Have you ever visited a place where you couldn’t get connected to the Internet, yet you were waiting on a vital piece of information or attempting to monitor an evolving situation?
That was my plight over the weekend. In my case, it was nothing urgent or critical…well, it was to me…but fortunately no lives were at stake.
I was out in west Texas with some good friends for our annual “gun camp,” whereby we take all our firearms and proceed to shoot at harmless paper targets and clay pigeons. Trust me, no animals are harmed in this particular enclave, unless they happen to get in front of our vehicle on the long drive west.
My cell phone service, which is now provided by Virgin Mobile (who subs from the Sprint network), was mostly useless, both voice and data, due to our extreme location. But every once in awhile some packets would stream through and I would get an email update.
So, I spent all of Friday and Saturday mostly clueless about what was going on in Augusta, which for a rabid golfer and fan like me is pretty much torture. My non-golfing buddies found my plight quite amusing.
Smoke signals were sounding pretty good by the end of the weekend.
However, once I was back on the road heading back to Austin yesterday afternoon, I had a different plight: I didn’t want to be communicated to. I didn’t want to go into a restaurant where I might overhear an ESPN update. I didn’t go into the Stripes convenience store for the same reason, particularly as the drive got us closer to the 5 PM hour.
I had no idea what was going on at the Masters, but I wanted to find out for myself and watch it unfold naturally and in its due time.
That is the beauty of the Masters tournament, golf’s greatest, and that’s precisely what happened — and nobody spoiled it for me. Partially because I kept my cell phone off, refused to listen to my voicemail until I’d watch the last round in its entirety, and watched that last putt of Bubba Watson’s (hey, another Watson namesake!).
Congratulations, Bubba Watson!
You played a brilliant round, and your twisted pitching wedge out of the woods on 10 on the second playoff hole will go down in Master’s history. I still can’t believe you made that shot!
I also couldn’t believe Louis Oosthuizen’s double-eagle on the second hole, something that’s never happened on that hole during Masters tournament play in its entire history. The “albatross,” as some refer to a double eagle three under par hole, is a rarity in golf — more rare than holes in one, I would imagine.
But watching Oosthuizen’s brilliant 250+ yard shot roll onto the green, down the green on a line straight toward the hole, was the kind of drama and pivotal moments that we’ve come to depend on the Masters for.
There were other exciting moments throughout the few days, and some heart-stopping, like Phil Mickelson’s triple-bogey on four yesterday. Why he didn’t go back to the tee instead of trying to hit out of the bamboo???…Well, those are the kinds of decisions that only golfers can try and rationalize, usually after the fact, and usually too late. But those three strokes probably cost Mickelson this year’s tournament.
By the time I finished watching the Masters, it was 12:30 AM and I was emotionally exhausted and in tears as I watched Bubba hug his mom on the 10th green. To lose his father to cancer, then adopt his first child, and now suddenly win the green jacket….it was a storybook Masters.
Well, except for that one small part about my new CEO not being offered up a green jacket. That one small detail left a bad taste in my mouth this year, and for me allowed an otherwise great and gigantic golf tournament to play out on just that much smaller a stage.