April 15, 2013

Congratulations to Adam Scott for not only winning his first of what I believe will be several majors, but being the first Australian to win a Masters green jacket. When it comes to drama and beauty, it’s hard to beat Augusta National and the back (oops, I mean second) nine on a Sunday afternoon. I thought for sure fellow Australian Jason Day had enough game to win his first major and green jacket, but Argentinian Angel Cabrera and Scott both picked up their games at the right time.

You don’t win the Masters without getting a few breaks along the way. In Scott’s case, he was fortunate that the persistent rain and wet grass prevented his approach shot on 13 from spinning back into Rae’s Creek; in Cabrera’s case a wet green on 18 allowed his approach shot to sit down nicely for a fairly easy (well, as easy as any putt could be on the final hole when the Masters is on the line!) putt for birdie to force a playoff with Scott.

What impressed me most about Scott’s game was his fearlessness taking the big dog out on every hole on the back nine and hitting fairways every time. The dude has a beautiful swing (modeled after Tiger Woods’ Butch Harmon, pre-Hank Haney swing, BTW) and he showed his grit and determination time and again with one clutch shot after another as others struggled with the elements and their own games as the pressure mounted.

I felt sorry for Jason Day. He has such a beautiful swing and absolutely the perfect attitude and game for Augusta. But he came up short and knew just how much he had thrown this tournament away. Still, there’s every reason in the world to believe there’s a green jacket somewhere in Day’s future; perhaps more than just one. This Masters tournament will seen as Day’s coming out party – he’s someone folks are going to have to start paying attention to in future majors. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit if he were to win one of the remainiung three majors this year.

Of course, the big story will be yet another Masters and major over and done with, with Tiger Woods still sitting at 14 majors. For that, Tiger has no one to blame but himself. Frankly, he’s damned lucky he wasn’t disqualified after taking an improper drop on 15 on Friday, then on Saturday and Sunday Tiger showed his game, while much improved, still doesn’t hold up under a major’s weekend pressure. This is one aspect of his game Tiger should be most concerned about. It’s one thing to lap the field at one of your favorite venues like Torrey Pines, Bay Hill, or Muirfield, but if Tiger is going to have to rely on building up a huge lead on Thursdays and Fridays at majors so that the pressure of a Saturday and Sunday doesn’t adversely impact his game, he’s got mucho problemos.

Not to mention the fact that Scott, now that he’s broken the ice and won his first major, like Phil Mickelson did once he got his first, is just as likely to reel off a few major wins of his own over the next few years. Which, in turn, makes Tiger’s goal of passing Jack Nicklaus just a little harder after today.

All in all, there’s no weekend in the golf year like Masters week, and this year’s edition, like all the others before it, lived up to every expectation. A great event, a gorgeous venue like no other, and all the drama and excitement you could ever wish to see on a Sunday afternoon.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 02:34 | Comment (1)
1 Comment
  1. I think that whole drop issue was a mistake in explanation – not execution.

    Saw a comparison shot of Tiger’s two hits. Didn’t look as if he was in a different spot at all.

    And I really, REALLY hate this whole “viewers being able to drop a dime on PGA players” thing anyway. Can you imagine if the NFL started to take calls from viewers and overturned touchdowns a day later because officials on the field missed an obvious penalty on a scoring play?

    If all the officials following these groups don’t catch it, then too damned bad. TV viewers are viewers – not frikkin’ rules officials.

    Comment by Dave Richard — April 15, 2013 @ 7:57 am

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