Billy Casper's No-Card A Masters' Wimp Out
The only time Billy Casper embarrassed himself at the Masters is when he refused to take credit for his record-setting folly. That’s when the 73-year-old former champion went bush league. When Casper “no-carded” -
declined to submit his scorecard - electing to disqualify himself rather than write his 34-over-par 106 into Augusta’s record books, he became the worst kind of sports baby.
Casper effectively turned himself into Jose Hernandez, the forgetably bad baseball player who sat rather than break the major league strikeout record, in 2002. From a man who showed such class in posting that 106, including the 14 on No. 16 in which it only seemed like Casper hit 25 shots in the pond, this was a low brow moment.
Own up to the record. Swallow your pride and sign that scorecard like a man. You wanted to play one last Masters, more power to you (though it may surprise some who’ve read my comments on the Champions Tour and TravelGolf.com’s National Golf Editor Tim McDonald, I don’t hate old people). In fact, I thought Hootie Johnson showed himself to be a blowhard (again) when he threatened to send out that letter cutting off past champions’ exemptions at the age of 65 a few years ago.
Casper deserved to play. And he deserved to be in the record book, again. That 106 would have been talked about for decades, maybe even a hundred years from now when some sports writer’s flipping through the media guide looking for obscure stories. In reality, it probably would have endured 100 times longer than Casper’s 1970 green jacket fitting.
Instead, Billy Casper wimped out. Instead, he turned himself into a prideful, pitiful, little man. Old or young, that’s just sad.
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