The Pryor Times


April 5, 2012

Traditions of spring: The Masters and baseball

Scouting around … The basketball nets have been cut down. The Final Four has been reduced to One and Done. The last lingering reminder of the winter sports scene has played itself out.

Last Saturday, talkative types were hailing college basketball’s national semifinals as representing the greatest weekend in sports.

Well, whether you’re a fan of Al Jolson of Bachman Turner Overdrive, one might debunk that line of thinking with the utterance of five little musical words: “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

The first weekend of April, this very weekend, trumps all others.

Baseball and the Masters.The two most eagerly awaited  harbingers of spring arrive in tandem.

Diamonds and azaleas.

Pinstripes and green jackets.

America’s Pastime. A tradition like no other.

Major League Baseball opens its 136th season.

The Masters rolls out the green carpet for the 76th spring.

Over the next four days, America’s most treasured golf tournament will take sports’ center stage.

Over the next seven months, Major League Baseball will take Americans through spring and summer and fall.

A Tiger — as in Woods — is the 4-1 betting line favorite in Las Vegas to win the Masters over Rory McIlroy, a 6-1 pick.

A team of Tigers – as in Detroit – is the early 6-1 Vegas favorite, along with the Phillies, to win the World Series.

This weekend, Tiger Woods continues his pursuit of history, and Jack Nicklaus.

A win this weekend would pull Tiger even with Jack in career victories — 73.

A win this weekend would pull Tiger within three of Jack’s record total in major tournaments.

A win this weekend would confirm Tiger’s re-emergence as his sport’s premier player.

A noted oddsmaker in Vegas was quoted on Wednesday as saying, “Wagering levels are at an all-time record,” for the Masters.

Dennis Bowman, professional at Pryor Creek Golf Course, first stepped onto Augusta National — “the hallowed grounds,” as he called it — in 2005.

“If I could play one golf course in America, it would be Augusta National,” he said the other day as he counted down toward the first tee shot at the Masters.

“As always, I am looking forward to what unfolds this year,” Bowman said.

“Perhaps a Tiger/Rory final pairing Sunday? If Rory was to win in that situation, I believe a new rivalry between the ‘young gun’ and veteran would emerge.

“My favorite player going in is Phil Mickelson. I believe he exemplifies the elite modern day player on and off the golf course.”

Augusta National is everything one can associate with spring, Bowman said.

“I have imagined my dream foursome of my father, my two sons and myself playing there several times,” he said.

“The media provides the greatest coverage for this tournament over all the others,  and as good as they do in showing Augusta's beauty and articulating the experience, they simply don't do it justice.  

“The only way to truly appreciate the vastness of the hilly terrain and the massive undulation of the greens is to walk it, breathe it and live it firsthand.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • adair abbey stephens.jpg Adair aiming high in 2014

    Adair's Lady Warriors will have plenty of chances to earn respect and a shot at the program's third straight regional tournament appearance in 2013.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • dirtseller pirtle.JPG Locals take their game nationwide

    Five Locust Grove Pirates represented the United States over the weekend at the USA Football 16U/17U National Development Games in Towson, Md.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Patterson, McIntire named to rosters

    Salina's Cullen Patterson and Locust Grove's Cameron McIntire have been selected as replacements for this week's Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State events in Tulsa.

    July 27, 2014

  • kegley mug.jpg Pryor's Kegley serving with purpose

    Pryor's Taylor Kegley always knew he was destined for a career of service.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chouteau approves athletic upgrades

    Chouteau High School is getting a head start on making upgrades to its athletic facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • doty mug web.jpg Ex-Tiger Doty adjusting on and off the field

    Former Pryor Tiger Christian Doty joined the Oklahoma Baptist University football team for its first season in 73 years in 2013, and rejoined the team Friday to begin preparations for the school's sophomore season.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • lococo.jpg Wildcats marching to their own beat

    After spring sports finished, Salina head coach Matt Williams had a peculiar message for his football team.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers earn top seed, fall in semis

    Pryor's improved passing game was on display again Monday, as the Tigers traveled to Hilldale for a 7-on-7 tournament and finished in the tourney's top four.

    July 15, 2014

  • IMG_9538KRT.jpg Summer Nationals returns to Chouteau Bend

    After a year-long hiatus, the Mid-America Summer Nationals drag boat races will return to Chouteau Bend.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • brock taylor.JPG Pirates slowed at 7-on-7 showcase

    Locust Grove went head-to-head against some of the best skill players in the region last weekend at the Southwest Elite 7-on-7 Showcase in Springdale, Ark.

    July 14, 2014 2 Photos