We all have our opinions and Rory McIlroy certainly caused a stir with his in a pre-tournament interview at the Wells Fargo Championship.
McIlroy was quoted saying "The Masters has now become the biggest golf tournament in the world and i'm comfortable saying that, I don't care about the US Open or The Open, it is the biggest golf tournament in the world, the most amount of eyeballs, the most amount of hype, everything is at Augusta. For me, it's the most special tournament that we play and it's the one everyone desperately wants to win, but even if I was going for my first major, it's still tough to win."
Those comments have upset a few in the golfing world but is he not correct?
Traditionalist will hate me for saying this, but yes The Open Championship was the first major golf championship, but just because you were the first one here doesn’t mean you still hold the mantle. I can only talk about this personally and around my circle of golf friends. I don’t see many jumping at the chance to attend The Open Championship however I know for a fact that countless would jump at the chance to experience The Master live at Augusta National including myself.
So maybe McIlroy should not have said “I don’t care” about the US Open or The Open, instead McIlroy could have simply stated The Masters was the one he wanted to win the most. He could have easily defended himself as he has already won the US Open and The Open. But does he even need to defend himself in this case?
McIlroy was stating a fact. The Masters is the biggest golf tournament in the world and one that is recognised by most. There are few sporting events in the world that have the same appeal as The Masters. What other golf event is on the bucket list for golf lovers, golf enthusiasts and even many general sports lover alike? What other sporting events would you go to even though you had no interest in that sport but want 'that' experience? It might not be on the top of the list but if your any sort of sports enthusiast, Augusta and the Maters is still there. A quick search online for “must see sporting events” will most likely list the below:
- The Olympic Games
- World Cup Soccer
- The Super Bowl, United States
- The National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals, United States
- The Masters, United States
- Wimbledon, England
- Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
When we talk about golf and tournaments that can make a difference to the game of golf, The Masters is the one that gets non-golfers to watch and still be thrilled at watching golf. It gets those on the edge of leaving the came to get back on the course. Even in Australia the fact that The Masters is on free to air television whilst other majors are on paid services only tells you something. If you speak to anyone that has ever had the once in a lifetime experience to attend The Masters, they are in aw. Most will tell you they would jump at the change to go again and one day will. Yes, it is expensive and in the middle of nowhere but the whole experience was worth it. The Masters draws spectators from all over the globe both live and on our screens.
Let me leave you with one last thought .... where would golf be if we didn’t have The Masters? As I said at the start, we all have our own opinions.
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