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April 12, 1993 - Image 20

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-12

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Page 10-The Michigan Daily-Sports Monday- April 12, 1993

Langer wins second Masters
Eagle on 13th hole seals victory for German

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Bern-
hard Langer used the lightning strike
of an eagle to regain European con-
trol of the Masters green jacket yes-
terday, personally atoning for the
Ryder Cup he let escape.
The German with the peculiar
putting grip wrapped up his second
Masters triumph with a curling, 20-
foot, downhill eagle putt on the 13th
hole at Augusta National, slamming
the door on any homegrown chal-
lengers.
The critical putt - which re-
stored his lead to three shots -
came from the same unorthodox grip
that failed him at Kiawah Island two
years ago, allowing the Americans
to capture the Ryder Cup.
This time Langer was equal to
the task.
Chip Beck, his closest challenger
and playing partner, successfully
went for the green on the water-
guarded, par-5 13th, getting his sec-

ond some 25 feet behind the flag.
Langer responded with a long iron
that got inside Beck, perhaps 20 feet.
Beck two-putted for a birdie, cut-
ting Langer's lead to one,
With the shaft of the club run-
ning up his left forearm, the German
grasped both club and forearm with
his right hand, stroked the putt and
then thrust both arms high in the air
as the ball went dead into the heart
of the cup for the decisive eagle.
Langer, who held the lead over
the final 18 holes, went on to a 2-
under-par 70 and a four-stroke vic-
tory over Beck at 277.
The triumph was his 38th world-
wide and his third in the United
States. The others were the 1985
Masters and the Heritage Classic the
following week.
It also marked the fifth time in
six years a European has won this
most American of all tournaments,
and helped make up for the Ryder

Cup two years ago at Kiawah Island,'
S.C.
Only Beck and Dan Forsman
made real challenges Yesterday.
Forsman's run ended where Fred
Couples won the Masters a year ago,
on the par-3 12th.
The American was within a shot
of the lead until he lofted a short
iron high into the air - and into a
stream.
Forsman hit again. The ball hit
the bank and spun back into the wa-
ter and he finished the hole with a
quadruple-bogey 7.
Beck birdied the third from long
range and moved within two shots
with a 6-footer on the seventh.
Forsman, meanwhile, played the
front in 33 and was within one.
Langer flirted with the water on
the 11th, but chipped to tap-in dis-
tance for a par.
On the 12th, after watching
Forsman's disaster, Langer hit well

over the water and the green. His
chip stopped short. But he made it
for a 10th consecutive par and kept
his lead.
Then he won it on the 13th.
His drive was close to the creek
that flows down the left side of the
fairway before cutting in front of the
green. With 200 yards to go, and
water to clear, Langer was faced
with a decision: lay-up short or go
for it.
Beck made the decision for him.
After he put his second within
eagle range, Langer, too, went for
the green, got inside of Beck and set
up the eagle putt.
Langer also birdied the par-5
15th. But that mattered no more than
the meaningless bogey on the final
hole.
After the 13th, the green jacket
was his.

0

Andrew Levy

It's the closing seconds of the tournament. The crowd comes to a hush as
he gets set to take the final shot. You can feel the excitement shoot through
the air like a lightning bolt.
TO ... And then he makes the putt.
No, this isn't the NCAA Tournament. It's a Sunday afternoon in April in
a town known as Augusta, Ga. It's the final round of The Masters, and for
my money it's the most dramatic sporting event on television every year.
OK, I know what you're saying. You're saying, "Golf on television? I'd
rather watch 'The Bassmasters' on ESPN to pick up on fishing tips."

Bernhard Langer rejoices after sinking an eagle putt on the 13th hole at
Augusta National. Langer won The Masters for the second tire.

THE SPORTING VIEWS:
The Masters is less exciting than Regis Philbm

by Michael Rosenberg
Daily Sports Writer
The Masters. To some people it is
the greatest television event in the
world.
To those of us with a clue, it is a
big billboard screaming "The
NCAAs are over! Stop watching

television! Time to get off your lazy
butt and get out of the house!
The Masters is not a television
event. It's a couple of guys named
Cloyce saying "What a pity" when
some 260-pound chain-smoking
goober hooks his tee shot into a lake.
on the 18th hole to blow his chance

at the title.
This is the premise of golf, in a
nutshell:
1) Hit your ball.
2) Walk to it.
3) Repeat step one.
Why walk to the ball if you are
just going to hit it again? If you want

I I

the ball, pick it up. If you don't want
the ball leave it where it is.
Oh, sure, I like to play golf. It's a
chance to get outside, to be with
friends, to smash the ball-cleaner
with a four-iron when you slice your
drive towards Brazil. But watch it?
I'd rather study economics.
Watching golf is a bigger waste
of time than voting in MSA
elections.
Even the rich white men at
Augusta National realize this. That's
why they won't let CBS show the
first nine holes. They say that four or
five hours of golf is more than
anyone will watch.
Can you imagine if they did this
in pro basketball? We don't think
people will watch Michael Jordan
for a full game. Better start the NBA
Finals broadcast at halftime.
Or college football? Who's gonna
watch the Rose Bowl? Don' t show
the whole thing. People will get
bored.
Or pro hockey? The first two
periods are a drag. Just show the
final 20 minutes.
Well, there's an idea.
The problem with golf is that the
contestants actually want to play as
little as possible. Maybe you've
noticed this. That's actually the goal.
I hope I play well today. I have early
dinner plans tonight.
Golf can be watched in small
doses. You know when you flip
through the channels and you see
approximately seven milliseconds of
each program? That's a big enough
dose for me.

Give me The Masters
or club me to death
Well, those of you who think golf on television isn't exciting obviously
weren't watching in 1986 as a 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus sank the winning
putt on 18 to become the oldest man at the time ever to have won a major
title.
You weren't there in 1991 as Ian Woosnam and Tom Watson battled
through the back nine, exchanging leads on every hole, only to have
Woosnam's nerves of steel triumph over Watson's errant tee shot on 18.
You didn't see Nick Faldo's dramatic second-consecutive victory in
1990. You missed an emotional Seve Ballesteros sobbing after his second
victory. You missed the sudden-death playoffs, you missed Amen Corner,
you missed the azaleas - you missed it all.
Now, I ask you, what other sporting event so consistently comes down to
the very last second of play, pitting one man against another in a battle of
nerves? What other sporting event can match that kind of excitement?
The Final Four? Nope. For those who have a team in the game, it can be
really exciting. But who can sit through the television-manufactured drama
of two minutes of commercials during every stoppage of play in the closing
moments? When it's teams I don't care about - there is no way.
The Super Bowl? Please. The only thing to say about the Super Bowl is
that it consistently disappoints, with lopsided victories and no drama at all.
The World Series? Maybe, when there is a close seventh game like in
1991. But on a consistent basis? Who can stand to watch games one, two,
and three?
I could go on and on. But, in the end, it is only The Masters that is the
classiest - the most dramatic event. In fact, the tournament is so consistent
that, less than six months after Augusta National was ravaged by Hurricane
Hugo in 1991, the course was recreated to within an inch of its previous
self.
Commercials also set The Masters apart from other events. As far as I
can tell, almost every other sport - even every other golf tournament -
has been corrupted. I cringe every time I see the Mobil Cotton Bowl. The
Federal Express Orange Bowl. Or even the Doral Ryder Open. Sponsorship
of the famed Blue Monster? Say it isn't so.
But The Masters is simply The Masters. The only corporate sponsors of
this tournament are The Travellers insurance company and Cadillac - and
they only get a combined four minutes of commercial time every hour. That
It's the final round of The Masters, and for my
money it's the most dramatic sporting event
on television every year.
means for every 60 minutes in a Masters hour, 56 of them are full of the
action-packed golf drama I've grown to expect from the tournament.
I don't know, maybe I'm biased. Maybe it's because dhy golf-loving
grandfather had such an influence on me that my first two words (really)
were "golf club." Maybe it's because every year since I can remember,
watching The Masters was a family affair, an event. Maybe all of that is
true.
But there is so much else to love about The Masters. There's the drama
- without the hype. The pageantry - minus the glamour. All The Masters
is missing is a more "representative" field of players.
I've been to the Final Four. Seen the World Series. Watched the Super
Bowl. And I've missed them, too.
But miss The Masters? You'd have to hit me over the head with a five
iron.

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