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A Reflection on ‘The Greatest Weekend’

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What are you doing this week? Your taxes? Not me…

They can wait until next week.

Studies have shown that procrastination can actually be good for your health. But let’s talk about that some other time.

Yard work? My mower won’t start, so that can wait, too. I’m getting healthier by the minute!

No, this week should be set aside for one thing and one thing only—sports! I must watch those events because it’s my job. Somebody has to do it. (Feel my pain here.)

Is there a better sports week on the calendar than this one? Is there one even close? What about Super Bowl week?

No, no, and Halas no.

And it’s a week about saving the best for last.

The week kicked off last Sunday with the start of the Major League baseball season. It’s a long season: six months, 162 games, highs and lows, hope and despair, hot dogs and dog days.

But there’s something special about this one game, opening day. Time to put the long, cold, lonely winter behind us and say hello to the “Boys of Summer.” A day when hope springs eternal for every team—from the defending World Series champs to the Chicago Cubs.

Then comes Monday night and the NCAA Basketball Championship. It was an instant classic with Duke edging Wisconsin, but it’s also a game that will be lost in the wake of Saturday’s semifinal, Kentucky vs Wisconsin, which was a game for the ages.

That brings us to Thursday and the best of all—the serene beauty and majesty of Augusta National GC and the start of the Masters this past Thursday. It’s the one tournament each year that even the casual golf fan seems to watch, if only to see the flowers and the landscaping.

Golf, flowers, and the Green Jacket… a can’t miss combination. Throw in an old Bear to start things and a hungry Tiger chasing history—and trying to chase away the demons—and you have something special.

For the average golf fan, the Masters can bring goose bumps—especially on the back nine on Sunday when the tournament “begins.” For many, it’s the best of the majors because the venue never changes and we know the holes. It’s become like an old friend.. you know the golf course better than you know your second child.

The thunderous roars around the hallowed grounds of Augusta National actually started last Wednesday at the par-three contest when that old Bear, 75 year-old Jack Nicklaus, proved he’s still the Golden Bear when he made an ace during the par-three contest. It was Jack’s first ace at Augusta, on the “big” course or the par-three course, and it may have been the shot of the week before the actual tournament even started on Thursday.

Nicklaus was playing the par-three tournament with Gary Player and Ben Crenshaw, and all three will play in the Bass Pro Legends of Golf this April 24-26 at the Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge courses in the Branson area. Additionally, course owner Johnny Morris has hired Crenshaw’s acclaimed design firm, Coore-Crenshaw, to re-do the old Murder Rock Course– which is now the Buffalo Springs, Ridge course. Crenshaw retired from playing in the Masters this year after 44 consecutive years, and we look forward to hearing his commentary on the Masters this year and in future years. Augusta National is a special place for Ben and for us…

Crenshaw is one of seven former Masters champs scheduled to play in the upcoming Bass Pro Legends. He joins Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam, Vijay Singh, and Missouri’s own Tom Watson at The Legends event. We can’t wait to see them in Branson in a couple of weeks!

Tom Loeffler is a graduate of Jefferson City High School and the University of Missouri, with a degree in journalism. After spending 29 years covering sports at the Jefferson City New Tribune, Tom joined KRGC-TV in 2011, central Missouri’s CBS affiliate, as the sports and entertainment writer for their website.

We are pleased to have Tom writing for our website and for the Missouri Golf Post.

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The Missouri Golf Post is a monthly digital magazine that “celebrates the people who play the game.” Each monthly issue contains several “feature” stories on golfers, golf courses, and/or major tournaments of interest statewide. Each issue contains a number of regular departments on topics such as Tournament Summaries, Fitness, “The Superintendent’s Corner,” Instruction, and Rules.

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