2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Rory McIlroy vs. Brooks Koepka: Game On


Streeter Lecka/Getty Images. Pictured: Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy

Matches the birdie from McIlroy to keep pace.

Game on.

You’re not one to pat yourself on the Masters-green back of your new polo shirt, but those patrons “stuck” watching the final two groups might be on the verge of missing a showdown for the ages and a budding rivalry that the sport has so desperately craved for years.

At least, these are the thoughts which spring to your mind as McIlroy and Koepka stroll down the second fairway — apart from each other, of course.

Forget the early jabs. These guys came out throwing haymakers right from the start.

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Their birdies on the first hole are followed by another pair on the par-5 second hole and it’s quickly apparent that the fourth-to-last group of the day might wind up being the most relevant to the final result of this tournament.

This is the kind of stuff they write books about. This is the kind of stuff that will someday earn today a cool nickname, like “Duel in the Sun.” Maybe “Sun’s Out, Guns Out” you think to yourself as you watch the two muscle-bound pros, then visibly shake your head as if to forever erase that terrible idea from your mind.

Granted, Tiger and Phil and Reed and Rahm are still very much in this thing. And it’s hard to think any of them will simply fade away from the plot.

But the air just feels different right now. It feels momentous. It feels important. You’ve always heard that term “a palpable buzz in the air” and just figured it was a cliched catchphrase for blundering announcers, but now, for the first time, you can actually feel it. While it’s still early, it also feels like there’s only one of two ways this thing can go.

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