I know there are a lot of people that are not fans of Professional Golf, citing the fact that it is a “rich man’s sport” or its boring to watch on TV and would rather play or go to an event live. I give you “The Masters”, probably the most exciting tournament to watch on a yearly basis. Each year there is drama, there is excitement and there is a special feeling to this “major” that most wont understand.
There were three major stories coming out of Augusta, GA this week, the first was the 14-year old Chinese amateur, Tianlang Guan, that made the cut in his first pro tournament in the US, winning low amateur, and showing not only great talent, but poise and maturity well beyond his years. It was exciting to see this kid do so well, even though he finished 12 over par he was the only amateur to make the cut, and he showed humility and genuine excitement at meeting some of his heroes.
The second is of course Tiger Woods, who was given a 2-shot penalty for an illegal drop on the 15th hole Friday. there were a lot of commentators and celebrities, mostly former or current players, that thought that maybe he should have been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, but yet he was only penalized two strokes, resulting in a 1 over par 73 for his round on Friday. While I agree that he should have been penalized, he should not have been disqualified because officials looked at the situation the same day and decided that it did not warrant a disqualification, and this was before Tiger signed his card. It was only after this was looked at when the tournament officials received a text message from someone pointing out the violation thus causing them to look at it once again. It was only after the second look a decision was made to hand down the penalty. Since it was after Tiger had already signed his card and after they had already looked at it and said it was not a penalty, it was decided that disqualifying him was not necessary. Personally I believe that the rules officials should have caught it the first time and then at that time if a disqualification was deemed necessary, then so be it.
Finally and certainly not the least of all was the final three holes of the tournament. The range of emotions that occurred between Angel Cabrera and Adam Scott was incredible, first when Scott sunk the birdie on the 72nd hole of the tournament to finish with a 1-shot lead, then when Cabrera followed that up with a shot for the ages, placing his approach to within 5 feet of a pin located in an almost impossible spot to get it that close. Finally when Cabrera missed his birdie put on the second playoff hole by a mere 2 inches, circling around the cup as if it was the moon orbiting the moon, so close but not close enough as to cause damage. Scott followed that up with a 15-footer to seal the win and the hopes and dreams of not only Adam Scott were realized, but the dreams of an entire country were realized as well. Scott becomes the first Aussie to win The Masters, doing what Greg Norman could not do in the 80’s and 90’s and what the top talent in the game today have come close to doing, but not able to get it done.
Congrats to Adam Scott, it was a fitting finish to yet another exciting week at Augusta.