The classiest event in sports

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APRIL 10, 2013

The greatest event in sports will take place this weekend.

That’s right. Better than March Madness, the World Cup, Wimbledon, the Rose Bowl, the World Series, the Tour de France, the Kentucky Derby, the NBA Finals and the Super Bowl.

The Masters Tournament begins on Thursday in beautiful Augusta, Ga.

Alright, I will admit that the Olympic Games are better than the Masters. But they certainly are not as classy. And since the Summer Olympics don’t take place again until 2016, the Masters will be the greatest event in sports for the next three years.

This might shock some readers. For many 20 year olds, golf is just a boring sport for old, white guys. But anyone who thinks that hasn’t experienced the Masters the way I have.

I grew up with the Masters, and it has a special place in my heart that can’t be replaced by any other event or sport.

It’s just unlike any other major golf tournament. While in my adolescence I often hit the links myself, nothing got me more fired up to spend an afternoon on the course more than watching the Masters.

That’s because the Masters is different than any other event on TV. What makes the tournament so different is a respectful, relaxing environment that cannot be replicated anywhere else.

Golf is supposed to be the gentleman’s sport, and the Masters is its premier event.

The tournament has the best audience in sports. Tickets to the Masters are notoriously difficult to get, as they have stayed in the same families for generations. In 2012, the club released a handful of tickets to the general public for the first time in 40 years via a lottery system.

That exclusivity is unfortunate for fans like myself who dream of attending the tournament one day, but makes the TV experience something that can’t be found anywhere else. You will not hear rowdy fans yelling “GET IN THE HOLE” like you will at most other major tournaments. Those fans can’t get past the gates at Augusta.

The quiet, respectful audience combines with the soothing voices of Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo to create an environment like no other.

The experience of the Masters is something I’ve become addicted to, and it only happens once each year. In a world of high-intensity sports, there’s just something refreshing about the relaxing and respectful environment that is only found at the Masters. Even other major tournaments can’t replicate that unique environment.

And anyone who mistakes that relaxing experience as being “boring” has clearly never sat down and watched the Masters.

From Bubba Watson’s unbelievable hook shot out of the trees to set up his winning putt in a playoff last year to Mickelson’s shot between two pines in 2010, the Masters can simultaneously be one of the most relaxing and exciting events in sports.

And those are just the highlights from recent years — I won’t bore you with the tournament’s 76-year history of dramatic finishes.

But no matter how many highlights you look up on YouTube, the real highlight is the course — it’s breathtaking from every angle.

I have a romanticized version of the Masters brought on by my childhood.

Because of that, I don’t expect everyone to fall in love with the Masters the way I have. But everyone should be able to enjoy it.

So go ahead, turn on the TV this weekend.

With only four minutes of commercials per hour, the tradition and history will be nearly uninterrupted on a relaxing Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

There’s no way that after watching the Masters, you will not want to grab some clubs and hit the links yourself.

And with all due respect to the Olympic Games, no amount of watching Michael Phelps has ever made me want to jump into a swimming pool.

Only the Masters can inspire me that much.

Contact Riley McAtee at  or on Twitter


APRIL 10, 2013

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