Golf’s future is in good hands

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No Tiger and no Phil meant no problem at the 82nd Master’s this past weekend in Augusta, Georgia.

I know that many wanted Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to turn back the clock somehow and contend for another “Green Jacket” at the Masters. But it was not meant to be.

It did not take long on Thursday to figure out neither would be among the final pairings Sunday.

That would leave it up to the “young guns” to peak our interest over the next three days.


Patrick Reed of the United States celebrates with the trophy during the green jacket ceremony after winning the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Monday, in Augusta, Georgia. AFP PHOTO

Boy did they ever.

Besides the Tiger-Phil story line heading into the Masters, there was also Rory McIlroy attempting to win his first jacket and join the very exclusive club that holds the modern day grand slam.

It appeared that Rory was poised to do just that as he went into the final round on Sunday just three shots back of Patrick Reed.

But while Rory faded, Jordan Spieth made a historic charge up the leaderboard after starting out the day nine shots behind Reed.

He would come up short, but another of the young standouts, Ricky Fowler, was poised to push Reed right up and through the final putt of the tournament.

It was great drama on Sunday and it more than confirms for me that the game of golf is in great hands moving forward.

The likes of Reed, McIlroy, Fowler and Spieth, as well as a handful of other great young golfers, have picked up the mantle of carrying the game forward as Tiger and Phil fade into the sunset.

Now if the national media and the rest of the golfing world would follow suit.

I got pretty tired of them trying to force Tiger’s comeback down my throat all weekend when it was painfully obvious to me that it was not going to happen.

I keep trying to tell all my golf friends that Tiger is no longer going to be that guy any more. Time, and more importantly, injuries, have caught up to him.

He may be able to contend at smaller tournaments with less talent in the field, but he is not going to challenge for a major championship more than likely moving forward.

The same goes for Mickelson. His game is just not good enough anymore to take on a field such as the one at the Masters.

But we do not need them to contend for championships. If they should somehow be around and in the mix on Sunday, that would be great.

But I would rather see all these young golfers go after each other, matching shot-for-shot as they head down the stretch at the major tournaments.

There was great drama on Sunday afternoon and I expect that to continue for a number of years as they jockey for position over the final round.

It is a lot more fun to watch a golf tournament when there are six, seven or more great golfers challenging for the championship, than one or two guys.

You need great rivalries and I think we are going to see some blossom over the next few years.

Patrick Reed is being described as a “bad guy” in the media to offset the goodness of McIlroy, Spieth and Fowler.

Every great story needs a villain, and if that is the role that Reed must play, then I am OK with it and I believe he will be OK with it too.

Golf fans should buckle up, because it is going to be a wild and exciting ride through the rest of the 2018 majors and beyond.

I cannot wait to see how it all plays out.
TNS

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