Greg Norman, Rory McIlroy and Scottie: 102 thoughts from Masters week

Greg Norman. Rory McIlroy. Scottie Scheffler. And more. Here are 102 thoughts from the Masters week at Augusta National.

The post Greg Norman, Rory McIlroy and Scottie: 102 thoughts from Masters week appeared first on Golf.

Greg Norman. Rory McIlroy. Scottie Scheffler. And more. Here are 102 thoughts from the Masters week at Augusta National.

The post Greg Norman, Rory McIlroy and Scottie: 102 thoughts from Masters week appeared first on Golf.


[Insert your comment here.]

But I do. Or more specifically, others think I do. I’ve often been asked for directions. Help. 

Whether we’ve seen the last of Tiger Woods

Yeah. Monday morning, while searching for orange juice in an effort to mix a vitamin among the pimento cheese and peach ice cream sandwiches pushing my belly outward, a man in maybe his late 50s approaches at a CVS nearby Augusta National. He covers his mouth and whispers, though there’s no one else around. 

“Is … is … Tiger done?”

Hmm. I’m thinking of a measured response, because I can’t waste the hot taeks. They need to go here. But I’m saved. 

Before I answer, he walks to the check-out. And I have reflection No. 1 from the week that was. It’s maybe not all that surprising. But it’s part of the charm of all that’s the Masters and Augusta National and Augusta, G.A. 

The golf is this city’s team. Its Packers. Its Yankees. Its Lakers. It’s the conversation at the greasy spoon. At the water cooler and watering hole

At the CVS with someone who looks nice enough to talk to about such things. 

With that, here are a few more thoughts. There’ll be bits on the golf. And items that orbit the golf. We’ve done this before in this space, and at this place, the Top Dawg Tavern on Washington Road, a friendly joint with a big menu and ’70s, ’80s and ’90s rock pumping. 

Let’s shoot for 102. We did 101 last year. But we are better than then. 


2. Tiger is done! If you ask him. 

He finished last among those who made the cut. Shot weekend rounds of 82 (his worst-ever at the Masters) and 77. That’s ‘ceremonial golfer’ territory. Of which he said he’d never reside. 

verne lundquist in 16th hole tower at augusta national

Waiting for Verne Lundquist at the Masters, one last time

By: Michael Bamberger

3. Tiger isn’t done. If you watched him Friday. 

Under one of the most brutal of Augusta days, Woods shot even-par 72. Only eight golfers were better. He made the cut, for the record 24th time. 

4. We’ll see him at the PGA at Valhalla, where he won in 2000. Can he contend this go-around? Let’s answer that with another question:

Can you see him playing well across four days? Or will he play well over just one or two, like this past week?

5. Let’s talk the next Tiger. 

Ludvig Aberg! Joking, mildly. He represented himself outstandingly well in major appearance No. 1, finishing second, and majors, plural, are in his future. I wrote about my walk with him on Sunday here

6. Son Charlie out with the alignment sticks with Dad Tiger on Sunday on the range was fun. That’s one helluva conversation. “Hey, can you come to Augusta on Sunday during the Masters to help your 15-time major-winning dad with his hip turn.”

My dad asked me to cut the grass. 

7. Then there’s Tiger Goods. Sorry, I tried. But it kinda works for Scottie Scheffler, the assassin disguised as a nice guy. 

But that’s been a thing with the SS Shotmaker — folks want some hot sauce to go with their meal. Folks call him boring. Folks call him vanilla. Maybe so. But look at Sunday. The leaderboard collapsed under his weight. He played his best-in-the-world game. He made others come get him. And they hit balls in the water and in the bushes. 

A soul crusher. But just one who smiles. 

8. Let’s do more names! Scottie Slam. Scheffler Slam. Scheff’s Kiss. 

Bryson DeChambeau

At the Masters, Bryson DeChambeau found something he wasn’t expecting

By: Sean Zak

Yeah, the season slam is in play. Scottie Very Hottie will be the fav at the PGA, the U.S. Open and the Open Championship. 

9. Do you bet the field or Scheffler at any of those? Don’t laugh. 

10. Love the moment on Sunday on the 18th, where Scheffler waited for caddie Ted Scott, a key part of the Scheffler narrative. Others seem to like it, too. It’ll be our most-read story this week

11. Love this from Scott afterward: “When I was 19 years old, a guy by the name of Ryan Smith told me, if you want to get better at something, find people who are better than you and spend time with them. That’s kind of been my motto in life.”

12. Love that Scheffler would have gone home at any point this week had his first child been born.

13. Love that Scheffler celebrated his win Sunday night at the Inwood Tavern in Dallas. 

14. A Top Dawg waitress tells me Scheffler was at the bar a week ago. Sat unbothered. Love that, too. 

15. Scheffler needs a rival. Shoot, we still whisper when Tiger and Phil get close to getting paired together. It’s not so much that we like a fight, it’s that we like a side. Let’s run through this year’s contenders. 

16. Max Homa, major player is welcomed. He tied for third. 

17. Homa, on what he planned for Sunday night: 

“I haven’t drank in a really, really, really long time, but I’ve been planning it for Sunday after the Masters, so probably not great. It’ll be all right.”

Same, brother. Same. 

18. Collin Morikawa has a sneaky good resume building at Augusta — a tie for 44th (2021), followed by a fifth (2022), a tie for 10th (2023) and a tie for third. 

scottie scheffler screams in victory at the Masters in orange shirt

Scottie Scheffler’s Masters triumph left us with 1 massive question

By: James Colgan

19. But a Sunday 74 was grisly. 

20. Tommy Fleetwood has to win a major at some point, right? He tied for third.

21. Xander Schauffele has to win a major at some point, right? He finished eighth. 

22. Patrick Cantlay has to win a major at some point, right? He tied for 22nd. 

23. Will Zalatoris has to win a major at some point, right? He tied for ninth. 

24. I actually think that happens this year, at the U.S. Open. 

25. Scheffler wins the PGA.  

26. The Top Dawg is playing “The Night Owls” by Little River Band as I type.

27. What happened, Rory McIlroy? He’d taken multiple steps ahead of the Masters. He tied for 22nd. 

28. Does McIlroy ever win a green jacket? Woods thinks he will. Jack Nicklaus, too. But I heard an interesting thought on this (and I apologize that I can’t remember from whom): But McIlroy may be best served if he heard that he can’t win the Masters. I like that idea. 

29. What happened, Justin Thomas? He missed the cut in most disastrous fashion. He seems not as lost as last year, though. 

30. What happened, Viktor Hovland? He missed the cut and missed a putt from maybe 6 inches. He seems lost, just a short six months or so when it appeared he’d found something special. 

31. What happened, Jordan Spieth? He seems a little lost, though you’re right to worry that he may stay on three majors. 

Max Homa at the 2024 Masters.

The Masters finished with a shocking twist: Everyone left happy except the winner

By: Dylan Dethier

32. Please come back, Fred Couples. A golf nation needs your tweets. 

33. What happened, Brooks Koepka? He tied for 45th. 

34. He wins the Open Championship. 

35. What happened, Jon Rahm? He also tied for 45th.  

36. The Champions Dinner sounded great, though. 

37. Time for a beer. First up is Good Googly Moogly by Tapped 33, a new brewery in Augusta. We like our good beers in this space, and this is a great one.   

38. Does Scheffler go back to sliders for his dinner?

39. What happened, Phil Mickelson? He tied for 43rd. 

40. For as long as I write this reflection column, I’ll continue to believe his 2021 PGA win may be the most bizarre thing we see … this decade? These 25 years? Ever? No one — no one — saw that coming.

41. Of course, a Woods win trumps it. 

42. What happened Dustin Johnson? He tied for third — from the bottom. 

43. I’ll never tire of Bryson DeChambeau’s game tinkering. He tied for sixth. I think he makes a run at the PGA. 

44. I’ll never tire of the DeCham-show. The lifting of the sign post was meme’d to the moon. 

Ludvig Aberg

‘Next Tiger Woods’ arrived at Masters. Here’s 1 reason why he’ll soon win it

By: Nick Piastowski

45. To be honest, I walked past one and had a thought of picking it up myself. Or thought of trying to.  

46. While NSFW, I watched this Patrick Reed clip a half-dozen times and laughed each time. 

47. So maybe Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee has a point. Scheffler is playing in the midst of a perfect storm — he’s at peak form, and the others aren’t. There’s potential for not just more Scheffler wins, but Scheffler blow-outs.   

48. But actually, Nelly Korda is the best player in the world. The Chevron is this week. 

49. The RBC Heritage is also this week. There should be a break. 

50. And here’s a hot, hot, hot take:

Is it actually a little bit OK that … 

Golf is separated?


Here me out. We missed the best in the world coming together. If you’re a PGA Tour person, you welcomed back Rahmbo, DeChambeau and Koepka back into your universe. If you’re a LIVer, same thought, just for Rors, Spieth, Scheffler and the gang. But the point is, mostly everyone couldn’t wait for it to happen. There was anticipation. The NFL has it. Baseball has it. They even celebrate it. 

So here’s hoping that if there’s a coming together, there’s a clear-cut season. Not golf every day of the week. 

51. I understand this would make my job harder. I’m sure you’re concerned about that. 

52. The Top Dawg is playing “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” by Rod Stewart as I type.

53. I like Jason Day’s fit. I wouldn’t wear the controversial vest; I’m not a big words-on-shirts guy. But I might wear something else from Malbon. I like that there are options beyond one-color polos. I’m not alone, either. 

Scottie Scheffler receives his green jacket from Jon Rahm.

Tour Confidential: Scottie Scheffler’s win, Ludvig Aberg’s Masters potential

By: GOLF Editors

54. You made a mistake, Zach Johnson. I’m an expert at swearing myself, and that, sir, wasn’t swearing at yourself, which was the excuse he gave after video caught him actually swearing at some jeers. Don’t lie. Don’t think people are fools. 

55. I won’t soon forget the deluge of news on Friday. Spieth’s quad. Brian Harman’s 47 on the second nine. Woods making the cut for a record time. DeChambeau and the sign. Tyrrell Hatton blasting slow play. Zach Johnson and the fans. Thomas’ meltdown. Hovland’s missed gimme. The wind. Wow. 

56. A few of my favorite stories from the week! Michael Bamberger revisited last year’s rules controversy featuring Koepka, and you can read the story here.  

57. Alan Bastable talked to one of the patrons who saw last year’s tree fall, and you can read the story here

58. Josh Berhow tried to find the maker of the Masters’ Crow Nest beer, and you can read the story here

59. Speaking of food, James Colgan spent time with chef Jose Andres, the creator of Rahm’s Champions Dinner, and global savior. You can read the story here

60. Dylan Dethier summed all that played out during Sunday’s final round, and you can read the story here

61. Zephyr Melton’s live feature Bailey Shoemaker from the Augusta National Women’s Amateur is excellent, and you can read the story here

62. Claire Rogers chronicled a day with her dad and his sister, and you can read the story here

63. Sean Zak described a Bryson DeChambeau week that started with the first-round lead, and what it could mean for the pro going forward. You can read the story here.   

64. Ryan Barath went into the history books for a look at the clubs used on 10 of the Masters most famous shots, and you can read the story here.

65. Nick Dimengo described how the Par-3 Contest — yes, really — can help your game, and you can read the story here.

Scottie Scheffler and caddie Ted Scott hug following their 2024 Masters victory.

Scottie Scheffler’s unselfish gesture steals post-Masters win celebration

By: Josh Berhow

66. Jack Hirsh wrote about former winners’ thoughts on how a 15-handicap would fare at ANGC, and you can read the story here

67. Jessica Marksbury detailed a recipe for a pimento cheese patty melt, and you can read it here

68. Josh Sens sat down with former champ Nick Faldo, and you can read the story here

69. Jonathan Wall had the word on the late-approved irons DeChambeau was playing, and you can read the story here

70. Here are a few of my stories! And some thoughts. Matthieu Pavon tied for 12th. His story is why we love sports, I kinda think. Tragedy, triumphs. Moms, sons. Buried coins at ultra-private country clubs. You can read it here. 

71. Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson hit their ceremonial tee shots — but I followed their golf balls. I’d been curious what happened to them. Turns out, they were guarded almost as closely as the nuclear codes. 

72. My Greg Norman walk-along. You can give it a read here. Some quick thoughts. He was dressed to play, with his straw hat, white polo and black pants. He received both greetings — and double-takes. He was genuinely interested in watching golf. He seemed shy when folks shouted to him. He opened up when he told me he’d eaten a sandwich out of a green bag (how the sandwiches are wrapped at the Masters). He jabbed me in the arm. Unfortunately, as reports swirl, I walked with him Friday, not Thursday, when he followed McIlroy.  

73. Time for another beer. Next up is Tropicalia IPA from Creature Comforts Brewing Co., in Athens, Ga. 

74. Sandwich ratings! I had ‘em all. For science. First, a word on my tastes, to give you a sense of where I’m coming from. I’m simple. My dad was a meat cutter, so I’m very meat and potatoes. — and most of my meals look like they come off the Masters menu already. With that, we do have a new No. 1, gang, though only because I hadn’t had the Georgia peach ice cream sandwich in previous visits. That was a mistake. Debbie Blount, who I’d once written about here, treated me to one on Thursday afternoon. The chunk of ice cream was good. The two sugar cookies it sat between were good. Put together, it’s the new king. 

75. The breakfast sandwich. The sausage seemed not as greasy as previous years, the biscuit not as crumbly.

76. The barbecue sandwich. The sauce tasted better this year. More bite. It’s still too small, though. 

Collin Morikawa of the United States walks off the 18th green after finishing his round during the final round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club

How ‘greed’ derailed this Masters co-leader’s green-jacket dreams

By: Alan Bastable

77. Pimento cheese. More bite here, too. 

78. Chicken biscuit. A good-sized piece of chicken. Same biscuit as the breakfast sandwich. 

79. Club sandwich. Pretty average. 

80. Ham and cheese on rye. I don’t like rye bread. But not bad, not bad. 

81. Chicken sandwich. A little chewy, but I did like the spice. 

82. Chicken salad. Lacking a little flavor.  

83. Egg salad. Same as the chicken salad sandy. Not much zip. 

84. Let’s see how the rankings look compare to last year (I swear this is the first time I’ve looked since then, should you be curious):

No. 1: breakfast sandwich; No. 2: club sandwich; No. 3: barbecue sandwich. No. 4: chicken sandwich; No. 5: pimento cheese; No. 6: sausage biscuit; No. 7: ham and cheese on rye; No. 8: chicken biscuit. No. 9: chicken salad; No. 10: egg salad. 

The takeaways? A rise of the chicken biscuit. Consistency with the dislike of the salads. 

And my stomach feels funny.

85. The Top Dawg is playing “Cold as Ice” by Foreigner as I type.  

86. The Monday eclipse seems like 75 years ago. Here, it felt hazy, I guess. Toward the peak of it, I stood to the left of the 1st fairway and had trouble making out players on the adjacent 9th.  

87. I asked a waitress at the Top Dawg what’s the craziest thing she’d seen during the week — and she shared a story from a previous year. 

A group was paying the staff to slap them in the face. 

Max Homa shakes hands with his caddie at the end of the Masters.

After career-best major finish, Max Homa has special post-Masters plans

By: Jack Hirsh

“You could slap them as hard as you wanted?” I asked. 

“We could slap them as hard as we wanted.” she said. 

88. Overheard-among-the-patrons time! Up first, this one, on Monday afternoon:

Patron to volunteer wearing a green polo: “I see you wearing the green polos, but the green coats, who are they?”

Volunteer to patron: “They hit the lottery.”

89. There was this one, on Wednesday afternoon:

Patron one to patron two: “I wanna steal a piece of turf.”

Patron two to patron one: “Brah, I’ll help you.”

90. There was this one, also on Wednesday afternoon:

Male patron to female patron: “You look like you’re from New York.”

Female patron to male patron: “Miami.”

Male patron to female patron: “Oh.”

91. There was this one, on Thursday afternoon:

“Any other course we play now in the future will be trash.”

Tyrrell Hatton reacts to a missed putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

‘I hate it’: Pro vents on Masters hole that ‘lives rent-free in my head’

By: Josh Berhow

92. There was this one, on Sunday afternoon: 

Male patron to female patron: “So what does she do again?”

Female patron to male patron: “She’s a boudoir photographer.”

Male patron to female patron: “What’s that?”

Female patron to male patron: “Uh, a sexy photographer. Like if your wife wanted to give you a calendar with pictures of her in it.”  

93. Then there was Sarge. I wrote about him in our Seen and Heard newsletter, and I’ll share it here, too. He’s worth it.

Sarge? That’s what everyone calls Melvin Brown at Augusta, and we’ll refer to him as Melvin Brown just this once to respect that. Sarge is a cart driver for the Masters. Been doing it for 20-plus years at Augusta National. I’m happy he is. 

I’ve learned that over his 85 years, Sarge has lived some life. 

From the Augusta area, he served in the Army, he tells me. Lived in bases in the Midwest. The South. But he’d shown he was also an athlete, and he was soon on all kinds of teams. 

Here, he has a couple stories. 

For a stretch, he played basketball against Wilt Chamberlain. At the time, the Hall of Famer was a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. Sarge, though, emphasizes he played against him. 

Not with. 

“He was good,” Sarge says. 

Did you score?

neal shipley and tiger woods on the 18th green on masters sunday

He idolized Tiger Woods as a kid. On Masters Sunday, he played dream round with him

By: Alan Bastable

“Oh yes.”

Nowadays, Sarge plays softball. He used to travel the country for it. Now, his schedule is mostly local, though next weekend, he’s going to play in a tournament in South Carolina. “We’re going to play those old fogeys.” Sarge mans first. But he’s a hitter. 

How much so?

He admits he can’t really run anymore. But so good is his stick, that they’ve changed the rules just for him. 

He gets a runner just for him. He hits the doubles, triples and home runs. Somebody else does the leg work. 

“They don’t want to lose me.”

(Sarge also said a local television station recently profiled one of his teams. He told me to look it up. I did. Have a look here!)

94. Here’s Player’s response on how to overcome a bad shot: 

“Well, I believe to win majors or to win the big tournaments that you had to love adversity because you’re going to face up to it. Doesn’t matter who you are.

“And I just felt that it is impossible to play a round of golf without hitting bad shots, so it was actually part of the game. I taught myself to almost enjoy it, but enjoyed it, maybe in I don’t know what fashion, but it’s part of the game.

“Now, why do we practice all this short game to recover? And this leads me to say, you listen to people today talk about — the father talks about his son, or a coach: Well, you should see this young boy. He hits the ball 380 yards.

“You never hear him say how great his short game is, how great his mind is. Hitting the ball is an asset, but it’s not a necessity. But putting, if you have to hit it that long, it counts as much as a 400-yard drive.

Tiger Woods raises his hat to patrons at 2024 Masters

Tiger Woods’ 2024 Masters filled with special, hidden moments

By: Josh Berhow

“But where are we going, you look at the Tour, in 30 years, plus, minus, they will all hit the ball 400 yards because there’s such great incentivization. They are going around the college gyms now doing weight training. Rory McIlroy showed me yesterday, he does a dead lift, 400 pounds.

“So this is where we are going, and this is where we need the R&A and the USGA and the PGA to get together wisely in making a decision about a golf ball because golf is — nothing about the game today, not one single thing, is the same as when we played. Not one single thing.

“And so we’ve got to cut the ball back 60 yards, 50 yards. Otherwise, the whole concept of the game, the history of the game, the par-5, par-4, par-3, that’s gone. There are no more par-5s. These young guys are hitting 8-irons to par-5s.

“So we are changing the whole history of the game. Now, they are two different games, the R&A never agreed with me that they are two different games, professional and amateur. Go watch Jack Nicklaus in his prime or Tom [Watson] or Tiger. You’ll see how different it is to the way you guys play.

“They have to cut that ball back, I don’t know what’s going to happen. They talk about making golf courses longer. The world is running out of water, seriously, and the costs of the machine, the mower, fertilizer, labor, why do that? It’s so simple, just cut the ball back. Very, very simple.

“And so I’m quite concerned about where the game of golf is going.”

That was some ride there. 

95. Random-things-seen-at-Augusta time! First up, I walked holes 10-18 late Wednesday afternoon, ahead of the storm, and saw a fleet of workers with buckets, going left and right filling every divot. 

96. Also that night, about 200 patrons were stationed on the famed 12th tee. There were no golfers. There would be no golfers. Didn’t seem to matter. 

97. Also that night, a worker was cutting the bank that surrounds the water on 12 with a lawnmower. I think I watched that for about 15 minutes. Mesmerizing. Quite the workout. 

98. Also that night, I saw a patron with a WWE title belt. 

99. Birds, or lack thereof, have been an Augusta story for a while — but I saw an eagle on Wednesday afternoon. Soared right above the big leaderboard to the right of the 1st tee  

100. I’m convinced nothing is more efficient than the gift shop. It’s art. When I stood in line on Saturday, I started outside among about 500 people, then we had to wait inside, then we had to wait at the entrance, then we shopped — and I was done in about 45 minutes or so. That said, if you think some of the tee shots cause claustrophobia, try muscling your way to get a T-shirt. 

101. Below is proof I was there. That’s me, to the right of the woman in the red visor. 

Greg Norman
Greg Norman (and the author) on Friday at the Masters. Getty Images

102. As part of the Pavon story, I talked with instructor and analyst Mark Immelman on all that is Augusta — and I thought I’d share that here.

“When you go to Augusta National and the Masters, there is a regal sort of feel about everything. It’s like you’re getting to go into Buckingham Palace. And you mind your P’s and your Q’s because you would if you were dining with a king or a queen. And when you go there, you steal a glance at the artwork and the sculptures, and you have a reverence for the place. And I feel like that joy that you sense are people that are just in awe of what the golf course and the tournament represent. I mean, the care that is taken and no stone is left unturned by the Masters club. And they put on the very best event that is humanly possible. And there’s that exclusivity about it, too. So when I go there, I feel like it’s royalty. And I get, just for a little, to spend some time in a palace and I look upon these great kings and statesmen that have inhabited those walls in the past.” 

One bonus thought! Back to that approachable-face thing. 

Friday, after working my way back from my walk with Norman, a couple asked where the 1st hole was. I pointed them in the direction — but told them that I was walking that way and they could easily follow me if they like. They did. We talked. They were from West Virginia. I told them I was originally from Milwaukee. I told them I’d been working for GOLF for about four-and-a-half years.

“Wow, that’s such a cool job.”

Yeah, yeah, it is.

Thanks for reading.   

Editor’s note: The author wrote similar stories from the 2023 and 2022 Masters, and they can be found here and here

The post Greg Norman, Rory McIlroy and Scottie: 102 thoughts from Masters week appeared first on Golf.