Do you remember last year’s PGA Championship winner? Can you retell his story? It was great after all. He is the third golfer to win a major title in his 23rd year, after Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. He won TPC Harding Park a “local champ”, calling San Francisco his second home. He wasn’t a favorite and there were some holes before the end he wasn’t even on the top of the leaderboard. Perhaps it was the Coronavirus that made August’s brilliant experience of Colin Morikawa’s unexpected victory fade a little. Which is somewhat unfortunate, because the experiences that lift viewers from their seats have been bringing in quite a few males in recent times.
Let’s take the Masters tournament, where Hideki Matsuyama demonstrated his amazing playing skills a few days ago. He made history, as no player from Japan has won in Augusta yet. He succeeded exactly ten years after his debut here as the first amateur in his homeland. The image of a silent star speaking through an interpreter is also generally attractive, although he has had an address in Windermere, Florida for several years and has been playing courses in an English-speaking environment for years. But now let’s break it down. One thing is the personal story of the winner, which we can perceive rationally, without emotion, and another thing is the way he achieves a great result.
It’s not Matsuyama’s fault that no one threatened him in the last round of the Masters as captain, even though he played his worst role of 73 (+1). Once, Xander Schauffele came close to him with one hit, but he sent a balloon from the tee into the water on three sixteen pairs, and took three more hits, and that was after the fight. Matsuyama walked comfortably into the green from the last hole, allowing himself to play a ghost, and as he drew the ball after his last throw, faithful to his reputation, he barely smiled. No one can claim that anyone makes a show when it is not their own. But the view from the outside says that hundreds of millions of spectators around the world deserve more for such premium, smart, and wonderfully funded events, the essence of which is the show.
You haven’t been working recently. Of course, the 15th major won the Woods Master title the year before. After 11 years of rest. It was a buzz, but what’s the point of a fuss when the best player of his generation is participating? Let’s remember how it was on Sunday two years ago. Woods didn’t shine much, and when his name appeared at the top of the leaderboard, it was more like the mistakes of those who had been there before. Saturday’s man, Francesco Molinari, scored two double ghosts in the second nine, Patrick Cantlay “threw” shots on the next two holes after a 15th Vulture, and Dustin Johnson’s end came late because, like Matsuyama this year, the winning Woods managed to win the last hole. Allow a ghost. A cool moment, but associated with feelings of a different kind than what so-called sports drama can evoke.
The best players today are amazing in many ways. Artistically great equipment, many original equipment and others in a hammock, for example sculpture, many of them apply intelligence, others an unusual feeling or intuition. Their coaching efforts must be colossal, and they will not succeed in a distracted lifestyle, which was what last year’s Masters Johnson Prize winner understood. By the way – even his victory in the fall over the rest of the starting field did not bring any great excitement, but the diversity of dominance of one man must always be taken into account. Emotions can come close to ecstasy about what the great wrestler is doing. Unfortunately, 2020 was marked by the absence of spectators around the stadium, which corresponds to the gestures of the winner. Johnson only showed movement during the interview, wearing a green jacket.
The high quality of the best player in the world keeps pace with the rise and thus widens the circle of contenders for big wins. Consider the increased focus on training players, cadets, coaches, assistants or advisors in a particular course and how to play it. Today, more than ever, it is also a duel between the organizers and golfers over who will be stronger in a particular tournament, be it the field or the starting field. With the increasing skills of professionals who use modern technologies and knowledge from various disciplines of social and scientific sciences, the difficulty of the eighteen masters increases.
What will the US Open organizers attend this year, ie someone famous for the fact that the game is almost as agony due to the intense tournament preparation? Last year, Bryson Deschamps arrived at the dreaded winged foot where the former champ in general ended up, and his innovative style of game celebrated a victory – a 6-balance win, taking six or more shots over and again there’s no big drama, just embarrassment and question marks about Whether a brutal winner style is the future of this game.
Once again, this does not detract from Deschamps’ art as a great player. He was able to apply it somewhere, and not much elsewhere (including Masters). Others do it differently, emphasizing their strengths or other preconditions in order to raise their game to the current absolute level. But what happens when so many players can do so much? Mistakes are decided. Does professional golf become a game of mistakes? Are current winners more error-free than winners?
You can also think about this after this year’s Masters, not just after. Audiences crave positive experiences and want to attract emotions from amazing performances. Of course, the big meltdowns are especially golfing – they’ve become legends, not to mention instantly everyone. But even these myths measure their value by the size of legendary trophies. It appears to have disappeared from the big business of the modern era, paradoxically, despite the fact that it still shows big hits.
But not in the most tense moment. In the US Open in the new millennium, we will not find a tournament culminating in the proverbial battle of titans, in which the candidates compete for the tournament by taking the arenas and the trump cards. He’s slightly better in the PGA Championship. Let’s mention, for example, Woods winning Brooks Koepka’s success in 2018, where the famous challenger played the best final round of his career and the novice among the main holders responded with a string of sparrows in time. Two years earlier, Jason Day forced an 18-year-old vulture to at least poke Jimmy Walker into the same hole to defend, but even then it wasn’t that cool. For a truly stunning sculpture, we must come to the turn of the millennium. Woods defeated Bob May in 2000 in three playoff matches. Neither in that nor in the previous twelve holes, neither of them had made a mistake, in the other nine, on the contrary, they both improved their scores from -13 to -18.
In the MA, 2017, 2013, and 2012 were searched for flawless dramas. There was always a shootout (Sergio Garcia – Justin Rose, Adam Scott – Angel Cabrera, Bubba Watson – Luis Ostwiesen, the first is always a winner), but a show of big wounds actually appeared at the end of the regular tour. The most famous moment of this millennium in Augusta was Woods entering the 16th hole in 2005. But it is no longer remembered that the American then scored two Ghosts and won the title against Chris Demark only in the long qualifiers. Thus the bird’s pass, which Phil Mickelson took to achieve his first major victory in 2004, can be shy of looking forward to the most amazing works of the modern era.
Very exciting, with six men, the Open Championship was in 2018, but Francesco Molinari also helped some opponents with losses at the start of the Sunday program. There’s a memorable Mickelson ending in 2013, a penalty shootout by Garcia Padrig Harrington with the help of an eagle in the 18th in 2007 or a cross-fray battle between Ben Curtis as the famous winner and Thomas Bjorn as the biggest loser in 2003. But for the only British major – there’s more One of the mistakes that led to losing hope in recent years.
It would be possible to resort to the simple judgment that there is tremendous psychological pressure behind everything. There’s a lot of money at stake, the crowd is huge, everything is discussed and commented on in public, and social media doubles it all. On the other hand, the best well-placed athlete has the opportunity to choose from a number of mental training methods.
An explanation of why the drama is full of great moments in the minority rather than the exhausting and shameful final rounds cannot fit in a few sentences. The point of thinking about a specific topic can be simple. The best sports, due to various circumstances, may take themselves very seriously. In golf, where the individual is essentially alone in the middle of the movement, this is clearly visible. That’s why seldom is there a fighter or fighter just coming onto the field and relaxing, with an unmatched game, but simply “she’s got a ball”, which they share with others, no matter what happens. More of these winners wish for the future, with all due respect to the current winners.