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Can't Wait for the Magic


pnomm
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Once again we are approaching the best week of the year and I can hardly wait. The 70th playing of the Masters begins in a few short days and it will be interesting to see the magic on the final nine. Like no other tournament, the Masters seems to provide the most memorable moments - so what are we going to see this year?

Let me point out a few examples of what I mean:

Last year, NOBODY can forget Tiger's chip at 16 going up the bank, rolling back slowly, stopping to show-off the "swoosh" for a moment on the lip, and then falling into the cup as CBS's Verne Lundquist screams "In your life have you ever seen anything like this?"

2004 - Mickelson getting the read from DiMarco and sneaking the putt in the side door with a little help from his grandpa watching from above.

2001 - The "Tiger Slam" is complete.

1999 - Jose Maria Olazabal, only a few years after thinking he may never walk again, wins his second green jacket - a very emotional victory.

1998 - In a dramatic battle between Duval and Couples, Mark O'Meara sneaks in the back door by making about a 20-footer on 18. Just as an added touch, his good friend Tiger was the one to hand him the green jacket.

1997 - "Hello World!" The first major paw-print of many, many to come. This, I believe, opened our eyes to the potential of this kid named Tiger.

1996 - The Norman Collapse. Probably one of the saddest moment in majot championship history. Worse than DiVincenzo signing an incorrect scorecard.

1986 - I believe this to be the second most magical moment, with Nicklaus at age 46 winning his sixth green jacket. Once again, Verne Lundquist was on the call. "Maybe....Yes SIR!!"

I could go on and on (Couples on #12, Larry Mize, Faldo & Hoch), but I believe nothing was more magical than 1995. If ever there was a guiding hand on a golfer, it was the week that Ben Crenshaw laid his friend and mentor Harvey Penick to rest. After speaking at the funeral in Austin, TX, Crenshaw flew back to Augusta that evening and four days later walked up 18 to capture his second green jacket. It is said that rarely did he or his caddie calculate a yardage all week, instead relying on feel and a trusty old friend, his Wilson 8802 putter. Nothing would have predicted any success that week, nor did any magic carry on. But for four days, something simply unexplainable directed his steps and shots and provided a spectacle I will never forget.

Thursday morning it will all begin again. Look for rain and sun, good shots and bad breaks, Azaleas, pines, and the greenest grass on the planet. But most of all, look for a magical moment as the tournament winds down. It will be great, and I can't wait!


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