Really, I mean it, this is that worth it. Quick turn your television to ESPN. The event started at noon Los Angeles time. (That's 3 PM in the East, and 2 PM on the Midwest.) It runs for two hours.
Last year I wrote about this. what I call, "The Best Unknown Sports Broadcast of the Year." It's precisely that, and if you missed it last year -- and the years before that -- it's come around again, and today is your chance to make up for lost years.
Today (Wednesday, April 9) is one of my very favorite sporting events of the year -- the Par 3 competition at Augusta, a day before the Masters golf championship begins. Yes, I know that there are now people racing away from their computer screens, crying in agony at even having to read the words. But hold on. It may not sound like much, but it's the most utterly enjoyable golf broadcast even for people who can't stand golf. Or maybe even who can't stand sports.
As I wrote last year, on the surface this broadcast event is fun because it's overwhelmingly low-key, and they invite legendary players and past champions to compete. But that's not what makes it so otherworldly special. What sets it apart is because they let the players bring their children on the course to caddy for them.
What results is often hilarious and heart-breakingly adorable. Seeing six-year-olds wearing oversized caddy jump-suits is funny enough all by itself, but beyond that you have little kids struggling with golf bags bigger than they are, kids skipping down the fairway obliviously to the crowds and event, little kids walking up to a golf ball sitting on the putting green and doing what little kids do when they see a ball on the ground -- kicking it across the surface, pro golfers holding hands with their adoring children as they stroll down the fairway, golfers letting their kids putt for them and more.
(Last year, the caddy for Rory McIlroy, then the #2 player in the world, was his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. She' now his fiance, ranked #15 herself and back caddying.)
It's really a joy and highly recommended, sort of like a peaceful, beatific, fun day at the park. It's not a tour event, of course, but it is an official competition -- however, the most low-key one you will ever see. Even if you don't watch live, or just have it running in the background, it's worth recording and then fast-forwarding through later.
But just to give you a little idea, here's a 41-second clip giving the smallest hint of what it's like -- as Henrik Stetson and his baby putt out...
4/9/2014 08:28:29 am
Argh! I just checked in with your site and missed it!
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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