It’s not Masters week, but it’s close enough. I’d rather write about Augusta than the Houston Open, so let’s get to it.
@NoLayingUp If you were an amateur who made the field, and knew it would it your only time, would you purposely do something memorable?
— Adam Stanley (@adam_stanley) March 30, 2015
Oh, no doubt. There would be #TourSauce moves sprayed that haven’t even been invented yet. First of all, Ben Crenshaw would be closer to making the cut than me, so I’m going to enjoy my time while I’m at it. I would have a wardrobe change for every hole. I’m going to do log rolls around the greens to try to get the best Villegas-like angle to read my putts. I’m going to be taking selfies on every hole, and will be running to neighboring holes to get pictures with other players. I don’t care if I rack up a delay penalty on every hole, I’m going to make sure this lasts as long as possible. Amateurs will no longer be allowed to play in the Masters, and books will be written about my misconduct over that 36 hour period.
@NoLayingUp everyone is on the favorites. Give me the two long shots you believe have the best chance to contend at Augusta
— B Daddy Long Strokin (@golfwager69) March 30, 2015
A random sleeper I like is Chris Kirk. A Georgia guy, hits it right to left, and is coming off a nice finish at the Valero, and is way down there on the odds sheet (125/1). But Patrick Reed is going to win this thing.
@NoLayingUp will the pressure of completing the Career Grand Slam ultimately doom Rory's chances at Augusta next week?
— Brice Duke (@DukeBrice) March 30, 2015
It’s easy to pick a guy to NOT win a tournament, but that’s where I stand with Rory right now. He simply has not been able to avoid the big number at Augusta in his career, and he hasn’t been able to do that so far this year in his few starts. He’s also quietly failed to play the par fives well at Augusta, which tells me there’s something about them that doesn’t really fit his eye. I don’t think it’s necessarily the “pressure” that will doom his chances. I just think it’s really hard to win the Masters, and for some reason this course just does not suit him (one career top-10 finish). But again, Patrick Reed is winning this thing.
@NoLayingUp Will Rae's Creek overflow its banks from tears for Crenshaw?
— Mr. Havercamp (@HavercampMr) March 30, 2015
Let’s say Tiger plays, and he and Crenshaw are on the course at the same time on Friday afternoon. There’s a solid chance the broadcast can’t pull it’s cameras away from Tiger blading chips to even show Crenshaw’s last walk up 18 live!
The real question will be whether or not ESPN shows Gentle Ben’s scores as he finishes. He’s played in three events on the Champions Tour this year, and he’s a combined 83 over par. He’s won the Masters, and he’s earned the right to play in this event for as long as he chooses, but even he has to be wondering if he wasn’t better off calling it at last year’s Masters.
Regardless, he will be remembered as being a two-time champion, and not this final Masters. The early line is 1/100 that ESPN shows his tearful celebration at the ’95 Masters as the intro to his final walk up 18.
@NoLayingUp what monument will PReed build for himself at ANGC after he wins next week?
— Will Netterville (@wnetterville) March 30, 2015
He’s going to build a hologram of this directly behind the 18th green:
@NoLayingUp If you got a chance to play Augusta, from the tips, what do you shoot? Who are the other 3 members in your foursome?
— Andrew Blessing (@ABlessing89) March 30, 2015
I’d shoot about 94. I’ve been to Augusta, and I’ve been lucky enough to play a decent amount of championship level courses. I took Whistling Straits back to the 7,800 yards a few years ago, and I was surprised at how the course was still something less than impossible.
However, after walking Augusta, there wasn’t a single hole I looked at and was like, “You know what, I can hit this shot.” The slopes of the course truly can’t be described in enough detail, and the greens have elephants buried under them. I’ve got to be careful wading into Gary McCord’s territory here, but they honestly look like they’ve been glossed with some kind of coating. You’re asking this to a guy who, at this time last year, hit an UPHILL putt into a bunker at Streamsong. I would have a better chance at being asked to babysit Bubba’s kids than I would at stopping a ball on those surfaces.
Because of these slopes, you always had to be very conscious of where to leave your ball on your approaches, and around the greens. But on top of that, the recent renovations have also made it a very demanding course off the tee. I would be asked to move up a set of tees by the 4th hole, and likely escorted off the premises by the turn.
@nolayingup how hard will Reed petition to rename it "Reed Corner" after he torches the field by 12 strokes?
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) March 30, 2015
Petition? He’s just going to do it himself (via Adam Sarson).
@NoLayingUp How bad-ass would it be if Tiger just showed up at his tee time on Thursday without giving notice to anyone?
— Ryan (@Front9Back9) March 30, 2015
I can just picture it. Notah Begay walks out onto the first tee, and turns to address the crowd.
“Wait….. do you guys hear that?”
(Patrons look around confused)…. (Mostly curious as to how Notah got on the premises)
“Do you hear that music?”
(Very faint stereo sound coming from the putting green)
“Risin’ up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances”
(Murmoring among the gallery)
(Music is getting louder)
“Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them ALIIIIIIIVE”
(Notah busts out a megaphone)
“OH MY GOD! THAT’S TIGER WOODS’ MUSIC!!!!”
“It’s the…. EYE OF THE TIGER
IT’S THE THRILL OF THE FIGHT”
Floyd Mayweather walks out carrying the boombox above his head like it’s a championship belt. Bieber is with them. Big Cat is wearing his green jacket. Steiny takes the jacket off him, puts his mouthpiece in for him, and sprays him in the face with water. Cat steps up and pull hooks his tee shot 60 yards offline, and the 2015 Masters has officially begun.
@NoLayingUp Would you trade your 100/1 Reed ticket for 25/1 if someone bought the 75 points off you? IE Take a guaranteed payday or gamble?
— Nick Schulte (@nschulte) March 30, 2015
@NoLayingUp This year could very likely be Steve Stricker's last @TheMasters. Seem odd that he's potentially going out without a bang?
— JohnNKlisz (@UWedge) March 30, 2015
This is an interesting one. Stricker has basically just vanished from the game of golf without even being noticed. With today’s technology, players can basically play as long as they want to, and Stricker has basically said “I’ve made enough money, I don’t want to travel, and I want to chill with my family.” It’s impossible to criticize him for that. In fact, I respect him for it. I’ve always had great admiration for Stricker’s battle back from the wilderness to a truly world class player. The guy has been a savage for years without seemingly breaking a sweat, or breaking his wrists in his backswing. I hope this isn’t the last hurrah for him, because from what I’ve gathered talking to the few tour guys that I know, Strick truly is a great guy, and I’d like to see him have one more run.
@NoLayingUp If Bubba wins (ugh) where does that four year stretch place in Master's history?
— Sarah Endacott (@sendacott) March 30, 2015
It’s the best ever, right? (*vomits*)
Nicklaus won 3 out of 4 from ’63-’66, but the field strength back then doesn’t sniff the modern day depth. I mean, even Big Cat never won 3 out of 4! I’ll cross this bridge if we come to it. But from where I stand, it won’t matter, because Patrick Reed is winning this thing.
@NoLayingUp Best three-way battle, Sunday, back nine: Patrick Reed, ???, and ???
— Jake Nichols (@jalnichols) March 30, 2015
There’s too many options here, so I’ll do a power rankings:
- Tiger (ain’t happenin’)
There’s probably ten more guys I could easily list that I’d like to see there. But always remember, golf is doomed.
@NoLayingUp If Eldrick announces he's playing or not what level of annoyance will the build up be?
— Ashley Harrison (@ashdharrison) March 30, 2015
There will be heads that actually explode within the golf media. ANGC will have firemen on standby ready to douse the media center when the takes become too fiery. The members are going to be wearing flame retardant green body suits instead of their standard jackets. Pimento cheese sandwiches will be burned to a crisp. Butler Cabin is going to be turned into a trauma center. Reed will be putting on the green jacket on Sunday, but the cameras will be camped out in the parking lot looking at Big Cat’s parking spot that was vacated on Friday afternoon.
@NoLayingUp I asked @KylePorterCBS this, replace a hole on the 2nd 9, with a hole in the 1st 9, which do you go with? I'd swap 3 for 17.
— Chris Folds (@cpfolds) March 30, 2015
I can’t agree with you there, as #3 is actually one of my least favorite holes on the course. I think I would replace #14 with #2. How sick would three straight par fives be?
The 14th hole just doesn’t do it for me. The hole bends from right to left, and the entire hole slopes the opposite way. The Sunday pin position (where shots can funnel to the hole) is at least exciting, but this is perhaps the most boring hole on the back nine (besides maybe 17). Oops, sorry, I forgot, you aren’t allowed to criticize Augusta in any way. Um, keep it the way it is, it’s perfect!
@NoLayingUp 2-for-1: Playoff holes are 18-10-18-10 until infinity; what would be the most interesting playoff routing & who's in it this yr?
— Chris Chaney (@Wrong_Fairway) March 30, 2015
It may be tougher to do with sunlight and logistics, but I’d love a four hole playoff with an aggregate score on holes 12, 13, 15, and 16. That’s a collection of some of the greatest golf holes in the world, and the holes that have the biggest risks and the biggest rewards. The 18th hole has provided plenty of drama over the years simply due to it being the last hole, but it really is a pretty boring hole (*ducks*). A four hole playoff through the best of Amen Corner (the 11th has been completely ruined), and the other remaining gems of the back nine would be enough for me to melt into my couch. You start and end on two nervy shots over water, and sandwiched in the middle are two of the best par fives in golf. The more I think about this, the more angry I get that this isn’t already done.
@nolayingup You get a chance to play the course once, but you have to endure a Bubba/Poulter win every year for the next five. Do you do it?
— Adam Sarson (@Adam_Sarson) March 30, 2015
Absolutely. I would be out there in Poulter’s God awful plaid, or an Oakley shirt buttoned all the way to the top rooting them on. I would get a tattoo commemorating those five Bubba wins in this scenario. I would personally give all of Ian Poulter’s Ferraris a spit shine every morning for life if I had to. Hell, I would even sit in a room with both of them for five minutes and listen to them both talk.
@NoLayingUp Charlie Rymer says he combines egg salad and pimento cheese to make one sandwich. That's a pretty shitty sandwich right?
— Trevor Reaske (@TrevorReaske) March 30, 2015
Especially because the pimento cheese sandwich is already overrated (*jumps into a trench*).
@NoLayingUp Also, does Jim Nantz go with when Reed wins? "And with his critics shushed, Reed conquers Augusta!"
— Ben McNamara (@1867_ben) March 30, 2015
“From Augusta State, to Augusta National, Reed has mastered-“
(Reed grabs the mic)
“Are you not entertained!? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!? IS THIS NOT WHY YOU’RE HERE!?”