Sergio Garcia may make a case for having that very same inscription carved into the Sarazen Bridge at Augusta Nationwide. Gene’s bridge crosses the pond fronting the 15th inexperienced, a journey Garcia himself memorably did not make with 5 balls through the opening spherical of the Masters. He signed for a 13 on the par-5 and shot 81. A second-round 78 gave him the worst-ever two-day whole by a defending champion. Solely two newbie rookies fared worse.
One 12 months earlier it was an epic eagle on that 15th that propelled Garcia to his first main win. Augusta Nationwide giveth, and Augusta Nationwide taketh away. No golf course does a greater job of turning desires to nightmares, full with splashes of comedy and tragedy alongside the best way.
“It’s unexplainable. You get your self in a bit of little bit of bother and it waterfalls. It was so unhappy,” Ben Crenshaw mentioned. “I imply, that was such a dichotomy, what occurred earlier than and this 12 months. How will you clarify that? It’s not going to occur once more. It’s simply bizarre.”
Crenshaw can relate to Garcia. Not simply with the dramatic Masters win and a seat on the Champions Dinner. There have been lows, too. The years of painful sterility within the majors. Dismal performances as defending champions. Catastrophic gap meltdowns. Embarrassment. Ben’s been there, each one in every of them.
“Many occasions,” he mentioned Saturday morning at Augusta Nationwide. “I performed 43 occasions right here. I’ve had every kind of issues occur. You get on a pleasant little run and then you definitely simply journey, and it shatters you. You return to actuality.”
Garcia wasn’t jovial after Thursday’s catastrophe – whenever you’re the reigning Masters champion and a pre-tournament favourite, the sting of humiliation doesn’t permit for that diploma of levity. However nor was he the Sergio of previous, for thus lengthy liable to petulance, blame video games and membership tossing when issues went awry. He addressed it matter-of-factly, then went residence to his spouse and month-old daughter, Azalea.
Perspective. Maturity. The sorts of traits that usually include a inexperienced jacket. And parenthood.
Crenshaw is aware of it issues extra about the way you react after the various indignities that golf inflicts. In his ultimate Masters in 2015, the then 63-year-old shot 91 within the first spherical. Numerous guys would have reached for his or her backs or known as a cab. Crenshaw went out and tried his finest on all 85 pictures he wanted on Day Two. He was DFL, by 13 pictures. The sport that earned him two Masters titles had abandoned him, however the professionalism he had proven for many years by no means did.
It was examined over time right here. He too ran up a ugly quantity at the exact same gap that scuppered Garcia.
“I believe I made a 12 on No. 15. Did the identical factor he did,” Crenshaw recalled. “The one distinction is I used to be into the wind. However I saved hitting. Three balls within the water.” Was it embarrassing. “Oh certain,” he mentioned shortly. “Positive it’s.”
“You see so many spectacular issues occur on a constructive notice, then you definitely see simply tragedy,” he added philosophically. “Folks bear in mind.”
There’s one other lesson for Garcia in that story: Folks bear in mind, however winners overlook. Crenshaw by no means made a 12. It was an 11. It saved him within the Masters document books as the very best rating ever made on No. 15 for 21 years, till Garcia handed him. Scars fade sooner whenever you personal a jacket.
“He’ll take it nicely,” the previous veteran mentioned. “He’ll be stronger for it.”
Subsequent 12 months they could even chortle about it over dinner. Say, Tuesday evening at Augusta Nationwide? Gwk
(Editor’s notice: This story appeared within the April 2018 problem of Golfweek Journal.)