April 10, 2016

What a wild and wacky final day at the Masters! There’s a reason why this tournament is the absolute best of the golf year – between the way the powers-that-be set the course up on Sundays, the course itself, and the stakes involved you can bet that something is gonna happen that keeps one on the edge of their seats. Few, if any, leads are safe, and the one who ends up putting on the green jacket is the one who can play consistently while staying in the moment.

Take today, for example. It was around 4:45 PM EDT that I was already planning to get on the Jordan Spieth “Grand Slam” watch for 2016. Dude was five strokes ahead of his nearest competitor, the unheralded Danny Willett from Great Britain, at the turn after a series of clutch birdies to close put the front nine.

Then came #10. Spieth bogeys, Willett birdies. Lead cut to three.
Then came #11. Spieth bogeys, Willett birdies. Lead cut to one.
Then came #12. This is something I really don’t understand. On Sunday #12 is sucker pin placement. Anyone ought to know that short is death by water, the play is long, into the bunker. Countless guys have lost the Masters by hitting it short, so what does Spieth do? He hits it short, it bounds into the water. Then he flubs a penalty shot into the water again. he ends up with a quad-bogey seven (!), and drops to three behind Willett.

After that, while putting up a brave front, his brain is mush but still puts on a good enough show until he misses a crucial birdie putt at 16 and it’s hasta la vista Jordan. Willett does what he has done all weekend – play assertively while avoiding mistakes, and thus the green jacket goes to the gentleman from “jolly old”. Perhaps there’s roast beef and Yorkshire pudding on the menu at the 2017 champions dinner?

There’s not a lot you can say. Spieth, I think, has learned that in a major no lead is safe; Tiger Woods in his prime would have tried to push that five-stroke lead to ten and not let up until the final putt dropped. Spieth’s young, he’s learned a valuable lesson from this and I’m sure will do everything he can to make sure this never happens again in the future. A few other thoughts:

This was Dustin Johnson’s tournament to win. If he had made even half the putts that skimmed the hole over the weekend he’d be wearing the green jacket. Dude simply has to learn to putt better.

Rory McIlroy played horribly from the start and reinforces my impression that while he’s got all the talent in the world there’s something missing between the ears or in the heart.

Jason Day – my pick – had a lousy tournament. Not sure what he was struggling with but he couldn’t get anything going whatsoever.

The Europeans are loaded when it comes to talent. I just don’t see the Americans matching them in overall skill and wherewithal when it comes to the Ryder Cup this September.

The biggest winner of the tournament? Augusta National, which, thanks to the windy conditions separated the wheat from the chaff and proved once again why it’s the absolute best golf event on TV.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 21:28 | Comments (0)
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