Faith: Thanking the Master at The Masters

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I didn’t know Zach Johnson from Bob, Magic or my brother Jimmy Johnson. No need. He was one of the faceless dozens comprising the everyone-other-than-Tiger Tour a.k.a. The PGA Tour. Not any more. Johnson, an Iowan (is anything more faceless than that?) steeled his way around Augusta National on Sunday afternoon and outlasted Tiger Woods to become perhaps the least accomplished Masters champions ever.

Get this: The victory was only Johnson’s second of his career.

Woods has won 12 majors.

But let’s face it: Tiger never showed up. At least not the Tiger we’ve come to know. Even after going bogey-bogey on 17 and 18 on Friday and Saturday, he looked as if he was one Tigeresque shot away from making everyone else on the course crawl into a hole and cry for mommy. It never happened. Woods pulled within two shots with four to play but on the par-5 15th Tiger’s second shot lingered on the embankment before tumbling into the creek. He held on for par but Tiger left a birdie – at minimum – in that creek.

Woods squandered another birdie op at 16, then misjudged his approach at 17. He landed well short of the green in a bunker, which prompted an angry outburst:

“What the hell just happened”” he asked. A moment later he added, “(Unintelligible) said downwind.”

At that moment you did not want to be Steve Williams, Woods’s caddie, who walked forward several paces ahead of his boss. Smart man.

Woods went par-par on 17 and 18 on Sunday, but needed birdie-birdie. Just after walking off the 18th green he admitted to CBS’s Bob Macatee that the duel bogey-bogies earlier in the week probably cost him a fifth green jacket.

But props to Johnson (and not just because of his last name!). He won the tournament, shooting 69 on Sunday, tying for the lowest score of the day. (Woods shot 72).

Because Tiger didn’t pull away from the field like he typically does – prompting players to swing out of their shoes and attempt shots tat just aren’t in their bags – Johnson was able to stick to his conservative strategy. He didn’t go for a single par 5 in two during the tournament, and yet often still made birdie. (He birdied 3 of Augusta’s four par 5s on Sunday.)

“He played beautifully,” Woods said. “Look at the round he shot out there, the score. He did what he needed to do. He went out there, grinded away, made shots he needed to make.”

Playing two groups ahead of Tiger, he finished well before the best player in the world and waited, like the rest of us, for the Tiger we knew to show up. In his own chat with Macatee just after walking off 18, introduced himself to America in a manner fitting of Ressurection Sunday:

“I had some people who were watching over me,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion. “My faith is every important to me, and Jesus was right there.”

He is risen, indeed.

Zach J Yet another talented Johnson

Zach Johnson’s scorecard here.

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7 thoughts on “Faith: Thanking the Master at The Masters

  1. BC says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful for Resurrection Sunday. Faith and acknowledgement given to the Lord.

  2. Juan says:

    He won a tournament at a site that excludes women from membership solely on the basis of their gender. I’d be more impressed if he, and other golfers would boycott the tournament or refuse membership in the club and would not affiliate themselves with a sexist organization.

    That to be would be a more significant demonstration of faith in action.

    It’s not unheard of…Lee Trevino turned down Augusta’s memebership back in the 70s.

  3. BC says:

    Good point! Let’s see if over time doing the right thing is the faithful thing.

  4. melody winstead says:

    If more superstars professed their faith in public arenas, we would have greater achievement among America’s youth.

  5. Joeffrey says:

    Question Juan, did Lee Trevino turn down membership and/or not play in the Masters? Either way a stand should be taken. The more “good-ol’-boys” networks that can be broken up the better.

  6. Juan says:

    Lee did not play in 1971 and 1972 at Augusta.
    He got the hell criticized out of him for it.
    He came back to play after talking to Tourney officials.

    Trevino grew up dirt poor and uneducated and had more to lose than a bunch of the college boys and country club kids playing golf on the Tour at the time.

    Someone should take a stand…. totally agreed. Too much money involved now. Sponsors, etc. would be up in arms if their logo was not plasted all over their guy and thus on TV.

    Would love to see someone like Lee, Chi Chi, Lee Elder, or one of the old heads come back and say something.

  7. Stop the Criticism says:

    Can’t a golfer just mention the LORD and thank him without someone taking the low road and criticizing the article. Juan and Joeffrey, your criticism shows who is directing your speech and its not the LORD. If you cannot post something positive, shut it.

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