdies to win.

Let’s not forget the talented young Aussie’s Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and Jason Day, whose drive is deemed by the press as one of the Tour’s longest.There is the even-keeled South Korean K.J. Choi, Englishmen Luke Donald, the ever-popular Phil Mickelson and many more.

It’s certainly an exciting time in the world of golf, and for myself and the many golf fans of the world, we can all agree that it makes Saturday and Sunday afternoons on the couch (or in the desk chair) all the more worthwhile.

 

 

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