The Masters Seniors Rolling Back The Years...Again

What is it about seniors and The Masters? One or more of them always seem to do well and Masters Thursday 2020 was no exception despite soft conditions

The Masters Seniors
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What is it about seniors and The Masters? One or more of them always seem to do well

The Masters Seniors Rolling Back The Years...Again

One or the other of them seems to do it every year!

But what is it about The Masters that gets those seniors rolling back the years on a golf course that should, quite frankly, be too long for them now at pretty much 7,500 yards?

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When play was called for the day on Thursday, four of them were sitting inside the top 35.

Evergreen Bernhard Langer – two-time Masters champion – was leading the way at three-under through ten holes and went on to shoot a 68 (-4).

The Masters Seniors Rolling Back The Years

Langer was three-under and T13th when play was called on Thursday. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The 1987 champion, and Greg Norman’s nemesis, Larry Mize was tucked in just behind him at two-under having completed his round. Langer is 63 years old, while Mize is 62.

Two fellow 50-year-olds and lefties were also under par - three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson shot three under and 2003 champion Mike Weir was one under.

And this, don’t forget, on a soft golf course where some drives were getting precisely zero run.

More than one way to get it round

Mize was averaging a mere 247 yards off the tee in round one, yet ended up on the same score as power machine Bryson De Chambeau, who would have been 100 yards past him on some holes.

The Masters Seniors Rolling Back The Years

Larry Mize was averaging only 247 off the tee but still matched Bryson DeChambeau's Thursday score. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Langer hit a hybrid into the 1st – his tenth hole – just before play was called but that was no problem as he then rolled in his 30-footer to get to three-under.

Langer, of course, has been a senior money-making machine, and finished T8th in The Masters in 2014 at 57 years of age.

But what you will notice about the above four names is that they are all former Masters champions with a wealth of experience who still know how to get it round Augusta National.

Of course, it may not – probably won’t – last, although other seniors have finished well in the past.

Experience counts

Jack Nicklaus, the oldest champion in 1986 at 46 years of age, finished T6th in 1998 at the age of 58.

The Masters Seniors Rolling Back The Years

The Golden Bear finished T6th in 1998 at 58 years of age. (Photo by Augusta National/Getty Images)

Fred Couples also finished 6th at 51 years of age in 2010, and followed it up with three consecutive top 15s.

And before that, Ben Hogan twice finished in the top 10 when in his 50s. Again, all three were former Masters champions.

It was interesting to hear both Tiger Woods and Paul Casey stress the importance of course experience in their post-round interviews with Sky Sports’ Cara Banks.

Tiger, who looked pretty impressive on day one, happily admitted that although he really had no form to speak of this year, he knew how to get it round this golf course.

Experience, it would seem, still counts for something.

Augusta is a course where your misses are more important than your good shots.

Miss it in the right spots and you're okay - miss it in the wrong spot and your tournament can end very quickly...

It will be interesting to see how the over-50s – and over-60s – fare the rest of this Masters week.

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