Monday, April 14, 2003

The Masters

What was Tiger thinking? He himself says that the least reliable part of his game is driving accuracy. He himself knows that he can stripe that knock-down 2-iron 250 yards. And yet he went with the driver on the third hole (a short --350-yard -- par four) and he never really recovered. The decision was all the more astonishing because Tiger's course management skills, especially in major championships, are legendary.

The absence of a Tiger charge deflated the last two hours of Sunday's broadcast. Two things stood out: Mike Weir's steady putting and Jeff Maggert's professionalism. Weir three-putted only once during the entire tournament and he made four-footer after five-footer all day Sunday. Maggert watched his day turn to ashes with a triple-bogey on the front and then a snowman (an 8) on the 12th hole. But he never quit, and went on to birdie 14,15 and 16. He finished the tournament under par, a testament to his ability and character.