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Hello friends, and happy Monday! Between the first major of the year (Happy Chevron week!) and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, we’ve got a lot to be excited about these next few days. Before we dive in, let’s take a moment to appreciate a rising legend: LPGA rookie Atthaya Thitikul, who just became an LPGA winner at just 19 years old (!!) when she beat Nanna Koerstz Madsen on the second playoff hole of the JTBC Classic.
Ok, I’m ready to proceed. Here’s the best of what we learned on the golf internet this week:
The Masters is just one week away, and the social chatter around it is already in full force. Aside from Tiger Woods, I think the Masters social handles might have the biggest voices in the world of golf. They can go months without a word and then break the golf internet when they finally speak. Last week’s Masters hype video was no exception.
There are lots of good things going on here. The throwback videos! The voiceover! The only question I have is about the copy of the tweet. “You’re invited?” Surely my email inbox says otherwise. Perhaps they mean “you’re invited” to watch from the comfort of your own home, 954 miles north of Augusta National, where it still feels like winter and looks even grayer outside when I realize next week’s temperatures in Georgia are still months away. But who’s to say!
Will Tiger play in the Masters?
Tiger was spotted (and then creepily recorded) teeing it up at Medalist last week without a cart.
There’s also the fact that he is still listed in the field on the Masters website.
So what are we to make of all this? Friends, family and fans (read: friends and family) keep asking me if I think Tiger will tee it up at Augusta next week and I keep telling them I have no idea. I’m not even sure Tiger knows if he’s playing. I will say this, though: I want Tiger to play, but him playing would take a massive emotional toll on me. Perhaps my parasocial relationship with this man has (definitely) gone too far, but when Tiger tees it up these days, I am completely on edge.
Is his back ok?
What about his leg?
Can he handle the walk?
Those are the thoughts that run rampant through my brain before I even watch him swing a club. It’s exhausting. Many people will read this and say, “but Claire, he doesn’t even know who you are. He’s won there five times. Worrying about him is bad for you and accomplishes nothing!” And these things are all true. But that’s the price I pay for caring, for better or worse.
Rahm’s putter swing?
Shout out to my coworker, Zephyr Melton, for this incredible find last week.
Golf Twitter, as with all things Masters-related, went wild over this one. So wild that it caught the attention of Augusta National, who changed Rahm’s photo on the site in less than four hours.
The devil works hard, but Augusta National works harder. And because I know you are all wondering what the 2003 Masters champ is up to, I have an update on Mike Weir:
Mike Weir is all of us
Ok, maybe it’s less an update on Mike Weir and more of a video that proves that major champs are just like us (sometimes)! Weir’s wife, Michelle Money, shared this hilarious and extremely relatable video of Weir on Instagram.
I personally try not to practice my swing in public places, but I have a very specific childhood memory of my two brothers, each on either side of me, working on their grips during the homily at church, and my parents subsequently making them sit on their hands for the remainder of mass. I’ve seen people make practice swings at bars, poolside and even once while waiting in line at a wake. The chase for golf improvement knows no bounds, whether you’re a Masters champion or … not.
A golf-parenting win
I am not a parent, so I don’t have any parenting moments to relate this to, but I came across this Tweet last week and absolutely loved it.
My first thought upon seeing this is that this is an all-time “Florida Man” move. My next thought was “wow, I could literally never do that here in Rhode Island.” And that realization made me appreciate how cool this actually is. Maybe it’s a strange look to zip through the school pick-up line in a golf cart, but I guarantee the ride home was more fun than in an ’04 minivan.
I wrote about how Scottie and Meredith Scheffler are the PGA Tour’s new “it” couple a few weeks back, but Scheffler earning his third win in five starts on Sunday at Austin Country Club officially secured that title. Meredith has been there for all of Scottie’s wins, but she was also there well before he was winning — or even playing — on Tour.
Look at that picture on the left! Just two kids enjoying the golf like the rest of us. For the 19-year-olds reading this: Dream big! But there’s a good chance you won’t have the same trajectory as a teenage Scottie Scheffler, who attended to his local PGA Tour event as a college student and won that same event to become World No. 1 just six years later.
Still, there are always club championships, indoor simulator leagues and local mini golf courses that you can try your hand at, so don’t be too discouraged.
And when you do win, I hope there’s someone there to be proud of you the way Scheffler’s family is proud of him.
We didn’t learn about it until January, but Steve Stricker fell seriously ill after leading the U.S. team to victory at Whistling Straits. It wasn’t until this past week that he detailed exactly how sick he was.
Stricker turned yellow, his face puffed up as if he were having an allergic reaction, his urine turned brown, he dropped 25 pounds and his heart rate was through the roof. We are so glad he’s ok, and that ordeal made his job as his daughter’s caddie last week even more special.
With that, folks, it’s time to prep for this week and next. I’m gearing up for a weekend of Chevron action, and I am so excited for the Masters that I can barely sleep at night. With the pros arriving at Augusta a week from today, I’m sure we’ll have plenty to discuss by the time the next Rogers Report drops.