2009 Masters; A Farewell for my Dad:
How time has flown by at The Masters! It seems like it was only yesterday I was sixteen and watched my Father win his third green jacket in 1978. A last round of 64, shooting 30 on the back nine, was truly a moment in time. Watching Seve Ballasteros celebrate on number 18 after my Dad holed a 30 foot fist pumping downhill put was certainly one of the all time great Masters. This year, as I was walking the last few holes on Friday knowing this was the last of the Black Knight in regulation Masters competition, Steven Ames who was one of my Dad’s playing partners came over. He embraced me and mentioned that there was never a more memorable or honorable moment in his golfing career than witnessing standing ovations on every one of the 33 holes as they approached each green. Steven was very kind to make the effort in coming over. It was quite fitting that my dear old Dad should hit a five wood that never left the flag from a position on number 18 that he is just not familiar with. What an incredible reception on the 18th, so many young South African professionals waiting to say goodbye and pay their respects to the man that was their role model growing up. Most of the family were there including my two oldest sons Tyler and Jordan. It was certainly a touching and special moment.
The end of The Big Three era at Augusta had finally arrived. They will all be sorely missed and certainly have been a major contribution to what makes The Masters, The Masters.
Kenny Perry’s Demise…
How disappointing it must have been for Kenny Perry to lose the Green Jacket the way he did? The Championship was his to win or lose. My Dad has always said that when you have the opportunity you must take it and if you are to fall short that it must never be because of a bad decision.
Kenny made two mistakes on both 17 and 18 being two shots in front with two holes to play. He struck his second shot at 17 long, which made his chip shot almost impossible under a tremendous amount of pressure. At the end of the day Kenny hit a beautiful shot, but long was the one thing he could not do. The result was a bogey five which created more tension on 18 with only a one shot advantage.
On number 18 it was not the drive into the left bunker that cost him the tournament, but the fact that the cardinal sin is that you simply cannot miss the 18th green left when you have that front pin placement. If the poor fellow had hit his second shot way right into the right bunker he would have had a relatively easy up and down with lots of green to work with. Case in point was the first playoff hole where Chad Campbell and Perry were not going to make the left of the green mistake. Both had easy chips towards the pin.
It is easy to be critical from the sidelines. However Kenny Perry was destined to have a locker in the Champions Room. It would have highlighted a very successful PGA Tour career. One of the truly good guys out there.
Time heals almost all things. However Kenny Perry will never forget this opportunity.
We wish Kenny only success in the future and pray that he will have this opportunity again. Who knows!