Junior Golf : Are You Watching?

imageHappy Friday Flop Shot to you as Linda and I ask, are you watching, as in are you watching The Masters, the PGA men’s 1st major tournament which ends Sunday?

Please, as we previously mentioned, set your TiVo and record this event. The lessons and insights for your daughter, yes even though this is a men’s tournament, are invaluable and some are unique to this venue. (photo by offcoursegolf.com)

Tee shots on the 1st hole of any golf tournament can be nerve-wracking, but even 6-time Masters winner Jack Nicklaus admitted that his 1st shot at Augusta was always intimidating. Why is it so? The consensus seems to be that players just want so much to win The Masters as many regard it as the holy grail of all golf tournaments.

Yesterday had a couple of difficult moments, those where your daughter can see that crazy things happen to every golfer, even the best players in the world. Ernie Els, legendary nice guy, make that great guy, 7-putted #1. Folks, in all the junior and college golf that I have personally watched, a 5-putt is the most I can recall. S3 has had 1 4-putt and those dreaded 3-putts are something all golfers want to eliminate. Having a round with no 3-putts is always a goal. Ernie finished with an 80, 8 over par, playing his last 17 holes in 2-over, not bad.

2009 Masters winner Angel Cabrera had a 9 on the par 5 15th hole, 4 over on 1 hole. Now if you ever wondered about the mental toughness of athletes at this highest skill level, he immediately put that previous hole out of his mind and shot birdie, par, birdie on his final 3 holes, using 9 shots total for all 3 holes. Mom and Dad, that’s what champions do! So Angel finished at 73, 1 over par, better than the field average, with a 9! Learning moment here. (Angel Cabrera photo PGA.com)image

There is a cut after today’s round so everyone will be focusing on playing well enough to play on the weekend. There are a few previous winners flirting with that cut line so they’ll need to step it up today. Jordan Spieth played a beautiful round yesterday shooting a leading score of 66, 6 under par. It was a very breezy day Thursday, but as Sir Nick Faldo said, “Jordan played like there was no wind at all, putting his shots in the right places”. And as Sir Nick, 3-time Masters winner also stated, “Augusta National is all about putting your shots in the correct positions. Just being a few feet off in the wrong direction can leave you no real chance to hit a good next shot”. This is because this is cumulative in a way. In other words, if the tee shot is out of position, then it is difficult, if not impossible, to put your next shot in position, and it continues and players are struggling to 2-putt or make dicey up-and-downs. Shot placement, where you want your ball to end up, stop rolling, is always important.

See you on #1 tee looking for a great shot… Sam

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