You couldn’t have scripted it any better as Woods returns to golf and two guys with the combined age of 110 shoot 66 & 67 to sit first and T2 on the opening day of the Masters.
HOW can 4 players over 50+ shoot under par? It’s quite simple, all are very talented and have won at least one major. How can you not love what Fred Couples is doing out there? He’s 50 and playing perhaps the best golf of his career. But how is this possible?
It’s possible because Freddie is triple jointed and can swing a club into a position that most 20 yr olds cannot. He has extreme confidence with his putting after shooting a million under par in his 4 Champion Tour events. And these guys are winners, they know how to win, and they still have the competitive desire to compete and win. What Tom Watson did last year in the British Open was one of the greatest athletic feats of all time. At age 60 to come within one short putt of winning the Open would have been the sports story of the century. Here he is again with an amazing 67 in the first round. Can Watson win the Masters? Probably not, as the course gets significantly tougher over the next 54 holes. Can Freddie win the Masters….ABSOLUTELY and don’t be surprised if you have one of the greatest leader boards ever develop into a Sunday afternoon showdown between Phil, Freddie, Tiger, Ian, Lee, AK and maybe even Adam Scott! Not to say that YE, KJ, and Nick Watney could contend, but that is the beauty of this great event, it’s going to be very exciting!!
I don’t think anyone will be able to separate themselves from the pack with 30 guys under par. As the course conditions change, 72 will become a very good score over the next few days.
Back to the old guys- how can these guys compete at this level at age 50+?
From my experience having qualified for the 2009 British Senior Open at Sunningdale last year, I had the privileged to play a practice round with fellow Olympian Michael Allen. Now here is a guy that won his very first PGA event last year [the Senior PGA] while also having one of his best years ever on the PGA tour banking over $1,000,000. I asked Michael how he could be playing so well at age 50..? He said “I really feel like I haven’t peaked yet, and that my best golf is ahead of me” this is exactly how I feel and contributed greatly to achieving my personal goal of becoming the NCGA Player of The Year at age 50 in 2009. It was amazing how Michael prepared for the British Senior Open, basically mapping out every yard of the course and coming up with a strategy based on different wind condition and possible pin placements. It certainly showed me he was not there on vacation and was preparing to win.
I believe this is the same approach that Freddie and Tom Watson take in preparing for these events that are so important to them. They are mentally and physically prepared and they have a game plan!!
I also had the pleasure of playing 18 holes of golf with Tom Watson in 1984 at Cypress Point. Tom was doing the EF Hutton commercials and did some regional golf outings for a few lucky ones. I can tell you that there is very little difference in his swing today than 26 years ago. He is physically able to turn back and fully load back to his right side, same with Freddie. How can you at age 50 do the same thing, well it starts with your fitness and nutrition. In the coming days I will be covering these important topics and sharing some of the best exercises that will assist you in maintaining your range of motion.
More Masters coverage tomorrow. Prediction for tomorrow is nobody runs away from the pack, and again you’ll have a crowded leader board with all the big names staying close to the top.
Enjoy and stay tuned