He can’t win the big one. He is good, but he will never win a major. He doesn’t have the clutch gene. These are only a few of the many criticisms that Adam Scott dismissed with his Master’s win this past Sunday.
When his 12-foot birdie putt found the bottom of the cup on the second playoff hole, Scott clinched his first Major Championship win and eliminated previous winner Angel Cabrera. This winning putt, along with his 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of regulation, will be remembered as two of the greatest putts in Master’s history.
Those putts, and his final score of -9 in 74 holes, did not look anything at all like the play of an “un-clutch” player. So now, Australia has its first Master’s championship and Adam Scott has his first major victory.
Scott’s historic run was not the only thing that made the 2013 Masters exceptional. This year golf fans were treated to the youngest participant in history and a controversial ruling regarding the No. 1 player in the world. That’s right, 14-year-old Tianlang Guan of China was not only the youngest participant ever, he made the cut and won the Silver Cup. The Silver Cup is the trophy awarded to the tournament’s “low amateur,” or the amateur who posts the best four-day score in the tournament.
The excitement surrounding Guan didn’t end there. On Friday, Guan became the first player in Master’s history to incur a penalty for slow play. Rules officials said that he was warned about his pace numerous times on the back nine and was finally assessed a penalty on the 17th hole.
As for the controversy regarding the No. 1 ranked player in the world, Tiger Woods was assessed a two-stoke penalty for an illegal drop. On Friday at the fifteenth hole, Woods was chipping onto the green when his ball hit the flagstick and rolled into the water. Woods then elected to take a drop at the spot of his original chip; unfortunately, he dropped the ball two yards behind the original spot.
What was controversial about it was that the rules committee assessed the penalty over night instead of on the course. That means that Woods signed an incorrect scorecard on Friday, which should result in an automatic disqualification. However, Rule 33 states that the rules committee can waive a disqualification in certain cases.
The fact that the committee penalized Woods over night instead of during his round led them to waive his disqualification. Woods said later that he did not know he was breaking the rule by dropping the ball about two-yards behind the spot.
At the end of the day, Woods finished at -5 and his major championship victory drought has now extended to 15 tournaments. Did the two stroke penalty cost Tiger a real shot at competing with Scott and Cabrera on the final day? We will never know.
What we do know is that Tiger is getting closer to a major championship and to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 20 career major victories.
As for the 2013 Masters, however, Tiger and the rest of the field could only watch as last year’s champion Bubba Watson presented Adam Scott with his Green Jacket and Scott immortalized himself into a legend for Australia and as a Masters Champion.
A version of this article appeared on page 6 of April 16, 2013’s print edition of The Daily Nexus.