The Masters golf tournament is surely the sport event of the weekend, and it’s already bringing families together.
So far, defending champion Jordan Spieth has emerged as the front runner, having a three-stroke lead after Friday’s second round, according to Yahoo! Sports. If he wins the event, Spieth would join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo as the only players to win the Masters two years in a row.
But Spieth isn’t the only golfer who’s created highlights for the Masters. Two-time runner up Ernie Els did something you probably won’t see again in your lifetime, earning a quintuple bogey – having to putt six times from less than five feet away from the hole, CBS Sports reported.
In fact, viewers were so confused by the turn of events that they thought he earned a sextuple 10 – one stroke worse than what he actually achieved. Els, too, showed confusion after the moments, according to CBS.
“I can’t explain it,” Els said, according to CBS. “It’s something that I’m sure up there somewhere [in your brain] that you just can’t do what you normally do. It’s unexplainable. A lot of people have stopped playing the game, you know. It’s unexplainable. I couldn’t get the putter back. I was standing there, I’ve got a 3-footer, I’ve made thousands of 3-footers and I just couldn’t take it back. And then I just kind of lost count after … I mean, the whole day was a grind. I tried to fight. I’m hitting the ball half-decent, and I can’t make it from two feet.”
Ernie Els, of South Africa, waits to hit on the first fairway during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
But not all golfer struggles happen on the fairway or the putting green. Most golfers often struggle to find time for their family members since they’re always on the road or spending too much time golfing, according to Tom Hill of Golf WRX, an online resource for golfers.
Hill, who’s written books about golfing, said the sport can take up a bunch of time during the day, keeping golfers from seeing their families
“If you tee off at 8 in the morning on a Saturday, you probably left the house at 7 and won’t return before 1 pm, at the earliest. And that’s if everything is on time,” he wrote.
These struggles only continue as children in the family begin to grow. It might cause golfers to miss the important parts of their lives. This will only increase if they become professionals.
That’s why some golfers look to include their family members when they can.
You’ll see that this weekend at the Masters. Here are four moments already from the tournament where golfers included their families in the game.
For Spieth, family is what matters
Spieth talked a lot about his own family in the lead up to the Masters. In fact, his relationship with the sport stems from his childhood, back when he actually almost committed to baseball, a sport his father played, according to CBS News.
Telling his father that he was going to play golf was one of the hardest decisions in his life.
“I remember exactly where I was when I told him. I mean, I must have been 12 or 13 years old and I said, ‘Dad, I really just want to specialize in golf now and play a little bit of basketball,” Spieth said, according to CBS.
Jordan Spieth tees off on the 15th hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 8, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Since that moment, Spieth has always put family first. His sister, Ellie, who has a neurological disorder, remains his biggest fan. She attends his tournaments and celebrates with the rest of the family.
“We have a unique family and a unique position. Having a special-needs sister kind of changes your life, every person in our family. It changes the sacrifices my parents have to make. And then for us, it’s so special,” Spieth said, according to CBS. “It’s so special to see her development. It’s so special to see how she can continue to conquer struggles that we take for granted.”
A family affair for Justin Thomas
Louisville native Justin Thomas, who’s a friend of Spieth, will compete in the Masters tournament this week. Joined by his father, who’s also his coach, Thomas will look to rack up some notable victories with his family by his side, according to The Courier-Journal.
“Obviously we’re excited about everything, (and) we’ve tried to de-emphasize the event,” said Mike Thomas, his father and coach. “You don’t want to put more emphasis on one round or one week over another. They’re all important, so we try to do everything the same as we’ve done his whole career. … His mom and I are certainly excited.”
Justin Thomas reacts to his chip to the second green during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
His mom is especially excited because she worked as Thomas’ caddy. She’s followed him all over the country for various golf tours, so she made the request to be his caddy last Wednesday for the family Par Three Competition. Of course, he agreed.
“That will be a highlight for sure, she made that request right away when (Justin) got in,” Mike Thomas said, according to The Courier-Journal. “She followed him all over the country when he was 12 years old and on. He obviously has hundreds of friends that would want to do something like that, but he was quick to give her the OK, so that was nice. He didn’t forget that she ran him all over the place.”
Speaking of the Par Three Competition, families were on display last Wednesday for the event, as golfers brought out their various siblings, spouses and parents to caddy for the event, according to Daily Mail.
Australian Jason Day brought his son Dash out to be a caddy, while Spieth received help from his grandfather. Bubba Watson’s wife Angie and his children Caleb and Dakota acted as caddies. Caleb, who was made famous for his own golfing skills, waved to the crowd to show he’s got celebrity skills, too, according to Daily Mail.
“The Par Three competition happens every year before the Masters, and traditionally golfers bring their kids, wives or parents out onto the course to serve as their caddies,” Daily Mail reported. “The tradition offers plenty of Kodak moments, as the mini-me golfers take a stab at putting, demand piggy-back rides from dad or get distracted and run off to play in the sand pit.”
And just for laughs …
With all these families and kids running around, there’s surely going to be some silly moments. Enter Soren Kjeldsen’s son, who gave his best “Happy Gilmore” impersonation on the golf field.
The video below is all you need.