The Masters 2017 has produced one of the finest Golf Tournaments of modern times.
Sergio Garcia’s performance on Sunday transformed what appeared be an orderly and imperious victory procession of Justin Rose into a brutal battle around Amen Corner and extra holes.
Sergio was down and almost out. His remarkable par-5 on the 13th hole resembled a prize fighter staggering to his feet with the aid of the ropes, and hanging on for the bell before staging an all-time comeback to victory through the remaining holes and playoff.
Rose’s play was so impressive and resilient through the Masters week, it is hardly fair to form any critique. However, his post tournament tweet “that while tournament golf is tough it remains just a sport”, appeared to be overshadowed by the super human exploits of Sergio that both illuminates and transcends the game. As Bob Paisley once said in football, “Football is not a matter of life or death.. it’s much more important that that”.
Golf, like other individual sports has in recent years become somewhat more of a team game, with at least a small entourage of coaches and family representing and cheering on their man from the players’ box or greenside. In Sergios “team” at Augusta was his finance Angela, his ever-present father, and his idol Jose Maria Olazabal. Ollie texted Sergio during Masters week to tell him to believe in himself and also with an invitation to share his own Champions locker at Augusta should Garcia prevail. Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain for the “Miracle at Medinah” spoke at that time that the Captain’s job is to somehow “reach the Players” and Ollie certainly reached Sergio during Masters week 2017.
Sergios other idol of course is the late-great Seve Ballesteros, who would have turned 60 years of age on Sunday. Sometimes all the stars seem to align, and point in one special destination.
Sport is not always fair, and in hindsight, Justin Rose must feel that the golfing gods were on someone else’s side. Sergio however still had it all to do, and he answered the call in the most spectacular of fashion, almost holing out for an albatross on hole 15 before rocking Augusta when his eagle putt dropped shortly after. From that moment on, Sergio had breached the defences of Rose, was in close and smelled victory.
Augusta afterall is golfing theatre. Every hole is a masterpiece, technically and artistically. The supporting cast of players delight in taking part. Willett, Kaymer, Couples and Mickelson are all winners from the 2017 Masters, but there can only be one Champion.
At Augusta, mobile phones are forbidden, as are big screens. The “patrons” follow the progress of the players throughout the course on traditional wooden score boards, with any positive movements cheered in unison as the boards change numbers. Runner up Charl Schwartzel relayed after completing his round that Augusta was so charged on Sunday that roars from the 15th were off putting for his group finishing on 18!
The patrons were rooting for Sergio on Sunday, with chants of “Sergio Sergio Sergio” ringing out as a soundtrack to Garcia’s ecstatic reaction on holing the winning put on the first playoff hole.
Bravo to Augusta National and to Sergio’s 2017 Masterclass.
For travel to 2018 Masters at Augusta, please contact golf@Ascogolf.com
Playing golf in Scotland is as traditional as roast dinner on Sundays! Play links golf in Scotland and you’ll get all the trimmings too!!
The 2016 British Open presented an epic duel with Henrik Stenson prevailing over Phil Mickelson – showcasing the fantastic challenge of Royal Troon. With ever changing wind conditions, strategy demands on each tee, deep pot bunkers and the most cultured of golfing patrons, Royal Troon delivered a tournament and Champion to remember.
You too can follow in the footsteps of Stenson, Mickelson and McIlory with stay & play packages at The Marine Hotel – overlooking the famous Troon links. The Ayrshire coast is truly unique, with an endless line of links courses including Glasgow Gailes, Dundonald, Western Gailes, Kilmarnock Barassie and Old Prestwick. Just a short drive away is the recently redesigned Ailsa Course at Trump Turnberry. Best access is at Prestwick Airport (10 minutes) or Glasgow International Airport which allows for a straight forward 45-minute drive to Troon. Scotts Restaurant is recommended locally in Troon for a light snack, post round pint or sit down dinner.
In the North, Castle Stuart played host to the 2016 Scottish Open won by Alex Noren. Best visitor rates at Castle Stuart include 2 round packages to be played within 5 days. Golfers visiting the ever popular Golf View Hotel in Nairn receive a FREE evening dinner until October 2016. Flight access is Inverness or Aberdeen Airports serviced by British Airways and Easyjet.
For those travelling to Nairn and Castle Stuart from Aberdeen Airport, the commute is 1 hour. You can of course “top or tail” your trip to include play at the impressive Trump Scotland and 2014 Scottish Open venue Royal Aberdeen. MacLeod House is Trump’s golfing lodge in Aberdeen, with 5-star service and best rates for Stay & Play on Trump Scotland.
St Andrews is well renowned as the Home of Golf. Fairmont St Andrews now offers attractive packages within Unlimited Golf. Play on St Andrews’ famous Old Course is restricted for the remainder of 2016 to a daily ballot or draw, with a 30-70% chance of success each day depending on the season. The Fairmont Unlimited Golf package provides excellent flexibility with guaranteed play each day on Kittocks and Torrance and the option to enter the ballot to play St Andrews Old Course. Access to St Andrews is from Edinburgh Airport (75 minutes) with attractive rates on car rental or transfers with AscotGolf.com. PGA Professionals receive FREE Hotel & Board for every 7 golfers.
Further south near Edinburgh, the twin seaside towns of Gullane and North Berwick offer intensive links golfing visits, with Stay & Play packages at MacDonald Marine Hotel. Golfers booking with Ascot Golf for October 2016 receive 2 FREE evening dinners per stay. Upgrade your package with play on the exclusive Muirfield links subject to availability for your travel dates. A Handicap limit of 18 applies for Muirfield and visitor tee-timees are restricted to week-days.
Whatever your preference for Golf in Scotland, link up with Ascot Golf and start plotting your trip to play the very best in golf!
The 41st Ryder Cup takes place at Hazeltine GC, Minneapolis (Sept 30-Oct 2, 2016), just 15miles from the twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. With direct flights to Minneapolis Saint Paul Airport (MSP) from London Heathrow and other international airports, travel to the Ryder Cup this September could hardly be easier!
Team Europe under Darren Clarke are seeking a 4th successive Ryder Cup victory, following Colin Montgomerie in Wales, 2010; Olazabal’s Miracle of Medinah, 2012; and McGinley’s Masterclass in Gleneagles, 2014! Travel packages to Hazeltine include 4 and 5-night stays, with a choice of hotels – the Holiday Inn Saint Paul Downtown (4-star) and InterContinental Saint Paul (5-star).
Holiday Inn Saint Paul Downtown is a perfect venue for Ryder Cup groups, with “The Liffey” Irish Pub perfect for unwinding and talking through the day’s action at Hazeltine. Some of Minnesota’s best attractions are nearby the Holiday Inn. St. Paul is home to the Xcel Energy Center and RiverCentre which host great concerts and the home of the Minnesota Wild hockey team – just across the street from the Holiday Inn.
InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront is located in the heart of downtown overlooking the Mississippi River. The hotel is just steps away from live theater, renowned museums, memorable dining, and specialty tax free shopping. “Citizen Supper Club” restaurant pays homeage to a byegone era at the Intercontinental with traditional cuisine and freshements, a perfect setting for post round analysis and previews of the following days Ryder Cup matches.
Ryder Cup package prices with Ascot Golf include Hotel, Breakfast, Season Tickets for the 2016 Ryder Cup including Opening Ceremony and practice days, ground transportation from your hotel to and from the Hazeltine, and entry to the Ryder Cup celebration party. Furthermore, you may upgrade your package to the International Pavilion to allow for hospitality, seating and service throughout the 3 Tournament days.
While the “Brexit” Vote of June 23 has increased the price of golfing holidays to the US for UK golfers, 2016 Ryder Cup packages are unchanged from the beginning of the year for booking in GB£. For those paying in Euro or US$, the price has reduced by up to 15% from early season rates!
And, by booking Ryder Cup 2016 with Ascot Golf before August 15, you will receive a complimentary Ryder Cup Pro Quip Jacket & Hat (His or Hers, Team Europe or USA) for each person in your group!.
Team Europe is taking shape, with a strong GB&I influence, to include McIlroy, Willett, rookies Fitzpatrick and Wood, and veterns Rose and Westwood also expected to make the final 12. Garcia, Stenson, Lowry and Cabrera-Bello also look likely to join forces to help Europe in their bid to retain the Trophy at Hazeltine.
Team USA is still smarting from Medinah and Gleneagles especially, with Davis Love III given the responsibility to right past wrongs for TEAM USA at Hazeltine. Vice Captains include Tiger Woods as part of a systematic and structured approach that Love hopes will result in victory for the US in Minneapolis.
Ticket packages for 2016 Ryder Cup are limited and will be confirmed on a first-come basis. We hope you can make it for a golfing experience of a lifetime!
Email golf@Ascotgolf.com for further details or call +44 1344 638 700 and speak with our sales agent to book your place.