No dallying and certainly no dillying despite fans’ efforts
There is no disputing that many of the gentlemen and one or two of the handful of lady members sporting the famous green jackets on Masters week are fair game to accusations of being old fashioned snobs and just a little stuffy. However, there are also occasions when they echo the views of a massive percentage of golf lovers when protecting the proud image of the game. American fans have an unpleasant habit of shouting out at the most inopportune times highly annoying phrases such as “get in the hole”, “mashed potatoes” and “baba booey”. If such outbursts strike one as being inane and irritating, the word is that another is on its way to Augusta in time for the week-end’s golf. It is “dilly dilly”, a slogan invented by Bud Light in a series of TV commercials that began airing last year and deemed by some genius to be appropriate when Rory Mcilroy and company play a particularly impressive shot. Forewarned that this abomination and the others already mentioned might well ring out through Augusta’s famous cathedral pines during the 82nd Masters, the tournament’s security people have been instructed to eject anyone guilty of such activity. And even those who have little time for the green jackets will wish them well in throwing the culprits out on to Washington Road! The last couple of days have been noticeably successful for the older brigade, most of whom turned up at Augusta National hoping for little more than another enjoyable week in one of golf’s most beautiful and enjoyable locations. Leading these illustrious gentlemen were three of the game’s greatest, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Tom Watson. The trio went out in Wednesday’s Par 3 which Watson duly won with Nicklaus in 2nd place. However, Player has always been one of the game’s toughest competitors and duly proved the point yesterday when reclaiming bragging rights after joining Nicklaus in getting the 82nd Masters under way.
The pair continued their role as honorary starters with a pair of tee shots on the first hole. And the 82 year-old South African hit a beauty that finished five shots behind Nicklaus who is four years his junior. It could be, of course, that Jack enjoyed an extra glass of wine to celebrate the hole in one of his grandson, Gary Nicklaus, in the Par 3. Either way, that would have been a happy party — in contrast to that in the home of another hole in one man, American professional Tony Finau, who overdid the celebrations after his tee shot at the 7th finished in the hole. He raced away off the tee and after about 20 yards, turned back towards the tee only to keel over suffering from a seemingly serious ankle injury. Although in apparent pain, Finau displayed the skills of which any surgeon could be proud in quickly slipping the dislocation back into place and yesterday drilled a perfect drive off the first tee and joined the elite under par after six holes. It has long been a tradition of the Golfing Union of Ireland to send their president to represent the country’s golfers at the Masters. This year, the man doing the honours is Tipperary’s John Moloughney, who loves his sport like few others. A retired Garda from Templemore, John rarely misses a big match at Thomond Park and delighted in Munster’s nailbiting win over Toulon on Saturday last to put him in the right frame of mind for Augusta. There is no water anywhere near the opening hole at Augusta National but Jason Day found a way to get his ball wet after sending a shot into a patron’s cup of beer yesterday.
The Australian world number 11’s second shot hit some trees before it bounced off a patron’s shoulder and into the cup of beer he was holding.
Rather than reach into his beverage the man chugged the rest of the beer and handed the golf ball back to Day, who entered the year’s first major as one of the favourites.
Day got a free drop as close to the incident as possible and went on to bogey the par-four first.