2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Rory McIlroy vs. Brooks Koepka: The Right Move?
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images. Pictured: Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy
Get a good spot on 18 and wait for them to get there.
“This is smart,” you tell yourself as another roar echoes through the property. “This is the right move.”
You’re a Masters rookie, trying to watch the final round with a bevy of superstars in contention, which is a hell of a proposition. That’s like skipping high school algebra and going straight for the PhD in mathematics. And that’s not all: You’re alone, which means you’re free of having to compromise your plan with anyone else’s, but also means you’re not getting any advice on the proper way to watch this conclusion.
Even as you try to convince yourself that heading to the 18th hole and waiting for the final groups to finish is the best play, you’re still pretty unsure of yourself.
As you near the green, you start to realize why.
Imagine if you took a sold-out crowd at Yankee Stadium, then squeezed every fan into an area about one-hundredth the size, with no tiered seating to watch the action.
That’s what you soon understand it’s like around the 18th green on Sunday of the Masters.
Forget trying to get anywhere close to the green. The front gates opened at 8 this morning and those spots were occupied by 8:02. Your limited choices are to stand 10 rows deep and 50 yards from the green, or five rows deep and 100 yards from the green. Which is to say, the choices aren’t great ones.
At this point, though, you’re pot-committed. Even if you wanted to go back and check out the play on preceding holes, they’d be finished by the time you made it there.
And so, you stay and watch — or more to the point, you stay and listen.
You’ll someday be able to tell your grandkids that you were there when McIlroy won the Masters, but you won’t be able to tell them much else.
The crowd hushed. There were a few oohs and a bunch of ughs. There were ovations.
Being in that atmosphere was great, you keep telling yourself, but skipping ahead to not see anything of relevance proved to be a rookie mistake.