Masters aftermath – what we learnt

With Adam Scott’s winning putt on the second extra playoff hole at Augusta National the 2013 Masters tournament came to an end, but it was not without its moments. We take a look back at the year’s first major.

Let’s start right at the top, and deal with the newest owner of a green jacket – Mr.Scott. As with every Masters winner there is a backstory, and for the Australian it was no small feat to clinch the title.

Aside from his father only watching him at The Open and The Masters each year, and aside from him becoming the first Aussie to win at Augusta National, what makes it a truly great win is that just nine months ago he had a meltdown at The Open.

Last year the 34-year-old bogeyed his final four holes to hand victory to Ernie Els during the 142nd Open Championship, and yet remained gracious in defeat. “Next time — I’m sure there will be a next time — I can do a better job of it,” Scott said that day.

Less than a year later he drained that 12-footer to beat Angel Cabrera in a playoff at The Masters 2013. At Royal Lytham and St Anne’s he was wondering where it all went wrong, and just nine months later Bubba Watson was helping him into a fairly significant jacket.

But the legacy of the 2013 Masters does not end with Scott and his record books.

Tianlang Guan became the youngest player in history to compete at The Masters. He’s possibly the best-known 14-year-old in the world right now, courtesy of his appearance at Augusta.

But, like every Masters story, it doesn’t end there. The youngster made the cut and defied all of the naysayers, proving that the expression ‘good enough is old enough’ really does ring true.

Yet the history books were not done with the young Chinese player. On Saturday he became the first player in Masters history to receive a penalty for slow play. Talk about pressure and a strange target to set a precedent with.

Speaking of penalties and precedents, anyone within 100 miles of an internet connection will have seen the uproar over Tiger Woods after his approach at the 15th during round two hit the flag stick and ricocheted into the water.

Woods proceeded to drop two yards back from where the ball had previously come to rest, and on Saturday received a two-stroke penalty for unknowingly breaching the rules. The big problem is that the rules state it as a disqualification if he has already signed for his card. The chaos that ensued couldn’t have been scripted. There were calls for him to walk off, respect for the decision, anger at the fact that it was Woods and many, many questions as to why protocol had been broken.

So all-in-all we have learnt that what we know might not all be true. Or that what happens at Augusta is different to other golfing tournaments. The rules are the rules…sometimes. And a player can lose a major and then win one within a year. It’s all a bit confusing, but the one truth that comes through is this – amongst those magnolias it’s only the crème de la crème that win. Hats off to Adam Scott.

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