Sergio Garcia doesn't like playing in the Masters at Augusta National - and that's okay
It looks like the Golf Channel was able to get to Sergio Garcia (my idiotic pick to win the Masters and every major for the rest of our lives until he wins one) following his Sunday round at exactly the right time, because they got a golden nugget of a pissy-sounding bite from him regarding his thoughts on Augusta National following his T38 finish at the 2009 Masters:
“I don’t like it to tell you the truth,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair. It’s too tricky. Even when it’s dry you still get mud balls in the middle of the fairway. It’s too much of a guessing game. They can do whatever they want. It’s not my problem. I just come here and play and then go home. That’s about it.”
He issued an apology today through his management company (an apology so formulaic I can’t help but think Sergio didn’t write a word of it). I don’t think he needed to eat crow anyway.
It’s okay to not like a golf course or a tournament. True, he’s a bit of an idiot for saying it’s “too hard” when the winner shoots 12-under par and 34 players finished in red numbers. He probably should have just said it doesn’t suit his game because his putting isn’t good enough for the greens and he doesn’t prepare for major championships as thoroughly as other players. I blame his choice of words on a frustrated round.
But he does have a point about “mud balls” (sorta sounds like the name of a southern rock band). Even Kenny Perry said he got a mud ball on the second playoff hole in the fairway which caused his approach to go dead left.
What’s also strange is that the golf media is skewering Garcia for whining about Augusta National, yet a very large group of writers are livid about Augusta National’s new top ranking in Golf Digest’s Top 100 list, based on what some call “butchering” of the old Mackenzie design and their persistence on spending an astronomical amount of money on maitenenance and aestetics in an age where “going green” really means “going brown".
This is also the same media that ripped the course to shreds over the last two years for a lack of birdies and anti-climactic endings that produced low-ranked, “fluke” winners (speaking of, Cabrera is the lowest-ranked player to ever win the Green Jacket). Now they’re ripping Sergio for basically agreeing with them.
I have my reservations about Augusta National, although there are a few holes, like No. 15 and No. 10 that I would love to play. My biggest beef is that despite such public adoration, they don’t let the public get a whiff of a chance at a tee time here. I don’t see why any course, anywhere in the world, can’t offer at least an hour block of public tee times during the weekday. I was just at the “Augusta National of Europe", Valderrama, which offers a two-hour block every day to the public, even though they don’t need to. I wish Sergio would have mentioned that…
Until Augusta National chooses to allow at least limited public play, The Masters will always be the third major behind the 2. U.S. Open and 1. Open Championship in my eyes. And I’m guessing my boy Sergio agrees with me on this.
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Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer or Tiger Woods wouldn't even think that way. That's why they are champions and he is not. What a poor sport!!!
Just swallow your medicine.
By Johnathan Vrozos
I absolutely think not letting the public play a golf course takes away from a tournament. When folks watch the upcoming US Opens at public venues, they'll be thinking in the back of their head they can play it in the future. With Augusta, the closest they can realistically get to it is a practice round badge.
And yes, it does suck to know I'll never be able to play this particularly gorgeous course. (not that I'd ever even speculate on what my score might be.
And I agree with your assessment that every course should open some time to the public. Golf by its foundations is an elitist sport...but the days of that level of elite discrimination should be over. If we're letting the likes of Boo Weekley in, surely we can allow Joe Plumber to golf a twilight round at Augusta on a Tuesday afternoon, no?
Garcia just cost bookmakers a bunch of money because nobody will bet on him now. And with that attitude he has zero chance of ever winning.
Answer: Sergio Garcia - Top of the list
Apply max. handicap to protect course?
doesn't this guy have an editor?
As to the National allowing public play, I live in Augusta and it took me 35 years to play a round there. This suggestion is like the Vatican having a 'Baptist Preacher Day' every Tuesday.....just ain't gonna happen.