Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - You have to give the Masters credit for
They say there's nothing better in golf than the back nine of the Masters on
Sunday. And they say that for good reason because there is nothing better. And
it isn't braggin' if you can back it up, and they always back it up.
Sunday proved that yet again when Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera hooked up in a
doozy of a playoff.
It looked like Scott had locked up the green jacket on his final hole of
regulation; and then Cabrera took the breath away from everybody when he
stuffed his approach to force the playoff.
Then it looked like the Argentine had it won when his chip from right off the
18th green on the first playoff hole seemed destined to drop. But it just
Then, on the second playoff hole, Cabrera's birdie putt looked perfect until
it veered off right at the cup, setting the stage for Scott.
And all he does is put his 12-footer for the win in the middle of the cup.
The first win for an Australian. A win for the ages, really, because Scott had
come so close before and always walked away empty (remember his collapse at
the British Open last year?).
Unfortunately, as always seems to be the case, Tiger Woods stole a big part of
After he got busted for his incorrect drop in Friday's second round, many
called for him to disqualify himself from the tournament for signing an
incorrect scorecard. You know, like many golfers have done before him when
they find out they weren't playing by the rules.
Well, there was a better chance of Martha Burke being in the final group
Sunday than Tiger pulling out of the Masters.
All you had to do was look at Woods on Saturday and Sunday and you could
picture what he was thinking:
"I must win and I must beat Jack's record. I don't care about the rules; they
don't apply to me because I'm Tiger Woods."
Imagine what he would have done for his soiled image if he'd actually
withdrawn? How much better he would have made himself look?
Instead, Tiger got a slap on the wrist - a two-shot penalty and we were told
by CBS and Jim Nantz that it was just an honest mistake by the great Mr.
Woods and we shouldn't worry about it.
Not quite. The rule he broke is common knowledge among the pros (and if not
the pros, a pro's caddy, you like to think, would at least know them) and
surely he knew it, too.
Alas, Tiger didn't lose by one stroke, which would have been fitting
considering the two-shot penalty; he lost by four and now hasn't won a major
since the 2008 U.S. Open.
Oh, well, few will lose any sleep over his drought.
Although it was really funny, well, sad, to hear the CBS crew go breathless
when Woods got to 4-under through 13 holes. It didn't matter that he was still
four shots back of Cabrera at the time, Tiger was making a charge and don't
touch your remote.
While the whole Mr. Woods saga was uncool, it was really cool to see Scott win
and to win with Tiger's old, fired caddie, Stevie Williams, carrying Scott's
bag. Tell me Stevie didn't have a chuckle or two Sunday night over that whole
deal. Maybe three chuckles.
In the end, Scott and Cabrera saved the day. Both are likable; heck, Cabrera
swings like we do, albeit with better results, and both like each other. They
made for great theater, theater Augusta provides year after year.
No offense to the U.S. Open, the British Open and PGA Championship, but you're
not even close to what happens in early April in Georgia. Frankly, I can't
wait for the next one.
Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several Philadelphia-
area newspapers for over 25 years.
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