by Jeff Skinner
When Tiger Woods won his first Masters in 1997 Jim Nantz made a memorable call as Tiger sank his last putt. “A win for the ages” he called it. This year’s Masters has evolved into what one could call “a battle of the ages.” Twenty one year old Rory McIlroy and twenty three year old Jason Day have made a statement. By the nature of their play they are saying experience is overrated and the naivety of youth will serve them well at Augusta. It may well help them win the 75th Masters but they will have to face generations of experienced golfers to win their first major.
McIlroy and Day have played excellent golf over the first two days with McIlroy starting with a 65 and Day topping that with a tournament low 64 on Friday. McIlroy holds a two stroke lead on Day and the two will be paired in the final group today and they will need to continue to go low as the field hunts them down.
Representing a different generation of golfers a few shots off the lead are K.J. Choi (40) and Tiger Woods (35). Choi has played well at Augusta and Woods showed flashes of the game that gave him four green jackets. They will be taking their best shots at the youngsters in hopes of taking the lead from them. The youngsters may have to fend off another generation of golfers as represented by 51 year old Fred Couples. Despite an ailing back the 1992 Masters Champion is tied for seventh place and five strokes off McIlroy’s lead. Fred continues to threaten every time he tees it up at The Masters.
The young guns will have to face the pressure of having the world’s best golfers hunting them down. Will they be able to withstand the challenge? We’ll see if youth can hold off the onslaught of experience and who will be left standing at day’s end.