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2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson: The Patrons Erupt

2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson: The Patrons Erupt article feature image

Harry How/Getty Images for The Match

“Oh, it almost went in!”

The gallery surrounding this final pairing erupts, as Mickelson’s ball dances around the hole and stops just next to it. If you were playing a round with buddies, this one would be considered “inside the leather” — a gimme birdie if there ever was one. Mickelson, though, appears more than happy to wait, as Woods runs his 25-footer about four feet past the hole, then cleans up his par. That leaves the stage open for Lefty, as he taps in for an early two-stroke lead to thunderous applause once again.

It’s difficult to gauge the crowd ratio of Phil supporters to Tiger supporters, probably because a Venn Diagram would show plenty of overlap between the two. Unlike, say, a football game, where nearly everyone in attendance is rooting for one team or the other, most golf fans simply want to witness great shots — and if they come from a well-known superstar, even better.

While many of the spectators in attendance might have a preference toward one or the other, they’re all going to boisterously cheer great shots from either one.

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Right now, it just seems like a partisan crowd in favor of Mickelson, just because they’re celebrating his birdie, but that could change at any moment.

In fact, in just a few moments, it does.

Woods makes a routine birdie on the par-5 second hole, rolling in a 10-footer to move to within one stroke of Mickelson, who could only manage a par.

The gallery now feels pro-Tiger, but only because he gave ‘em more to cheer about.

It continues this way for the next handful of holes. Phil one-ups Tiger, the crowd goes crazy. Tiger one-ups Phil, the crowd still goes crazy.

You know you’re a first-timer here at the Masters, and you love the idea of supporting both players, but it still feels a bit wrong, like holding every ticket in a raffle. As much as you love the idea of applauding both champions, you feel like you need to pick just one of ‘em for the remainder of the round.

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