with Robert Bicknell
Jordan Speith walked off with the Masters green jacket after going wire to wire. Not many people have done that, nor did they put up a record amount of birdies on the way. So what can we learn from this past Masters tournament?
First off, despite being the overwhelming favourite, Rory McIlroy didn't get rolling until the final round and, by then, it was far too late. The media was claiming from the outset that the Masters was McIlroy's to lose. They practically anointed him the next big thing and heir apparent to Tiger. Big mistake.
McIlroy is extremely talented, but he is also human. The pressure of the "Rory Slam", plus it being the Masters in general, was too much for him to carry. Rory will win the Masters someday, but probably when we least expect him to. It seems to go like that for most of the winners, except Tiger Woods in his prime.
I might as well address the elephant in the room, Tiger Woods.
People are asking if the Masters was a win or lose for Tiger and I'd have to say it was a win. He chipped well, his irons were OK. Unfortunately, his driving was crap and his putting was a mere shadow of what it was in his heyday. However, another convenient "injury" seemed to appear, this time after hitting off the pine straw and encountering a hidden root. Supposedly, he "popped a bone in his hand" but then claimed to have "popped it back into place".
You can dislocate a joint. You can break a bone. But popping a bone out and then back into place, is hard to accept. Even more so, that, if it happened, you would have heard the scream on the moon. Yes, he grimaced in pain. Yes, he let the club fly. Yes, he held his "injured" hand with the other one.
And then he continued his round.
OK, I played golf for two years with a broken wrist (specifically: fractured triangular fibrocartilage complex). Doctors in Bangkok kept telling me it was tendonitis. They were wrong as a CT scan showed two years later. Every time I hit an off-centre golf shot, it felt like the sun exploded behind my eyes. Pain was so bad I could barely stand up.
If Tiger dislocated his thumb or finger, he could put it back in place, but there would be immediate swelling and I seriously doubt he could continue his round.
All that aside, the Masters was a win for Tiger. I believe he is on his way back to form and could soon be a major pain in the ass for his competitors providing he gets his driver under control. He might want to stick with a three wood off the tee. He's got natural length and the three wood would give him more control.
By the way, I loved it when Jordan Spieth went through his round for the media. Not once did he say "fairway metal" like that assclown Jim Nance.
Phil Mickelson was putting poorly before the Masters, but seemed to get it under control during the event. OK, not as sharp as it could have been, but he was still in contention for most of the last two days. Fortunately, we don't have to worry about him showing up at Krispy Kreme with a green jacket again.
Sergio Garcia was paired with Tiger Woods and all the pundits were hoping for a fist fight in the middle of the fairway. If it happened, I'd put my money on Tiger thanks to his *ahem* "Seal Team 6" training... Excuse me while I laugh into my sleeve.
Sergio was, well, Sergio. If there is any possible way to shoot himself in the foot, he'd find it. Dustin Johnson put up three eagles in one round thanks to his length off the tee, then promptly chucked it away.
The disappointment was Justin Rose. He was up there going into the fourth round, but faded a bit. He has experience in pressure situations, but not this time.
Bottom line is that Jordan Spieth held it together when it mattered. His second place finish the year before taught him a lot and he put it to good use.
In my opinion, the future of golf looks bright again. — VNS