19th Hole

Greg Ellis
Great Golf Academy
Goodyear, AZ

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A Masterful Masters

Early April is my favorite time of year. The first major of the year happens and Spring is in the air. My most favorite memories of the Masters is what makes this time of year so great. It was 1986 when I made my first visit to Augusta National and two weeks after that Masters I had the honor of playing golf with Masters Champion, Jack Nicklaus. I loved the Masters before that but even more now.

Fast forward to this year and what a great major championship this was. By Sunday afternoon, it measured up with some to be one of the best finishes in the history of the Masters. Coming into the week, Tiger Woods was the proverbial favorite. Tiger never starts out with a super low round in the majors and this week was no different. After day one he was in the hunt. Day two rolls around and now Tiger has made a move, and at one point leads the event.

Then hole fifteen, Tiger hits a great shot with bad results and “Drop Gate” happens. Tiger assessed his options and chose to hit from where the original shot was previously played with a wrinkle. His drop was two paces behind “where the original shot” was played. A “CALLER” (which drives me crazy and you have heard my opinions on this) calls in and informs someone of Tiger’s “illegal” drop. After all is said and done, eighteen hours later, Tiger ends up with an Eight on the hole instead of a six. As much as the committee got it right, they got it wrong and the “CALLER” actually ended up helping Tiger’s cause rather than harming him, (as I believe the caller was trying to do. Otherwise why call in?).

Prior to that, the 14 year old Asian Amateur, Guan was penalized for slow play. How does this happen that the youngest kid in the field, who by the way was only three over par for the event, was hit with a one stroke penalty for slow play. Justified or not, it was the wrong call but right call. These two controversial calls could have left a black eye on the event; but then enters Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera.

As they always say, the Master’s begins on the back nine on Sunday.  This year was no different. Adam Scott played consistent golf all week and he was in the position at the end to win his first major, after his horrendous finish at the British Open last summer. Adam Scott makes birdie on the final hole and believes he has just won the Master’s, and is the first Australian to do so in history. Angel Cabrera would have something to say about that. He took aim and stuffed his second shot on eighteen and made the putt to force the tie. It was two prize fighters going toe to toe. The event finally had its “Wow” moment.

In the playoff, Adam and Angel par eighteen and go to ten and the fireworks go off. Angel just misses a putt for birdie, and on close to the same line Adam Scott converts for the victory. What a finish! You could not have had a more classy champion than Adam Scott, and he will remain as humble as he appears as the new Masters Champion. He got it right and the Masters got it right again. That is what makes this the greatest week in golf.

Be sure to tune in to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show every Saturday from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. or on ArizonaSports620 or on the internet at www.arizonasports.com for more tips and updates on all of the week’s golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Join Greg, Jim Hill, and Marty Monaghan for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week.