2013 Opinionated Masters Recap- Penalties, Random Songs, A 14-Year-Old, A Duck In the Rain, An Overdue and Deserving Aussie and Much More

Fresh off one of the most exciting Masters finishes in recent memory, here’s my opinionated recap of everything that transpired amidst all of those Augustan azaleas:

–        I’m quite convinced that Tiger Woods could contend in the Masters even if someone stole his clubs and he had to play with a rental set, he played barefoot, he played completely drunk or played carrying his own clubs.  After going through the most bizarre ruling potentially in golf history on Saturday, which followed a horrendously unlucky bad break on the 15th hole on Friday as he was surging into contention, Tiger STILL found a way to contend on Sunday…oh yeah, after he couldn’t find a fairway or buy a putt to save his life on the first 8 holes.  Nevertheless, despite the resilience, the major meter still stands at 14 for El Tigre.

–        Bo Van Pelt should just pretend that every round that he plays is on a Sunday at Augusta as something crazy awesome always seems to happen.  After recording two eagles on the second nine on Sunday at The Masters each of the past two years (including a hole-in-one on 16 last year), despite a struggle of a round, BVP chipped in for bogey on hole 13 from across the creek after making a mess of the par 5, then holed out with a wedge with his third shot on hole 15 for eagle, collecting his fifth crystal goblet in the past three years (sent from Augusta to all players in the field for each eagle recorded during the week).

–        3-time Masters champ Phil Mickelson finished at +9 for the week, just 3 shots better than a 14-year-old (Tianlang Guan) who even had a slow play penalty during his round on Friday.  Stop and think about that one for a second.

–        One of the field favorites, Keegan Bradley, also finished at +9 for the week, also just 3 shots better than that same 14-year-old.

–        Speaking of Keegan Bradley, the Keegster ballooned to an 82 on Saturday.  The day prior, Hunter Mahan also shot an 82.  In case it needed any further evidence, Augusta National is hard folks.

–        There’s no better example in all of golf that a par 3 doesn’t have to be long to be challenging than the par 3 12th at Augusta.  At just 155 yards, it’s one of the most diabolical par 3’s in all of golf.  Case in point- defending champ Bubba Watson and Kevin Na BOTH made septuple bogey 10’s there today.  Justin Rose made a quadruple bogey 7 and numerous other players splashed their tee shots into Rae’s Creek as well.  Take note, course designers.

–        Instead of a sudden death 1-hole playoff, just imagine the ultimate drama that a 3-hole playoff at Amen Corner would create!

–        Having been lucky enough to attend the Masters 3 times (’00, ’04, ’11), when Masters week comes around even though I’m more excited for it than any other week during the year, it’s still so deflating to not actually be at Augusta in person knowing what I’m missing.  I overly crave the day that I return to the hallowed grounds again.

–       Gonazlo Fernannnnnnndezzzzzz Caaaaasssssssstannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooo! Wait, what does that mean?

–        Would not be surprised whatsoever to see Jason Day in contention again at another major this season.  Last two Masters that he’s finished (remember he WD’d with injury in ’12) he’s tallied t-2nd and solo 3rd.  Day was also t-2nd at the ’11 U.S. Open.  Dude has an immense level of talent and will break through in the major winner’s circle sooner than later.

–        As I predicted before the week started, Rory big-time struggled this week and was never in contention.  You simply can’t airmail wedges from the middle of the fairway and hit hard-pulls off the tee at Augusta and expect to contend.  Rory is much closer to re-discovering his winning ways with his new equipment than he was at the start of the year, but he’s still a good 1-2 months away from playing world #2-like golf.

–        Going to go out on a limb and say that we may not hear from or see Angel Cabrera until next year’s Masters.  Ok yes, he’ll play the majors and some other Tour events, but for whatever reason the guy seems to only peak his game for Augusta.  Hey, if you’re going to pick one place to play your best golf, not a bad choice, Angel…and seriously, how crazy is it that his “apodo” (Spanish word for nickname) is “El Pato,” which of course means the duck, and it poured rain late Sunday into the playoff.  You can’t make that stuff up.

–        It’s nice of the Masters committee to have greatly expanded online coverage of the tourney over the years, but when it comes to the Masters yes, less is more, but less still sucks!

–        I do believe that Brandt Snedeker will win a major someday, as he certainly has the talent to do it; however, these mini Sunday meltdowns that he’s now had here at Augusta (’08, this year), will be even tougher to overcome next time.  For Sned’s sake, I wish he wouldn’t have had that rib injury this spring so that he could’ve come into the Masters as red hot as he was early in the year, perhaps the results would’ve been different.

–        Rickie Fowler HAS to find a way to cut down on all of his big numbers.  He’s now played 18 consecutive tournaments with at least one double bogey or worse.  Yes, it was entertaining to watch him fire a first round 4-under 68 on Thursday with two doubles, but there’s simply no way that he’s ever going to win a major without eliminating such costly mistakes.

–        I’m incredibly impressed with Marc Leishman’s resiliency.  After his first round 6-under 66, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone for him to tumble down the standings, but he held steady with rounds of 73-72-72 to finish t-4th and was still there with a chance on Sunday.  Best news for Marc is that he’s now automatically invited back to next year’s Masters with his top 12 finish (since the Masters committee announced on Wednesday it’s no longer the top 16, now just the top 12.

–        I’ll never understand why Tiger ditched his 2000 Butch Harmon swing.  Well hey, at least Adam Scott just won his first major with it….with Tiger’s old caddie.  We all knew that already, but it’s even crazier the more you think about it.

–        Stevie Williams is hands down better at high-fiving with Adam Scott than he ever was with Tiger Woods…and damn, Adam looks good in green.

Do we really have to wait another full year to be back to goosebump city?

#361daysandcounting

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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