By Neil Connolly,
in Sport ·
13-11-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
The one thing about golf that you have to love is the banter that comes with the territory, naturally competitive banter, or sledging as it’s known in other sports, has to be respectful, fun and a little bit close to the bone for it to be any good.
With the Masters starting this week, the best bit of banter to date around the 2020 Augusta championship comes from an unusual corner, namely Bernhard Langer, who severely burned Ian Poulter on his home turf, Twitter, earlier on this week.
Apparently, the story goes that a security guard at Augusta mistook Ian Poulter for Bernhard Langer, which I’m not sure Ian Poulter was too happy about considering that the German is nearly 20 years his senior and from a different country entirely.
When Langer found out about the mistaken identity he went straight onto Twitter and said, “Ha. Good thing the guard didn’t ask to see your Green Jacket @IanJamesPoulter. That would have been awkward. I have an extra. Maybe we can go to the pro shop @Masters together next week and get you something nice. My treat!”
Who’d have thought it, Bernard has a world class sense of humour as well as a never ageing game of golf. All Poulter could do in response was say on Twitter, “@bernhardlanger6 That’s awesome.. can you buy me an extra 80 yards on my driver please and a pot of that anti-ageing cream you have #Masters champion.”
A nice touch of deference, understanding when you’ve been well and truly beaten and respect for one of the greatest European players ever to tread the links. And also a fabulous reminder to Poulter that he isn’t a member at Augusta yet.
The bookies aren’t too worried about him this year either as he is currently 100-1 in the Autumn Masters this week. I said at the end of the article last week that Tiger was defending his green jacket, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tiger defend a championship at 35-1; you never know the way he finished last year he certainly was the boss of Amen Corner and the stretch into the clubhouse.
I know it’s risky but I am going to come out and say it before the tournament starts, I don’t fancy Bryson DeChambeau to win this week, I can see much more value elsewhere in the field especially when you look to Patrick Cantlay, who contended last year in the final stretch and has improved his resume in the last couple of months significantly.
They say that the long hitters are favourite to win this championship due to the fairways being wetter than normal. But to be honest I really don’t care who wins, it’s the fact that the tournament is being played and we can watch it.
Regardless of what time of year it is being played the winner will have a green jacket at the end of it and hopefully will be presented by somebody in a mask so that we will always know which year The Masters was played just by the picture.
You can also be thankful that there aren’t going to be any of the traditional cheers of, “Get in the hole!” or “You’re the man!” I’m wondering if the stillness and silence surrounding the play will add a little bit more reverence to the occasion, like last Remembrance Sunday around the cenotaph where there was an airy stillness to the air and the atmosphere seemed to be more weighty because of it.
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