Is there a period of time more agonising than the one between waking up on Masters Thursday to the coverage getting underway? Let’s just hope for no unexpected delays. In a bid to keep you entertained through these final few hours as we gear up for four days of pure golfing ecstasy, here is a collection of the best bits from Masters week so far that you may have missed – starting with…
Eye of the Tiger
Rory McIlroy was in typically open and honest form in his pre-Masters press conference, particularly when the subject of Tiger Woods came up.
“A few of us that live down in South Florida went to see him” he said of the 15-time major champion, who is currently recovering from a car accident in February. “I’m sure he appreciates that.
“Myself, JT, Rickie, DJ, Brooks, all those guys down there, we all have a responsibility to try to keep his spirits up and keep him going and try to get him back out here.”
But McIlroy revealed that his visit was a real eye-opener into just how focused Woods was when it came to winning majors.
“In his family room he’s got his trophy cabinet and it’s his 15 major trophies,” McIlroy explained. “I said, ‘That’s really cool. Where are all the others?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ I go, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Yeah, my mum has some, and a few are in the office, and a few are wherever.’”
Imagine having so many trophies that you don’t even know where they all are. But that wasn’t what McIlroy took from the conversation.
He added: “I was driving home and I was thinking, ‘That’s all he cared about.’ How easy must that have felt for him if all he cared about were four weeks a year? The other stuff must have been like practice.
“So that’s like a really cool perspective to have.”
An incredible insight into the minds of two phenomenal champions.
Green means go
Remember the good old days when we used to have to wait for Ken Brown to show us how fast the Augusta greens are?
Now we can just log onto Twitter in the build up. Here’s Louis Oosthuizen giving fellow South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout some friendly stick…
I jumped on a call with Robert MacIntyre on Wednesday, and the debutant was expectedly optimistic about his chances of going out and challenging in his first Masters. The drive up Magnolia Lane was something he described as “every little boy’s dream” – something he was able to capture and share with his followers around the world…
After a couple of practice rounds, MacIntyre has settled on his tactics for the week.
“The man who hits the least bad shots will win this week,” he said. “If you miss the fairways you are just trying to find the right spot.
“If you hit a bad tee shot there is no way you are going to go for a risky shot because if you put it in position ‘Z’ you are walking away with a double or a triple because of how firm the greens are.
“You are not stopping anything on these greens unless it is a wedge.”
Bezuidenhout’s already shown us that isn’t necessarily the case. It’s going to be a fun week.
They think it’s pavlova
The Champions Dinner allows us to gain a minor glimpse into the culinary musings of Masters winners.
The menu each year is as eagerly awaited as the first tee shot and there’s always a story or two. This year, step forward Phil Mickelson, with an interesting anecdote about a pavlova and a $100 bet with Zach Johnson.
We all find knowledge in different ways. Never change, Phil.
As for this year’s dinner we were all looking forward to seeing Dustin Johnson‘s “pig in a blanket” starter. Of course, over here it’s a sausage wrapped in bacon. Over there it’s a sausage roll – or “smoked kielbasa in puff pastry”.
How the other half live, eh?
Go, go Brooks Koepka
Firstly, if you didn’t read that headline with the intonation of the Power Rangers theme tune I will be disappointed. And so will you, I imagine.
Brooks Koepka proved he may possess some superhuman powers by making it to Augusta after a serious knee operation on March 16. After initially ruling himself out, he has managed to beat the odds and even gives himself a chance of winning this week.
But, it was this image the four-time major champion posted on Twitter that really tickled me…
For what it’s worth, Koepka strikes me as the Red Ranger. You can decide who the other five are – I’m far too old for all this.
Long way from home
Joe Long has provided my favourite quote of the week so far that doesn’t involve Tiger Woods.
The Amateur champion said: “I’ve never actually played in the US. My first full 18 holes was actually at Augusta National, which is…”
After a pause for thought, he concluded: “Pretty special.”
And that’s not all. Long added: “Playing in front of people, as well, is a new experience.”
You never really think of that sort of thing, do you? Best of luck, Joe, we’re all rooting for you.
Right, I think that’s enough to keep you going through the next few hours before the TV coverage gets underway.
If you want more, why don’t you check out our dedicated Masters website with more content than you can possibly consume this weekend?
I’ll be back each night bringing you a handful of talking points that you may have missed from Augusta National.