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Couch: Without Tiger, The Masters Was Just A Golf Tournament, And Not A Very Good One

Let’s be honest about The Masters: It was terrible. The winner, Hideki Matsuyama, was way ahead Sunday but choking down the stretch, trying his best to give it away. And everyone following him said, roughly, “Uh, no. Not me. No thanks. I’ll just hit this next shot in the water so people will stop looking at me.’’ The headline should read: Matsuyama Doesn’t Lose Masters. Still, the golf media, the softest media this side of tennis, are desperately trying to promote their game instead of cover it or hold a mirror to it. They are talking about how Matsuyama made history, becoming the first Japanese man to win a major. It’s true, he did. And we all like firsts. But Japan is golf-crazy. Japan has a lot of money. Japan rewards its sports heroes beyond belief. And Japan is about to hold the Olympics. Is there some grand hurdle here, some systemic oppression to golfers that I’m missing? Well, I lied about one thing. The headline shouldn’t have been about Matsuyama at all. It should have been this: Golf Woefully Unprepared for Life After Tiger Woods. That really was what stood out from golf’s most important tournament. Woods has missed […]

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Written by Greg Couch

Greg earned the 2007 Peter Lisagor Award as the best sports columnist in the Chicagoland area for his work with the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a college football writer in 1997 before becoming a general columnist in 2003. He also won a Lisagor in 2016 for his commentary in RollingStone.com and The Guardian.

Couch penned articles and columns for CNN.com/Bleacher Report, AOL Fanhouse, and The Sporting News and contributed as a writer and on-air analyst for FoxSports.com and Fox Sports 1 TV. In his journalistic roles, Couch has covered the grandest stages of tennis from Wimbledon to the Olympics, among numerous national and international sporting spectacles. He also won first place awards from the U.S. Tennis Writers Association for his event coverage and column writing on the sport in 2010.