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As I get ready for another work week, I can’t help but look back on the weekend and think that this was the best weekend for golf in years. I can’t recall a more important Masters, specifically one that garnered widespread attention from golfers and non-golfers alike. The rise of sports betting, Full Swing, and the LIV v. PGA Tour feud all created one of the greatest storylines in tournament history. While the PGA Tour and its’ players kept the LIV golfers from claiming the first major since the separation, you can’t look at the top of that scoreboard and ignore the likes of Reed, Koepka, and Mickelson.
You don’t want to get lost in the LIV v. PGA Tour narrative for too long, because Rahm deserves his azaleas. After four-putting the first hole of the tournament, he carded a first-round 65, and battled through plenty of weather to claim his first green jacket.
Early on in the week, Koepka looked like he couldn’t miss a putt. His final round kept him from claiming victory. A theory circulated on social media claiming that LIV’s 54-hole format was to blame, but when you look at the other LIV guys, you can quickly discredit that idea.
Phil Mickelson was an interesting case. The 52-year-old has struggled on LIV all season, so most patrons didi not expect Phil to perform any better this week against a field of golf's best players. He proved those patrons wrong, finishing T2 at -8 alongside Koepka. As for the aforementioned 54-hole dilemma, Mickelson shot a final round 65. Maybe there isn’t so much to the LIV fatigue narrative as we think.
As you comb through the Masters’ website one last time, you see a leaderboard riddled with talent. Where they play and who they play against are irrelevant. The best in the world got together and played a golf tournament that delivered for the spectators, bettors, and patrons. That is what this is all about. Getting the best together, and putting on a show.
Looking back, Congratulations are in order to Jon Rahm. This will not be his first Masters win. He showed resilience when he could have just folded and enjoyed the walk. He gained a new fan this weekend, and while it may not mean much to him, I enjoyed watching him compete at a high level against the best in the world.
As a golf fan, it is fun to see the world be captivated by a golf tournament. It only happens 4 times a year, and the next occurrence will be for the PGA Championship in May. I can’t wait for the excitement that surrounds a major championship, and I hope I see all of your guys’ tweets about your bets, takes, and thoughts on the next major championship, just like the Masters. A tradition unlike any other.