A recap of the greatest Masters ever
Oh man what a Masters it’s been so many storylines coming in with arguably the strongest field in its history. How Ironic that this Masters is so historic will be looked back in history one of the greatest majors ever played. One reason why was the weather it had an impact all week from practice rounds to Sunday rains storms and winds wrecked havoc on the golf course. On Thursday Tiger Woods shot 70 a score he’s shot three out of his four green jackets sitting at -2. Justin Rose my favorite to win this week outside my bias pick of Tiger Woods shot a 75 and went on the miss the cut after shooting a 73 in round 2 capping off a disappointing week despite good play coming in. Hottest golfer coming in Rory Mcllroy never got it going all week shooting 73,71,71,68 for a total of -5 finishing in a tie for 21st. Rory Mcllroy will have to wait another year to finally complete the Career Grand Salm. Jordan Spieth was out of contention out of the gate with a 75 on the opening day and could not recapture his Augusta magic. Patrick Reed defending champion continued his bad play hovering around even par the entire week finishing -3 T36.
As for round 1 it was a grind in the morning -3 being the morning wave lead with many ( a common theme for the week being tied for the lead). It started out the wave for the afternoon but the course became soft with the groups hitting the back nine and Bryson Dechambeau and wait for Brooks Koepka sharing the 36 hole lead with Phil Mickelson going 5 under on the back nine to be one shot back and Dustin Johnson being two shots back. A common trend the last 13 Masters winners since Tiger Woods last win in 2005 were inside the top 10 in round 1. As a result positioning is important to stay in touch with the lead which leads into another historic fallout from this Masters that we will get too later.
Round 1was all back surviving to the weekend as Augusta fought back and the morning wave struggled and the lead only went up to -7 with Francesco Molinari shooting the low round of the wave to reach -7 and was joined by Brooks Kopeka 71. Heading to the afternoon wave positioning was important Tiger Woods was getting his round going before the weather came forcing a suspension of play for about 30 mins. This effected not only Tiger who was getting hot and after the delay missed a five footer on the 12th the story of his first two days. Tiger Woods Masters almost came to an end after a security guard almost took his knee out slipping on wet grass. However in Tiger Woods fashion when you missed short putts he made the long ones on 14 and 15 to sit at -6 going into the weekend in contention. After the delay with softer greens, fairways and the entire course in general three players made a charge to join the co leaders at -3. Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott all joined -7 meaning five major champions went into the weekend tied for the lead. A record 65 players made the cut adding on to an already historical Masters. It set up for an exciting weekend at the Masters.
Round 3 it is moving day at the Masters and the course was gettable and it was great weather and entertainment. Webb Simpson and Tony Finau started the fireworks both shooting 64s to get into contention (Webb -9 Finau leading at -11 )before the leaders were even close to finshing their rounds. As for the leaders the pretenders and contenders were sorted on in Francesco Molinari the Italian robot and current Open champion shooting a 66 to get into the lead at -13. Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott both faded out of contention with putting issues , Jason Day battling a bad back faded out shooting a 73. Brooks Koepka shot a 69 to get to 10 under and finished the day three behind Molinari. Tiger Woods after a bogey on five a hole he bogeyed all four days because of troubles off the tee. Got going after a birdie at 6 and went out shot 67 to get himself into the final group two shots behind Molinari. This was the best position Tiger was in after day 3 of a major since 2013 at the Open when he was T5 going into the final round. Weather made another impact with the Masters forced to start in the morning on Sunday off of spilt tees with the leaders going off 9:20 for the first time in Masters history for both.
Tiger Woods wearing his Sunday red was attempting for the first time ever to win a major trailing after 54 holes. It be a tough task with Francesco Molinari only committing only one bogey the entire tournament. I call him the Italian robot when a man who shows little emotion and rarely makes an error. When he is on his game he is hard to beat Tiger Woods learned that the hard way last year at the Open championship. They were grouped together and Francesco Molinari was immune to the Tiger effect. Once again he showed no signs of slowing down saving par after par on the front nine with Tiger Woods at one point being three back. As they say however the Masters does not begin till the back nine on Sunday. As it does every Masters number 12 made a difference with the first crack in the Italian robot hitting in the water and committing double bogey .
As a result Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele were either tied for the lead or right in it now. The Masters was wide open and the juicy holes yet to come up then out of nowhere Patrick Cantlay made eagle to take the solo lead at -12 but would fade away with bogeys at 16 and 17. Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler all tried to make late runs and post a number in the clubhouse to make the leaders think about them but all fell late. Dustin Johnson made a run late to get in at -12 but it was too late as the leaders had enough holes to counter that. At 15 a major development happened the Italian robot finally fully cracked and hit his 3rd shot in the water and took his name out of the running. Before that Xander Schauffele failed to get up and down to take the solo lead. Both came into the lead on 15 with a chance to take a solo lead both left behind Tiger Woods. Who all week hit his spots and used his experience around Augusta to his advantage making a 2 putt to take the solo lead with 3 holes left. At this point it was down to four Schauffele, Johnson, Koepka and Woods. Tiger Woods made it down to two after once again using his experience to his advantage hitting it to four feet at 16 and taking a two shot lead with 2 holes left to play. Only person left to stop Tiger Woods was Brooks Koepka and he missed two birdie putts giving Tiger Woods on 18 a two shot lead.
The greatest closer in golf then closed it out to add another historical moment to this Masters. Major number 15 11 years after Tiger Woods 2008 US Open win and his first major win after trailing 54 holes. The world tuned in to see history and boy was it fun to watch as Tiger Woods is back and ready to add on to his legacy and chase the numbers 82 and 18 in wins and majors. Tiger Woods completed the greatest comeback in sports history. In my opinion this was the best Masters in history with the top 11 alone all being in the top 25 in the world golf rankings. The PGA Championship is next month we truly cannot wait. This Masters truly kept me on the edge of my sheet with each shot and that is what so special about that 2nd week in April.