At first glance, this is just a nice photo of some dudes being dudes about to sit down to a steak dinner. They probably cut a few farts, did a few sack taps, and told some dirty jokes before this picture was taken. After zooming in and taking a second look, this picture is hilarious. Here’s some observations and some superlatives.
The “No, I’m telling you, I physically Can’t Cross My Hands” Award – Mark O’Meara
Mark O’Meara has always had a bigger frame. When he won the Masters in 1998, Mark had the build of a high school football coach. He looked like he was too busy to eat a balanced diet, but he was around a weight room enough to get a few reps in and he was running around the field enough yelling at players to work off a good amount of gas station taquitos and big gulps of Dr. Pepper. He’s gotten a little older and has probably practiced pretty seriously for the steak dinner he had tonight in his retirement. And good for him. He had a great career, he’s an awesome guy, and I think he should enjoy his money and take a few (or all of them) off days from the gym. Since he first won his green jacket, they’ve certainly added a few yards of new fabric, and it shows in this picture. Big Guy 101 would say that you don’t stand in a prominent place in group photos, but he clearly thought that going off to the side would put him out of sight. When the photographer said “alright, everyone cross your hands over,” Mark knew it wasn’t happening without a torn rotator cuff and owned the dangling arms look.
The ADHD Kid Award – Charl Schwartzel
Charl is always a pretty mellow dude. He’s got that South African accent and he keeps it low key, but holy shit does he look like he’s about to break out in a Fortnite dance in this picture. There’s something devious about his smile and although it’s a picture that freezes a moment in time, he looks like his eyes are darting around the room looking for something to break.
“Oh You Think You Grown, Huh” Award – Tiger Woods
Tiger standing in the back normally wouldn’t be a big deal. He’s 6’1” (I’m also 6’1” and own AirPods btw), but there’s something about this picture with Jack’s position that makes me think he went to the front and Jack said “get in the back, Tiger.” Not in a Rosa Parks kinda way, but more like, you think you’re hot shit? Well I’m the goat. Also, Tiger looks beautiful, smile and all, but that hairline is struggling. When’s he gonna pull a Brian Urlacher and just show up with a robust head of hair? Cuz the bald life isn’t for him.
Too Handsome to be Prominently Displayed Award – Adam Scott
Adam Scott is the most handsome man in golf. Period. He’s also really likable and I’ve had a bunch of weird run-ins with him over the years. I tossed a ball over to him that he hit too far on a practice shot at the British Open at St. Andrews in 2015. I was blocking his entrance to the clubhouse at PGA National during the Honda in 2018 when I was trying to convince a security guard to let me in to use the bathroom. He was also in the group behind the one I was caddying in at the Copperhead course during the Valspar in 2018 and I talked to him for about 10 minutes since we were backed up because Rory had to take pictures with the tournament director and some important sponsors. Every time, he was incredibly nice and even more handsome in person. With a group of guys whose faces show that they have lived with the stress of playing a career on tour, it’s obvious they wanted to stick him in the back in the area with the worst lighting. And still, somehow, he made it work. He’s quietly the most handsome guy in the picture.
The Joaquin Phoenix Award – Zach Johnson
Tell me Joaquin Phoenix isn’t preparing for a role and doing some method acting to prepare. I bet the real Zach Johnson is in the kitchen scarfing down all of the corn that was supposed to be for the dinner while Joaquin stands in his place.
The “Oh Yeah, I Forgot He Won the Masters Award” – Danny Willett
Oh yeah, remember when Jordan Spieth all but gifted the green jacket to Danny Willett? Wonder what he’s up to these days.
The Tippy Toe Award – Phil Mickelson
This is your reminder that Phil is 6’3”. His demeanor and overall TV presence makes him seem like more of a 5’10” kinda guy, but yeah, he’s NBA D-League material. He’s the highest person in the picture (besides Bernhard Langer, but more on that in a second) in the latitudinal sense and it just doesn’t fit him. I’d have an easier time believing that he’s on his tippy toes than the truth, which is that he towers over everyone.
“Holy Shit, the Molly is Kicking in” Award – Bernhard Langer
Name a more iconic duo than German trance music and designer drugs. While Ben Crenshaw looks like he took an edible with Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer said “you guys are ein pussy” and took a trip to the 5th dimension with some MDMA. The look in his dilated pupils seems like the photographer is morphing into a Pixar character.
The Prep School Award – Fred Couples
Freddie straight up looks like he’s doing a fifth year at the Tabor Academy. He doesn’t need to since he’s got his choice of Yale, Princeton, and Stanford, all of which have buildings that his family donated, but he just wants one more year to play lax with his buddies and see if he can get recruited by a school that his family doesn’t have ties to. Somewhere he can slum it with the poors, like Cornell or Penn.
“No One Respects the Monarchy, So I Guess I’ll Black Out” Award – Nick Faldo
Nick Faldo, and that’s Sir Nick Faldo to you, looks like he walked around the cocktail reception waiting for everyone to kiss his ass, and when they didn’t, he just decided to get blasted. Glass of scotch after glass of scotch. Now he’s just standing in the back trying not to pass out.
Huge Nuts Manspread Award – Jack Nicklaus
“Cross my arms? No thanks. I’ve won 18 majors if you haven’t heard.” Jack is almost more of the center of attention than Patrick Reed in this picture and you can tell that beneath the table his legs are so wide open, he looks like he’s doing one of those ridiculous birth-giving workout machines at the gym. He’s doing it to claim real estate. No chance Patrick Reed or Tom Watson will encroach on his space. “Hey, Jack, can you move your leg just a scotch?” Tom Watson whispers in his ear. Instead, Jack ignores his plea and spreads them further. He’s also the one that told Tiger and Adam Scott to get in the back, and he told Charl Schwartzel that if he keeps acting up, he’s gonna take him out back of Butler Cabin and spank him.
Hide the Gut Award- Craig Stadler
Unlike Mark O’Meara, Craig “the walrus” Stadler is a veteran in the big guy world. He got to the side of the picture, but also positioned Fred Couple and Bernhard Langer so that it wouldn’t be obvious that he also can’t stretch his arms to cross his hands over. He also stood in front of Phil Mickelson so he would look tiny by comparison. And you know what? It works. Craig looks wonderful, but not without a little good old fashioned staging magic.
The Father and Son at the Son’s Birthday Party Award – Fred Ridley and Patrick Reed
Tell me these two don’t look like a father and son who went to Hooters because Patrick not only turned 10 years old, but he also got all A’s on his report card. Patrick has been losing some weight, but instead of looking defined and chiseled, he’s kinda regressing in age. He gets piled on a lot by golf fans, and to an extent, it’s a mob mentality, but this is just an all time photo of Patrick Reed, and the dad he actually talks to, Fred Ridley.
Jordan Spieth doesn’t win an award, but he looks great in this picture. On top of that, he’s standing in front of Bob Goalby, the 1968 Masters champion, and another older champion who couldn’t have won the Masters any later than the year color TV was invented. Classic Jordan chopping it up with the older guys, looking for some good juju to win another one this weekend.
All in all, I’m still jealous of the Masters champion dinner. Imagine the stories a room full of Masters winners could tell. With many of them coming before the era of cell phones and PGA Tour anti-doping, I’d bet it was amazing. And for the record, the steak looked amazing. Happy Masters week.