2016 Masters — Saturday Preview

Special Masters edition weekend preview! I’m sure all you golf fans out there have been watching the fantastic streaming coverage online (minus the questionable announcing of the featured groups, along with the questionable feature group choices. Rory has to be in a featured group) and are ready to go for the weekend! Here’s your recap of the first two days, and what to hope for on the weekend. Or at least as far as Saturday.

Bryson DeChambeau

I’m a Bryson hater. I admit it. The whole “golf scientist” gambit is just so garbage. Even if it’s true, ain’t nobody actually believe it. In reality though, I have to give the guy credit. In order to make it endorsement-wise in this modern age requires separating yourself from everyone else.

I’ve talked about Rickie Fowler before, and about how his style doesn’t quite coincide with mine. Flat brim hats and bball shoes are meh (but I’m a huge fan of the joggers). Basically, I wouldn’t probably be caught in Rickie’s clothes on a course. But the kids love it! Go to any tournament on Tour and you’ll see hundreds of orange puma flat brims worn by teenagers. It brings young people into golf, as well as makes it fun. Even if it isn’t my style, I definitely have to respect it.

And that’s what DeChambeau does. Brings a different angle to golf, makes more people fans, and gives golf media (me included) something to talk about, even if I’m diametrically opposed to everything he does. And I hope he can make a lot of money and have a lot of success even if I hat e all the attention he’s getting.

Anyway, back to the Masters implications. Putting aside the 7 on the 36th hole of the tournament, DeC is still in a great spot. Still only 4 back on a tough weather forecasted weekend. Here’s what I’m imagining.

Not a whiff

Not a whiff

First off, CBS can’t play the “DeChambeau is an amateur ZOMG” card. He’s already older than Spieth was last year when he won the Masters, so he’s behind on that. Secondly, he’s been a professional for more than half a year now. With Southern Methodist having a post season ban, he stopped going to classes, and has been playing everywhere in the world on exemptions. It’s expected that he play well.

What I’m imagining for Sunday is as follows. DeChambeau plays well, fighting for position on the back nine on Sunday at the Masters. Something every casual golfer has imagined. He ends up finishing second, one shot back, to Spieth / Rory/ Sneds / Danny Lee / whoever. They switch to the Green Jacket interview in the basement of Butler Cabin. Usually the low am interviews are so positive. “I’m just so happy to have been here for 4 rounds”. “I’m really looking forward to the future of my career” the low amateurs always coo.

Not here. DeChambeau is pissed he didn’t win. He starts yelling at Nantz about how he should have won, and the golf world was stripped of the feel good story of the new millennium. Awkward silence ensues. More awkward than usual green jacket ceremonies are, which is hard to achieve.

Unfortunately, based on DeChambeau’s post second round, post 36th hole triple, interview, he doesn’t seem like the type of person to get mad at losing.

And that’s no fun for the Bryson haters out there.

Spieth

It’s a rare time when, during a weekend preview, you straight up push the 36 hole leader to the second headline of an article. But alas, Spieth faded a little with a lackluster 74 during the second round, finish at a relatively mediocre -4 and only a one shot lead over Rory. So what are the storylines with Spieth?

Well he’s lead the Masters for the past 6 rounds, not to mention the 7th round ago, where he failed but came close to Bubba in 2014. He knows the course,

But also, he’s boring to watch! In my super risk adverse golf opinion, is exactly what you have to do to win. Rare does he make mistakes. He just hits greens and makes putts. Last year Sunday, when he won in spectacular fashion, I straight up fell asleep watching the final round because Spieth was going to win, and nothing exciting happened.

Leader, and ready for the weekend

Leader, and ready for the weekend

This year seems different. With Rory, the former #1 and arguably best talented player in the world right behind, there’s going to be some action for first place. The questions on Spieth’s end are whether he can make enough birdies to hole off the host of challengers.

Rors

How Rory was no in a featured group is beyond me, other than the fact that tournament organizers expected Jason Day to play like he did his first 9 holes (5 under) for the entire first 36 holes. Despite the featured group diss, Rory ends up 3 under, and one back of Spieth.

Now come the questions about Rory’s finishing ability. People remember his back 9 42 from 3 years ago. How he still hasn’t completed the career grand slam even though he’s only 26. I still believe he’s the most talented player on the planet. While Spieth and Day look like they’re grinding it out ever hole, Rory just cruises along, hitting bad shots and still making enough birdies to compensate.

Rory ready to win

Rory ready to win

Rory’s taken the backseat these first two rounds. But now playing in the final pairing again, he’ll be thrust back into the limelight.

Everyone Else

Now that Spieth has fallen off his pace, we’re able to talk about the rest of the players semi-close to the -4 lead! Only 7 guys under par, but out of that giant bunch of players,  nobody other than the two mentioned above (ignore DeChambeau) seem to have a chance to win the tournament. Rory and Jordan. I can easily sit here tomorrow night, with one of those guys having fallen off the pace and claim that anybody can win. But for now, the big odds are on J0rdan or Rory to win. And so, I’ll leave this at that.

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