- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 5, 2006

The Rover enjoyed his favorite Masters tradition yesterday: lunch in the clubhouse. Augusta National is one of the few entities in the world that still treats the Fourth Estate with a serious measure, no doubt undeserved, of respect. And dining among the players remains one of the sublime pleasures of Masters week.

The purist within demands that the Rover mock Phil Mickelson for using two drivers this week at Augusta National. Lefty has long been a favorite whipping boy, and this latest foray into technological dependency simply adds to Lefty’s litany of objectionable moves. Professional golfers and even decent amateurs are supposed to be able to manipulate the ball (right, left, low, high, etc.) with ball position, grip, timing and feel.

Shaping shots has become more difficult with “advances” in golf ball technology, but it’s still possible to a degree for players of all levels. For one of the world’s greatest shotmakers to shamelessly abandon one of the game’s seminal traditions strikes an incredibly sour chord. To paraphrase Monty Python: The Rover’s inner Hogan vomits in Phil’s general direction.

That said, Lefty isn’t beating Tiger this week, and he wouldn’t with 10 drivers, a range finder and a handful of mulligans. Nobody’s beating Tiger this week. He’s winning this one for Pops. Take it to the bank … or a bookie.

Barker Davis

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