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Sunday, 14 May 2017

Windmills and Clown Faces

Some would like to argue that the Players Championship should be considered the fifth Major. And, while it is a tournament that has a certain cache and huge money up for grabs, I tend to think it doesn't quite fit the bill. 

The reason isn't the field it assembles. Most of the top players are usually there. Although I don't know if the field is any stronger than any of the WGC events. The reason I don't think it ranks up there as a Major is because of the golf course. 

It may be entertaining to watch because if the unpredictability of the finishing holes, highlighted by that ridiculous par three seventeenth--an island green that often can't be hit with a wedge or a nine iron. I mean the only thing missing is the windmill and the clown's face.

This year we saw a leaderboard bereft of any of the top names. And, while I was thrilled to see the young South Korean win, it wasn't like watching a Major. In most Major championships you see the cream rise to the top. The winner isn't always one of the top players, but the top players are always in the hunt. Not this week, however. And why is this? It's the golf course. 

Some people love seventeen. They like the suspense and even the carnage. But to me it simply isn't great golf. Every golf hole worth its salt, according to Bobby Jones, should provide options to the player. It should offer a safer route fo the man willing to settle for a par or bogey, and a challenging route that offers an advantage to the player who takes on the challenge. The stadium course is golf on a knife's edge. I guess it's an exciting track to play. But it doesn't always allow the cream to rise.

Now Augusta National; that's a Major championship course. That's a course that separates the men from the boys. No windmills or clown faces on that track. Bobby Jones wasn't in to windmills.