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Over the last few days, I’ve spent time here and there reading through a bit of Shane Ryan’s Slaying the Tiger.  I picked it up after reading a short excerpt on http://www.golfwrx.com about the Masters and the membership at Augusta National Golf Club, and even though I’ve only managed to get through a couple of chapters, I don’t think there is a single golfer that follows the PGA TOUR at all that would not be fascinated by the stories in this book.

Ryan does an incredible job (thus far) of researching his subjects, creating a storyline that feels like it has progression, and telling the story in a way that is relatable to the average golfer.  In short, he posits a more clear picture of life on TOUR than we get from your average Golf Channel broadcast and associated advertising.

From the book: “As the golf writer for Bill Simmons’s Grantland, Shane Ryan is the perfect herald for the sport’s new age. In Slaying the Tiger, he embeds himself for a season on the PGA Tour, where he finds the game far removed from the genteel rhythms of yesteryear. Instead, he discovers a group of mercurial talents driven to greatness by their fear of failure and their relentless perfectionism. From Augusta to Scotland, with an irreverent and energetic voice, Ryan documents every transcendent moment, every press tent tirade, and every controversy that made the 2014 Tour one of the most exciting and unpredictable in recent memory.

Here are indelibly drawn profiles of the game’s young guns: Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish ace who stepped forward as the game’s next superstar; Patrick Reed, a brash, boastful competitor with a warrior’s mentality; Dustin Johnson, the brilliant natural talent whose private habits sabotage his potential; and Jason Day, a resilient Aussie whose hardscrabble beginnings make him the Tour’s ultimate longshot. Here also is the bumptious Bubba Watson, a devout Christian known for his unsportsmanlike outbursts on the golf course; Keegan Bradley, a flinty New Englander who plays with a colossal chip on his shoulder; twenty-one-year-old Jordan Spieth, a preternaturally mature Texan carrying the hopes of the golf establishment; and Rickie Fowler, the humble California kid striving to make his golf speak louder than his bright orange clothes.”

Pick it up today for only $11.84 on your Kindle (or your iPhone) at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Tiger-Year-Inside-Ropes-ebook/dp/B00N6PD1WK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434414898.

True to form, the season is rounding out nicely. Many tournaments this year have gone to playoffs. We have had a host of big names playing their best golf at the right time. Wins from guys like Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and Jimmy Walker have headlined a great start to the year. But now, it’s time for the best week of golf.

Every year, that week is The Masters. It’s a our reminder that Spring is upon us and that our days of golf with friends and family are nearing. I think I speak for LG here in saying that our favorite post of anything we do is the one you’re about to read.

In commemoration, here is our 5th year of Predictions: I give you our Masters Predictions 2015:

updates 4/12/2015 :
Top 10 Leaderboard:
1 Jordan Spieth -18
T2 Phil Mickelson -14
T2 Justin Rose -14
4 Rory McIlroy -12
5 Hideki Matsuyama -11
T6 Ian Poulter -9
T6 Paul Casey -9
T6 Dustin Johnson -9
T9 Hunter Mahan -8
T9 Zach Johnson -8
T9 Charley Hoffman -8
T12 Rickie Fowler -6
T12 Ryan Moore -6
T12 Bill Haas -6

JK:
Winner: Jason Day T28 at -1. Correct is Jordan Spieth
Winning Score: -12 -18
Runner Up: Rory McIlroy Solo 4 at -12. Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose were T2 at -14
Low Amateur: Byron Meth Corey Conners shot 80-69 to MC best at 149. Meth shot 74-76 for a 150, 1 shot off
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Brian Harman MC with 76-72. There really wasn’t a true “unknown” in the top10. Maybe Matsuyama, but he’s big in Japan. Hoffman has been known for awhile. The nearest thing to a true “unknown” near the top10 was Kevin Streelman, but even he has some cache to his name.
Most difficult hole vs. par? 4 (i usually pick 11, but let’s mix it up) 11 at +.326, but 4 was +.296 for second most difficult
Easiest hole vs. par? 13 yeah, always is
Last Year’s Winner (Bubba Watson) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut)? Make the cut correct
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10? 4 2, Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson
US Open Champion (Martin Kaymer) will …? Make the cut MC
British Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will …? Top10 Correct, solo 4 at -12
PGA Champion will … oh yeah, we don’t need to ask what Rory’s going to do again…
When will Sergio Garcia implode? the day he steps off the plane Friday, shooting 74, but otherwise played great and finished T17 at -5
Dustin Johnson will…? close to the Top10 T6 at -9
Rickie Fowler will…? make the cut Correct, but just barely–he was two shots from T9. Instead, he finished T12 at -6.
Jordan Spieth will…? make the cut yea…sort of….he killed it!
Jimmy Walker will…? make the cut Correct. T38 at +1
Tiger will? Top10…specifically T-4 close. T17 at -5.
Phil Mickelson will? Top10 Correct
Ben Crenshaw, Larry Mize, and Sandy Lyle. Who wins? Crenshaw, in his last year of playing, shoots the low round of the triad, and misses the cut by 4 shots. crenshaw shot the worst scores in the field–91-85. Yikes.
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? TIGA TIGA TIGA WOODS, Y’ALL That was big, but bigger was how Spieth demolished the field
What is your Bold prediction? Tiger Woods plays tremendous golf but misses easy putts all day. Rory makes a push for the title but can’t get over his duck hook from a few years ago and puts two in the water on 15. Jason Day does just enough to keep it in play and putt to hold on by 1, finally getting his major. would have been fun if this had happened, but it was still awesome watching Spieth annihilate the record books.

LG:
Winner: Sergio Garcia T17.
Winning Score: -9 Try double that
Runner Up: Rickie Fowler T12
Low Amateur: Gunn Yang This would be the correct answer to the question “who shot the third worst round in the entire field?
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Anirban Lahiri T49
Most difficult hole vs. par? 11 yeah
Easiest hole vs. par? 13 yeah
Last Year’s Winner (Bubba Watson) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut)? Top 10 nope. T38 at +1
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10? 2 correct
US Open Champion (Martin Kaymer) will …? Miss Cut correct
British Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will …? Top 10 correct
When will Sergio Garcia implode? In the press room after he wins 🙂uhm…
Dustin Johnson will…? Top 10 Correct. T6
Rickie Fowler will…? Runner Upnot exactly
Jordan Spieth will…? Make Cut lol. yeah.
Jimmy Walker will…? Make Cut correct
Tiger will? Play. he did a lot more than that
Phil Mickelson will? Make Cut so did he
Ben Crenshaw, Larry Mize, and Sandy Lyle. Who wins? Crenshaw – he already called it his last one. by crenshaw not returning, i think we all win
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? Sergio’s putting holds up to win him his first Major uhm
What is your Bold prediction? Sergio wins isn’t a bold enough prediction?  Fine, Sergio’s redeeming win is overshadowed by Golf Channel following Tiger to the port-a-john when he has gas.OH NO! HE BREATHED WRONG! IS HE INJURED?!?!?!?!?!
LG will…? Be attending the Masters on Wednesday and Thursday 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 you suck

JK, I think we need to mix up the questions next year.

Also, see our history of prior years’ predictions:
2014: https://thepowerfade.com/2014/04/07/predictions-masters-2014/
2013: https://thepowerfade.com/2013/04/08/masters-predictions-2013/
2012: https://thepowerfade.com/2012/04/10/predictions-masters-2012/
2011: https://thepowerfade.com/2011/04/11/conversation-masters-predictions/

Fail of the Week 11

May 6, 2013

A few weeks later, the dust settles, and we find out the truth; the news is out on who outed Tiger Woods. We all assumed it was a random TV viewer call-in; those despised “I’m going to get you, professional athlete, while sitting on my couch” people are shamful, we all thought; so many people discussing “I don’t like the idea that golf entertains this type of thing!”

Well, that wasn’t the REAL story.

As reported by DeadSpin (http://deadspin.com/punk-ass-snitches-who-ratted-out-tiger-woods-identified-486213426), a Senoir PGA Tour player and none other than Jim Nantz combined to alter the outcome of golf’s greatest tournament, ruining the fun of watching for all of us.

As a recap, those who may or may not know the story, on the Friday round at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2013 Masters, Tiger Woods struck the pin with his approach to the 15th hole. The ball ricocheted back into the water in front of the green–a terribly unfortunate result. What happened next was just strange. Tiger reviewed his options for places to drop and elected to re-play from the original spot. He dropped his ball, hit a shot within putting distance of the pin, and went on to make the putt.

Rule 26-1 governs the ability of a player to take a drop. Tiger’s election was under Rule 26-1(a):

26-1. Relief For Ball In Water Hazard

It is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that a ball struck toward a water hazard, but not found, is in the hazard, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.

If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:

a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or

b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or

c. As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of a lateral water hazard, drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.

When proceeding under this Rule, the player may lift and clean his ball or substitute a ball.

Shortly after, the Masters Tournament Rules Committee took a call that indicated that Tiger Woods had not dropped “as nearly as possible” because his ball was a few yards behind his original spot. The Rule Committee reviewed tape, decided not to talk to Tiger about his drop, and allowed him to sign his scorecard. Tiger Woods took a post-round interview from CBS in which he discussed the whole (as it had quite a negative affect on his round) and described how he dropped “a few yards back” because his first shot was a little too long. The Rules Committee was then again notified about Tiger, but this time it was that his post-round comments may have indicated he was not in compliance with the rule because dropping “a few yards back” is not “as nearly as possible.”

Tiger was not disqualified but was given an additional two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. The Rules Committee decided not to disqualify Tiger–which would have been likely in different circumstances–because they had made a ruling on the situation and allowed him to sign a wrong scorecard. Tiger finished 4 shots off the lead of Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera, who went to playoff with Scott winning.

Although it seemed odd at first not to disqualify Tiger, the Rules Committee’s explanation of it as “we made a ruling and Tiger was entitled to the benefit of that Ruling” seemed to make sense. The PF has no quibble with that. It seemed like the Rules Committee got that right. Although many called for Tiger’s disqualification or withdrawal because he was getting “special treatment,” no one seemed to acknowledge that the only reason this was an issue was because cameras were on him. If you think other players were not violating this rule, you are crazy.

Moreover, it’s not exactly sure what “as nearly as possible” means. Does a player have to drop in his own divot? If so, why would anyone ever choose that option? Surely, that cannot be what is required. How close is “close enough?”

Alas, we digress. This FAIL is reserved for none other than Jim Nantz.

Jim?! For Real?!?!? What were you thinking?

Look, you get to go to this tournament every year, experience some of the finest accommodations anyone could imagine, and be a part of everyone’s memories of this amazing tournament. WTF are you thinking sticking your nose in the middle of the tournament?

Broadcasters have no business interfering with the tournament any more than couch potatoes do. You are not a pro golfer. You are not a competitor. You are a side show to what is going on out there. If we wanted to watch you referee a game of golf…well, no one would ever want that.

Look, First, we’re sick of you getting googly-eyed over Tom Brady. He’s a good quarterback. No one needs to you emphasize that for them. Next, stay where you’re put and don’t interfere with the event you’re broadcasting. You basically killed your own broadcast by taking the most popular player in the tournament completely out of the competition. If Tiger is one down coming to 18, do you not think everyone on earth is watching, hoping he’ll make a birdie? If he didn’t have to shoot 65 to tie the lead, do you think things would have come out differently–or maybe just been a little more exciting for all of us?

Jim, this week, you’re the FAIL.