What’s next? Maybe the better question is who’s next?
“I would trade all my tour wins for one green jacket. That’s the place I want to win more than anywhere else,” Snedeker said. “It encapsulates what I think is golf at its finest. Augusta is more than a golf tournament. It’s an experience. The Kentucky Derby is more than a race. The Super Bowl is more than a football game. It’s a social experience.”
This is shaping up as a Masters for the ages, with Woods on the cusp of returning to his full greatness, and McIlroy needing a green jacket to give him the third leg of the career Grand Slam. And there has never been an age discrepancy as wide as this one among the newcomers _ 46-year-old Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, and 14-year-old Guan Tianlang of China, who qualified by winning the Asia Pacific Amateur last fall.
“It’s frightening to think that he was born after I won my first Masters,” Woods said of the Chinese teen.
In so many ways, that `97 Masters seems like such a long time ago. And in some respects, so do the last couple of years.
Woods had only been married about six months when he last won the Masters in 2005. He was just starting to figure out the swing changes under his new coach, Hank Haney. If there were rivals, none were younger than him. The Nicklaus record seemed to be a matter of when, not if.
Based on the two months leading up to the Masters, Woods looks poised to reclaim his place as the best in golf, and get back on track in his pursuit of Nicklaus. His Sunday red shirt has looked brighter than ever this year. It might look even more intimidating under a green jacket.