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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Christian D'Andrea

Ranking Masters contenders by their Zurich Classic walk-up songs

The Masters is one of the most carefully protected artifacts of the golf world. It’s an event where tradition and decorum rule and players’ personalities play second fiddle to the game and the course itself.

The Zurich Classic is not that.

The New Orleans event isn’t quite the raucous party the Waste Management Open is, but it’s becoming a destination for golf fans looking for a little less artifact and a little more fun in their tournament. One way the Zurich Classic pulls that off is by borrowing a tradition from baseball: walk-up music.

Masters Leaderboard: Live leaderboard, Schedule, Tee times

Two-man teams are given the opportunity to choose their own intro songs when they take the first tee at TPC Louisiana. Sometimes this results in cliche. Other times it’s a testament to a player’s roots. And sometimes, it’s a perfect vibe for a player’s being.

But the Classic isn’t for another two weeks. How can we use it to divine Masters contenders?

My friends, I am glad you asked. Using 2021 and 2022 Zurich Classic walk-up songs, I have scientifically determined the eight most likely candidates to put on the green jacket in 2023.

Kevin Na

The song: Master P – Make ’em say Ugh

As a member of LIV Golf, Na didn’t play in last year’s Classic. But he was paired up with Byeong Hun An in 2021 and not only chose a stone cold classic but also one where “An and Na” is BASICALLY A MAJOR PART OF THE LYRICS.

10/10 perfect choice. The only way it could get better is if they played the album version with the intro that taught the world how to tell if Master P is on the phone or not.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele

The song: House of the Rising Sun – The Animals

Tremendous awareness here, as Cantlay and Schauffele picked both a great tone-setting intro (that ominous guitar!) and a local New Orleans reference. Two very aware golfers here.

Tony Finau

The song: Zapp & Roger – Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing)

Finau didn’t play Zurich in 2022, but in 2021 he and fellow Utahan Daniel Summerhays came out to FUNK HARMONICA. Delightful choice. Just listen to the energy of that song.

Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa

The song: Darude – Sandstorm

Did they choose Sandstorm because it slaps? Because it’s a meme? Because they appreciate the unhinged violence of Pride Fighting Championships star Wanderlei Silva?

Either way, solid choice.

Shane Lowry

The song: David Bowie (with Queen) – Under Pressure

Lowry’s partner Ian Poulter isn’t playing the Masters this year, leaving him solo on the rankings. We’ll never know which man is responsible for this choice, but he chose one of the world’s most recognizable bass lines. Bonus points for faking out anyone expecting Vanilla Ice prepping to kick it.

Keegan Bradley

The song: Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade

Nothing matches the “fight the establishment” themes of Rage Against the Machine quite like playing golf at the world’s most exclusive country club for millions of dollars. Whatever, it’d make me want to smash a golf ball into dust off the tee so, I get it.

Honorable mention: Sean O'Hair and Scott Piercy

The song: George Michael – Careless Whisper

Neither guy is playing this week. I just wanted to point out they chose perfect walk-up music.

Honorable mention: Cameron Tringale and Wyndham Clarke

The song: Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight

Both a song about doing it on your lunch break and a tremendous episode of Arrested Development. It doesn’t matter that neither guy qualified for the Masters.

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