My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, April 10

The Masters

I just watched the tv coverage of the par-3 tournament at the Masters, a nice prelude to the real tournament that begins tomorrow. The course looked magnificent, the Georgia weather looked ideal, the greens looked impossibly fast—good omens for the four days ahead. It was fun to see some of the young players having a pre-tourney ball alongside some of the oldsters there—Jack Fleck, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer. Even Ben Crenshaw. But Ben isn’t really an oldster. His snaggly teeth simply make him look like one. Surely he’s made enough money from golf to get those teeth fixed. Then there are the bellies on Jack and Arnold as they sort of tottered from tee to green. It saddened me to see them wearing their ages so obviously. Jack Fleck could hardly walk, let alone swing a golf club. Gary Player was still as slim as ever but his swing was suspect. Jack had a hitch or two in his swing he never used to have. And Arnold, who hit practically every pond on the course, must have nearly run out of golf balls, and his walk to the ninth green was a study in slow-motion wobbles. It saddens me to realize that I’m six years older than Jack, two years older than Gary, eighteen years older than Ben, and only five years younger than Arnold. I look in the mirror and see myself in their old visages. Then there’s Augusta National to make me forget my age. What a place that is, one of the most carefully pristine and beautiful spots on earth. And most of the people there, either competing in the tourney or just observing it, are the most carefully pristine and beautiful people on earth. I’ve yearned for a chance to be there for one of these contests, but I never made it and never will. It’s one of the toughest tickets in the world of sports. Every year I submit my name for the lottery drawing for two tickets and every year I lose. So I’ve resigned myself to the television coverage, as have nearly every other golf fan in the world. I can hardly wait to see what sort of magic will unfold. This tournament has more viewers world-wide than any other, and not just golfers. Everyone seems to be interested in what goes on there. It may be the beauty of Augusta National, with its birdsong and floral bounty. It may be the tradition involved and the fact that it’s played on this and only this course, unlike the other majors. It may be the drama that builds for four days up to that dramatic final nine holes we all know so well. Will one of the old guys actually pull it out just as Jack, with putter raised high and tongue between front teeth, did in 1986? Will Rory win his third leg of the grand slam? Will Bubba repeat his out-of-the-woods magic? Will Phil make good use of his new 3-metal driver and win his fourth jacket? How will Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old from China, fare? Will one of the Europeans pull it out—Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, or Lee Westwood? Will it be an Asian such as K.J. Choi or Y. E. Yang or the young Japanese phenom, Ryo Ishikawa? One of the peculiarities of this tournament and its tradition is that it’s a very limited field, only some forty or so of the field of ninety-three with any kind of chance to win it. Drop the old guys who get to play because they’re past winners—Watson, Crenshaw, Stadler, Lyle, Mize, Woosnam, O’Meara, Langer, Couples; drop several others who may not yet be old but whose current play says they can’t win it—Mike Weir and Jose Maria Olazabal; drop the four amateurs. What you have left are the ones I mentioned above and one other—yeah, right, Tiger. Will Tiger’s sterling play so far this year let him win his fifth Masters, his fifteenth major? Is he really back and is he really the number one player in the world? Against this very limited field, I’m guessing the answer to all these last questions is . . . YES!
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