2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Patrick Reed vs. Jon Rahm: Didn’t See This Coming
Harry Trump/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm
Find a place to watch it on TV.
What the hell just happened? You’ve spent your entire adult life pining for the chance to someday catch a glimpse of Augusta National and take it all in for an afternoon, then that opportunity was ruined by Roger Goodell? Because of a cell phone in your pocket?
That place is so out of touch with reality, you tell yourself.
Seconds later, though, as you trudge toward Washington Road, you flick the cartoon devil off your shoulder and start listening to the angel instead. It’s not the club’s fault, it’s not Goodell’s fault. It’s nobody’s fault, but your own. You’re the one who broke the rule, now you’re the one who’s paying the consequences.
Angry, disappointed and a bit hungry (that pimento cheese sandwich didn’t fill you up), you turn left at the traffic and start walking toward Tbonz, the favorite hangout spot for Masters attendees during the week. Assuming major lines to get in and crowds in the restaurant, just because you’ve heard it’s always packed this week, you’re surprised when you walk right in and take a seat at the bar right in front of a TV with the CBS coverage already on. (Of course, it’s on every TV in the place.)
You keep a close eye on Rahm, obviously – gotta watch your wagers – but you also watch Reed and Woods and Mickelson and Koepka and McIlroy and everybody else in contention.
It turns out to be an action-packed final round, the telecast’s lack of many commercials and ability to cut back and forth to various players so quickly offers a viewing experience that you wouldn’t have received if Roger hadn’t had you tossed. Maybe you’re still just trying to rationalize the boneheaded move of bringing your phone onto the course, but right now, with a warm steak and cold beer in front of you and nobody blocking the TV screen, you’re not so sure you’d want to switch places with anyone behind the gallery ropes.
You remember something Jack Nicklaus, a six-time Masters champion, of course, said about his own Memorial Tournament. This was six years ago, before the event started that week, and he was asked about his favorite spot to watch the golf.
“My living room,” he answered earnestly. “With a television set.”
The interview room erupted with laughter after that comment, but the Golden Bear was on to something, you decided.
You end up sitting here for more than three hours, watching every single shot. Other than a “Wow!” or a “How about that one?!” to a fellow customer, you’re pretty much alone with your thoughts and the broadcast, which under the circumstances feels downright perfect.
Sure, it would be nicer if Rahm could win, but he eventually finishes in a share of second place. You think back on your day – you bought some souvenirs, tried the pimento cheese, met the NFL commissioner and got thrown out of Augusta National – and decide this is a pretty good story for your buddies back home. Of course, it would’ve been an even better story if you’d won all those bets.