Thirty years ago, Bernhard Langer helped slip the Green Jacket on to Jack Nicklaus’s back. Langer was 28 at the time and had won his first Masters, and his first major, the previous year. Nicklaus was 46.
Romain Langasque learned the merits of impeccable timing long ago. He would not have become the 2015 Amateur champion, achieved at the Carnoustie venue which has driven the world’s best golfers to the brink of meltdown, without such a virtue.
Danny Willett insisted “fate” played a crucial part in him becoming the first Englishman since Nick Faldo in 1996 to win the Masters and only the second ever to wear the green jacket.
From the brow of the bunker in the crook of the dogleg midway down Augusta’s 2nd fairway the ground falls away so steeply the course seems to unfold itself beneath your feet, a great green blanket spread across the Georgia countryside.
Mere mortals in the 89-man field gave the impression of trying to climb an ice wall while wearing slippers as Jordan Spieth had surged to eight under par and a five-shot lead.
At around 10am Ernie Els, the Big Uneasy, made his way back to the first green.
Some major championships are slow burners. The first one of the year, it is claimed, fully gets under way on Sunday’s back nine.
On Tuesday, McIlroy laid out his plan for the week. He explained that he wants to pick up strokes at Augusta National’s four par fives, the 2nd, 8th, 13th, and 15th, and “play the other holes conservatively and smartly”.
Darren Clarke remains at a loss as to why no European golfer has tasted Masters glory since José María Olazábal in 1999.
The strange aspect of the Scottish Open always relates to the potential for more than one player to emerge a winner. So it proved again at Castle Stuart on Sunday; Alex Noren took the main prize as there was cause for celebration, too, for Tyrrell Hatton, Nicolas Colsaerts, Matteo Manassero and Richie Ramsay. That quartet claimed the final automatic qualifying berths for this week’s Open Championship.
Colin Montgomerie, who was part of the successful bid to restore golf to the Olympics, has questioned those opting not to appear at this year’s Games in Rio.
Welcome to Rocky Horror Picture Show meets PGA Tour.
What a prize lies in wait if the gambler can change his ways. Arguably there would be no greater storyline at the conclusion of this US Open Championship than Phil Mickelson raising the trophy aloft, thereby completing a grand slam of majors and endorsing his status as one of the finest players in the game’s history.
Undoubtedly, Shane Lowry won’t encounter anything like the level of conspiracy theory, sniping from Olympic boxers or otherwise that was afforded to Rory McIlroy after the latter withdrew from all matters Rio last week.
Chelsea star Hazard is many things, a good golfer he is not!
Golf’s aristocracy has been enlarged to a quartet. Cynics once claimed Rickie Fowler could not be classed among the elite, that colour and character were not backed up by tangible reward. An anonymous survey of fellow players even insisted he was among the most overrated in this sport.
Even in context of the dramatic narrative which encapsulates Rory McIlroy as standard, events on Saturday at Oakmont stood out.
Dustin Johnson has admitted survival from one of the most high-profile rules incidents in golf made the claiming of the 2016 US Open all the more special.
No sooner had Davis Love III issued his strongest Ryder Cup war cry yet than Lee Westwood endorsed his status as Europe’s agent provocateur. If the event matches the preamble, there may be a need to stand back from the Hazeltine fireworks.
The first blow of the phoney war which always precedes a Ryder Cup has been landed by Lee Westwood, who has pointed towards the potentially “adverse” influence of Tiger Woods as a vice-captain of the USA.