2011 Masters Final Round Chat
More than winners and losers, our panel offers up surprise picks and the style of golf they hope to see.
A year ago, Tiger Woods' return to competitive golf set the stage for a remarkable Masters week. While Woods had the attention heading in (and played what turned out to be his best tournament of the year), his long-time rival Phil Mickelson stole the show. Consecutive eagles on Saturday. A rousing final round to capture his third green jacket. Little did we know it would be the high point of both golfers' season.
A year later, we enter Augusta with Mickelson fresh off a birdie-fest victory and Tiger still limping along, having fallen to a once-unimaginable seventh in the world. Will this be the first time since 1999 that a European player — five of the top six in the world are from across the pond — emerges? Our experts weigh in.
From commemorative shoes to game consoles, the Masters brings out some of the most unique schwag that most of us will never hold in person. Just because we can't buy it doesn't mean that we don't want it. Follow along as we take a look at some of the special goods that come out during Masters week.
Last night, Stewart Cink tweeted "The Masters is the SWAG season", and that's probably the understatement of the week. In the past 24 hours, details and pictures of loads of limited edition apparel and accessories have made their way out into the public's eye and it looks like the goods this year is going to dwarf that of last year.
Though most of it is given only to Tour pros participating in the year's inaugural major, some of it is going to be released in limited numbers to the public, but all of it is extremely cool. I thought this would be a great time to wrap a lot of it up in one cohesive (though likely not comprehensive) post for your enjoyment.
I'll give you fair warning that we won't be spending a lot of time on minute details like we normally do, since, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and I've got a lot of pictures.
Favorite moment? Is Augusta National at its best? Will inclusion in a video game cheapen golf's most traditional event? How much would you pay to tee it up? All that and more.
Before each major, The Sand Trap staff offers up our (supposedly) expert predictions. But when it comes to Augusta National and the Masters, there's so much more to the event than winners and losers.
Today we held a virtual roundtable, weighing in on the history, tradition, and even controversies that make the Masters one of the highlights of the golf season.
For the first time in franchise history, the most popular golf video game includes Augusta National, along with "a tradition unlike any other."
Some people thought it would never happen, but here we stand just a few days away from the launch of EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, and for the first time ever in the 12 year old franchise, golf's closest thing to Mecca, Augusta National, will be a playable course. With Augusta National comes The Masters, as one would expect, because having the course without the tournament would be sort of like having a cake with no icing.
While we normally don't cover video games, this is a bit of a special occasion, and this might be that one piece of must-have equipment that gets you through those days you can't make it out to the real golf course.
I'll be focusing on fitness and consistency this year, and hopefully they'll go hand in hand.
As if winter in the Northeast would never end, I'd convinced myself weeks ago to quit thinking about anything but the driving range. But suddenly, March arrived in New Jersey, the temperatures spiked, cleared away the mountains of snow, and there was hope my home course would open as scheduled on March 12.
So what happened on March 10? Some of the heaviest rains we'd seen in years. It was a real shock then, that I called the pro shop to see how bad the course was hit by the storm when they told me it was full steam ahead for a regular opening. Caught off guard, and with no time to fixate on the first round of the year, I headed out for a casual, just-have-fun day on the course.
Now that it's arrived, I realize that with a new season comes hope of better golf, as well as fears it will all go wrong. With most of the country out of the deep freeze and spring fever cranking up, I offer up my resolutions for the 2011 golf season.
Nike's new Lunar Control shoes keep you firmly planted here on earth.
Though Nike's line of golf equipment has expanded over the years to include for the most part, anything you'd ever need, they continue to stay true to their footwear roots year after year by offering everything from the radical to sporty to premier/upper echelon. They've established a great practice of producing shoes for just about anyone, no matter what their looking for. This year marks the initial release of the Nike Lunar Control, a shoe that, in my opinion, could easily appeal to nearly everyone, young or old, traditional or modern, those seeking comfort over anything else, as well as those concerned with appearance above all. Though this is only the first year they've been available, after searching the Internet a bit, it seems that they've already gotten quite a fan base.
What makes them so great? Well, you'll have to follow along to find out.