Over the weekend, I saw something about the effects of artificial intelligence and how it will be able to outperform humans at almost every conceivable activity in the future.
“What a crock of shit,” I grinned to myself before attempting to turn to TV golf, clicking the buttons on the cordless phone mindlessly in the middle of ludicrous dodding scenes, cranky simpletons. Artificial intelligence? Intelligence It’s becoming abundantly obvious that I’m a genuine incompetence expert. At least, that’s what the sports editor said when he read this post-Masters column through the lead-in…
With master class, dj remains cool
This season, there have been several moments when the inscrutable mien of Dustin Johnson has made the face of a mannequin appear as rubbery and demonstrative as Les Dawson pulling a snarl.
The fact that his Masters gallop caused a world No. 1 emotional outburst exposed this previously indomitable gunslinger in a new light. In these strange times, it was a Masters like no other; a low-key autumnal display with soft greens as cosy as a homey B&B, beginning from two tees and the lack of hair-raising roars that can add to the strain.
But it took great technique, temperament, execution and all-around perfection to prevail, as always in golf. Those qualities had Johnson in shovelfuls.
The golf scientist was no match for this well-oiled, finely tuned nugget of golf strategy, played by percentages, not wishful thinking, for all the talk leading up to the tournament that Bryson DeChambeau would be able to do this, that and the other at Augusta.
Eager observers are already wondering, ‘Yeah, how many more?’ now that Johnson has finally added a second major to his resume, as they are waiting for someone to practice the kind of tyrannical rule over majors that Tiger Woods once did.
In this endless period of coronations and anointings, of course, we have been here before. When he won four majors in three years, Rory McIlroy was dubbed “the next Tiger”. So was Jordan Spieth when, in two years’ time, he won a triple crown. And Brooks Koepka’s quartet of majors had him holding the baton for a while between 2017 and 2019.
The scale of Woods’ achievements continues to dwarf anything done by those who come after him, but it is important to appreciate the present at a time of great strength in depth and relative parity in the upper echelons of the game and see the likes of Johnson writing their own success stories rather than obsessing with rewriting the past of Tiger. Johnson’s got a new chapter at last.
Terrific moments manage to elude Rory
At the majors these days, trying to find out Rory McIlroy is like guessing at the end of a Countdown segment. If you have a response, please chime in.
The increasingly arduous path to a career grand slam ended with the typical sigh of what-could-have-been, after another ruinous opening round followed by a freewheeling bailout. McIlroy is 28 overall in the first round of major golf tournaments and 61 under in rounds two, three and four since 2015, the year since he won the last of his four majors. That’s an intriguing figure.
Time is on his side at just 31 years old, but the pressure seems to get heavier with each successive major.
The day after he turned 30, Nick Faldo won his first major – the 1987 Open. He will add five more over the next nine years. On the other hand, the great Seve had four majors before turning 30, and added another at 31. However, it was over after that, and his career was never going to hit those dizzying heights again.
McIlroy left his 20s dominated by the very best in a lofty role. When he turned 30, he said that it will be even better for the next 10 years. Is his best yet to come? Or is his best behind him already? It is probably best not to forecast anything in this fickle game.
For all ages, Langer thrives in gaming
The sight of 63-year-old Bernhard Langer – average drive of 250 yards – playing with 27-year-old Bryson DeChambeau – average drive of 325 yards – in the final round and beating him by a couple of strokes was a joy in this wonderful generational game.
The longevity of Langer remains impressive. But Pandora’s box, opened in the wake of the anchored putt putt ban in 2016,