The 2018 Masters begins Thursday morning, and most of the buzz surrounding this year's tournament is being generated by the return to form of Tiger Woods. In his last two tournaments before a three week, pre-Masters hiatus, Woods was in the mix until the very end on Sunday.
That stint of good golf was enough to push Woods to the top of the Masters odds board for a while, topping out at 8 to 1 to win the whole thing a week or so ago. He has since leveled off at about 14 to 1, probably not great value, but fun to have Woods back in the mix.
The cameras will be following Tiger everywhere this weekend. It will take something pretty remarkable to distract from the prodigal son of golf returning. However, on Wednesday afternoon, something remarkable (and somewhat hilarious) occurred, distracting us briefly from the Tiger-fest.
Tony Finau, himself 60 to 1 to win the Masters, was playing in the annual Par-3 tournament, a Wednesday staple of Masters week. He was on the seventh green when this occurred (WARNING: Graphic injury!) ....
I haven't done a Zapruder analysis post here in a long time, so for those of you who enjoy the gruesome details of something like a celebratory dislocated ankle, here you go:
0:01 — It all seems innocent enough.... Final teeing off on the seventh hole with one of his four children, adorned in a miniature caddy's outfit, gleefully hopping around, almost as if to say "Yay! My daddy's a millionaire! We hang out on golf courses! Yay!" This youthful bliss would last only a few more seconds.
0:08 — Fina ricochets the ball off the back edge of the green, to the point where he almost overshot the whole thing. Instead, the ball comes rolling... rolling... rolling... and IT'S IN THE HOLE!
0:15 — Finau, instead of celebrating with his wife and four kids, all of whom are standing near the tee box, according to the play by play guy, decides to begin running down the fairway. It's a seemingly benign way to express the euphoria coursing through his body. Running forward is ok, but, oh dear....
0:21 — ...Finau decides to flip to a backward run, and he begins backpedaling, but not for long, because....
0:23 — OH SNAP!! OH GOD, PLEASE, DON'T LET ME SEE THAT AGAIN!!!
(NOTE: I rewound at least four times and watched again.)
0:27 — WHAT THE HELL?!?! Final snapped his able back into place like he was made of Legos! Damn, don't ever tell me golfers aren't tough. Dude walked back to the tee box under his own power, and not just that, but it appears he might very well play today:
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Indeed @tonyfinaugolf did dislocate his left ankle today during the Par 3 contest but immediately put it back in place. X-rays tonight revealed no breaks. Will have an MRI tomorrow morning. If results are positive and swelling is under control will try to play @TheMasters.— Todd Lewis (@ToddLewisGC) April 5, 2018
All hail, Tony Finau! Golfing bad ass! And no, Bill Grammatica, you're not off the hook for dumbest celebration injury ever....
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.