This year’s Masters was all about losses.
The most significant loss viewers would notice was the loss of Tiger Woods due to back surgery. Although he underwent minimally invasive surgery on a disk which he is expected to make a full recovery from, any major tournament just doesn’t feel right without the guy, much less a guy who has won it four times.
Another loss Augusta had this year was the great loss of all the trees due to the ice storm that took place around the 13th of February. This changed the way the tournament played out immensely. Augusta National’s swirling winds due to the lack of trees baffled the field. There were half as many players under par this year in comparison to last. I look for the lack of trees to limit the number of players under par and make Augusta a drier, harder to play golf course in the years to come.
The final loss the Masters had was the back nine drama. The old saying the Masters doesn’t start till the back nine held true on Sunday. This Masters ended on the back nine and hats off to Bubba Watson for this. His massive drive on the 13th hole pretty much sealed the deal when it flew through the trees and left him less than one hundred and forty yards for his second shoot in to the par five. From that point on Watson pretty much played the course on cruise control and went on to win, only gambling again on the 15th hole when he went off the par five in two again from the trees. This almost grew his lead even more if it hadn’t gone over that back end of the 15th green.
Over all, this Masters was less exciting than those of previous years. I am thrilled for Bubba, who is a class act. I look forward to closer finishes, a quicker Augusta National, and big names being back in the years to come.
~ Tony Naumann