The Masters was almost like attending somebody’s Sunday worship service.
A week of unbelievable numbers of people who’ve made their pilgrimage to glimpse the magic of professional golf’s version of the “eighth wonder of the world.”
That’s how “reverent” Augusta National feels during its most famous week of the year. Once you enter the site along Magnolia Lane or enter through one of many patron gates, the world opens to a rolling ocean of meticulously manicured acres of green grass. Colorful Azaleas and a myriad of blooming floral displays and the famous Georgia Pines guarding each fairway, dotted with strategically placed bodies of water to catch the errant shots of a nervous or careless contestant.
Even with the occasional rain or cool temperatures, the skies are never so blue. Even the birds, like a chancel choir, sing in harmony. And the thousands of people, all taken in by the beauty and majesty, not to mention getting a close-up view of their favorite player ads to the annual mystic and draw of Masters’ week in Georgia.
The stories of the players and Masters 2022 is now history with the crowning of a new worthy champion in Scotty Scheffler who fought back the tears as the 2021 Champion Hedki Murayama placed the traditional Green Jacket on Scheffler as his adoring wife looked on with unspeakable pride.
Our story takes a different route. We looked beyond the apparent reporting of the headliners and the superstar winners and losers who’ve already garnered the attention of the mainstream sports media, and understandably, there is little to add.
Suffice it to say, the 2022 Masters’ field included the largest number of players of color from the United States and nations around the world than at any time in its history.
Let’s be clear: They Came To Play!
No golfer, young first-timer, or seasoned veteran has ever accepted an invitation to compete for the Masters’ Green Jacket has come to Augusta with their mindset on losing. Or they are not competing at the very highest level of their ability.
The preparation of the course by the officials, the international attention of the sporting community, and the game’s dignity all demand the very best from all entrants. After all, each entrant in the Masters must have experienced the thrill of winning to qualify for an invitation at some point in his career. They all know how to win and what it takes to win, and they all know you must come to play.
No doubt, VJ Singh harbored no illusions about winning, but his lifelong championship nature compelled him to play. A year ago, Tiger Woods coming off a near-life/career-ending auto accident, stated his intent to win at his Tuesday meeting with the press. Hideki didn’t come to place the Green Jacket on another’s shoulders. No, like all the others shown here, he came to play.