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The Aussies AT AugusTA
While Scott had had plenty of experience
in defending titles, he’d never had to defend
a major before, and at the Masters there
are more distractions than anywhere else.
Champions Dinner, all the extra media and
family attention plus new surrounds like the
Champion’s locker room unknowingly take
a toll. Watson spoke of such pressure in his
winner’s interview in Butler Cabin last year.
Expectations on the defending champion are
greater than we give credit for, and don’t forget
Adam had organised a “surprise wedding” with
Marie in the Bahamas for the week, which also
had to be in the back of his mind. In hindsight
his T16 wasn’t too bad.
Now in the forefront of his mind is being
a father, as Marie gave birth to a little girl,
Bo Vera, in mid-February. What impact that
has on his game is hard to assess. Some
use it to drive them on to greater success—
Nicklaus, Mickelson, while others struggle,
Knowing Adam and his maturity, plus a
wonderful ability to compartmentalise his
life, I think he’ll handle it with the same poise
and class as he has throughout his career.
But those with kids know there’s no way
to truly prepare for parenthood, there’s no
magic handbook, just learn as you go.
What we do know is that Scott returned
to the tour fresh and ready after a 10-week
break following the Australian summer
of golf. During that time he confirmed
Zimbabwe’s Mike Kerr as his new caddie
and shook off the disappointment of not
winning on home soil.
He knows this is his window to become a
multiple major champion, and it will ensure
he’s fully prepared for Augusta National.
Only a handful of players including Fred
Couples, know their way around it better
than Adam—and at this course, experience
counts! While I expect both Day and Scott to
be in the thick of it late on Sunday, our next
tier has serious merit in its own right. John
Senden, Geoff Ogilvy and Marc Leishman
have all boasted top 10s in recent years.
To say any of them is a better chance than
the likes of Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker,
Sergio Garcia or Henrik Stenson would be
sheer patriotism, but all have shown they
can be competitive among the dogwoods
Ogilvy has been to hell and back since he
tied for fourth in 2011, but as one of only 10
Australian men to have won a major, he knows
what it takes. He’s also the type of player who,
once the juices are flowing, knows how to get
it done—a proven winner.
Ogilvy will be itching to return to the
famed venue after missing the last two
years, often stating it’s his favourite week
Geoff ogilvy is
welcoming his return
to augusta national.
The Masters & Me
The players aren’t the only ones taken aback by
a ‘start’ in golf’s most prestigious tournament.
Broadcasters like Luke Elvy get the chance to live
out a lifelong dream. On a personal note, this will
be my fourth Masters. I first stepped through the
hallowed gates in 2010 to cover Tiger’s comeback
for Fox Sports. That week changed my life as Ten
hired me to front golf for the network.
Like all of you, I dreamt of going the moment
I first laid eyes on it in the mid-’80s. I know it’s
hard to imagine, but it’s even more magical in real
life. In this day and age, how many experiences
truly exceed your expectation? It doesn’t matter
how high you put the Masters on the pedestal, it’s
even better than you believe it could be. These
days I’m part of the massive CBS team calling the
action. My main role is Featured Group 2, which
is accessible on Masters.com and via the ‘red
button’ on Fox Sports in Australia. CBS employs
over 500 people to help deliver what I feel is the
best coverage in all of sports and I’m proud to be a
tiny part of it.
There is no better event in the world. What
Augusta National does to deliver the tournament
blows your mind, they leave no stone unturned. In
2011, a massive storm ripped through the place,
doing significant damage, yet at the end of the day
you wouldn’t have even known it had rained.
Well, it’s time to pack my bags. I hope to one day
see you on the hallowed turf, but in the meantime,
fingers crossed this Masters ‘Monday’ is another
special one for Australia.
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