If you’re taking stock of the high holy days on the golf calendar, front and center each and every time will be Masters weekend at Augusta National. Today, the 80th iteration of golf’s greatest tournament began and had the golf world abuzz with excitement for the upcoming weekend.
In honor of the beginning of the Masters, 15-time PGA Tour winner Hal Sutton joined CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney to discuss what promises to be another legendary weekend at Augusta. He also broke down what challenges lie in store for this week’s field, including the wicked weather forecast, which will certainly affect things as the weekend rolls along.
“Augusta’s tough in perfect conditions,” Sutton said. “Then you throw the rain and the cold and wind in the mix and it gets more difficult. Sometimes it gets soft and if there’s not a lot of wind it gets… Well I won’t say easier, but it plays differently I should say.”
The guys also wondered whether the course becomes easier for pros once you play it a few times and have some recognition of what perils lie ahead and how to handle certain obstacles you may have see before at Augusta.
“Yes, and that goes from hole to hole, course to course and region to region, and there’s certain places that people feel good and certain places that they don’t,” Sutton explained. “There is definitely the energy of feeling like you’re in the right spot and definitely the energy of feeling like you’re in the wrong spot.”
Someone, at the end of the weekend, will find themself in the right spot – atop the leaderboard at Augusta and Sutton thinks that might be Jason Day.
“I don’t think anybody’s doing it much better than Jason Day right now,” Sutton said. “He would be first on my list of picks, but all the other guys – Jordan, I’m sure would like to get this year started with this event this week. He’s got great vibes from last year and Bubba Watson’s going to have something to say about this as well. This golf course fits Bubba Watson really well – probably better than anybody.”
After discussing those in attendance this weekend, the guys shifted to one notable player noticeably absent from Augusta National this year, and that of course is Tiger Woods.
“If he does come back,” Sutton said of Woods. “I hope he comes back being comfortable with being Tiger. In my opinion I think a lot of Tiger. He’s a special person in the game of golf. My opinion about golf is it’s an exact sequence of events happening as fast as they can and he was the epitome of that. And as long as he was the longest player in the game he did that to perfection.
“But then once someone came along that was longer than him he wanted to speed those sequence of events up. And when he did, he started overusing his legs, and when he did that, his spine started backing up the swing just a little bit. And when you do that it puts all the pressure on your left knee and your lower back.
“So when he gets healed, I hope he gets back and he’s going to be comfortable with being as long as Tiger can be, with his sequence of events. And if he does, Tiger will be heard from again.”