Niagara Gazette — Watching the 2014 Masters played around the spring environs of Augusta’s lush greens and azaleas, with dramatic shifts of fortune, particularly at water-laden Amen Corner, I thought: are we witnessing the inception of a new era in pro golf? But to be truly predictive, wouldn’t it be better to check out ball strikers at one of the nation’s premier amateur showcases held at NFCC during July – the Porter Cup? Probably.
Indeed, one of two players in the final pairing of the latest Masters was himself a recent, meteoric amateur. This Jordan Spieth — despite a few puerile bursts of temper for, say, curling his shot to “only” 10 feet on a pretty par 3 most would find daunting — demonstrated true aplomb for his callow age of 20, both in how he negotiated an iconic course, and how he spoke afterward about tying for runner-up at arguably the most significant of majors.
The current Masters champ (for a second time), Bubba Watson, is himself no oldster, also American, and easily patronized, starting with the name alone. (And yet I sometimes think the patronized South, whence he hails, will have the last laugh — by taking things more slowly and ponderously than do northerners in today’s frenzied world!) One nationally-run columnist from Philly seemed non-plussed that a folksy young guy from a small town in north Florida could even get to this position of winning another Masters title. But why not?
Like Spieth, Watson has a decent, yet determined kind of nobility about him, as does the handsome Georgia Tech alum, Matt Kuchar, who also came close at this year’s Masters. And for a bit of spice you could throw in a young, but more oddly dressed Rickie Fowler. In sum, a new American contingent of contenders here? Perhaps.