Willett is a genuine superstar
We were warned. A win in February’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, a T3 finish at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and a T4 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge – all in the space of five months – should have been enough to convince us the boy from Sheffield, England was the new Lee Westwood. As it turns out, he’s better than his countryman, at least when it comes to Major victories. Willett is a gun, as displayed by his three birdies on the back nine when Jordan Spieth and Co. faltered down the stretch. Willett has grit, talent and determination, and at just 28 years of age, plenty of time on his side to become England’s next Hall-of-Famer.
Spieth is mortal – and has driver issues
We thought he was superhuman. A young man who for so long couldn’t miss fairways or putts. A young man who made winning as regular as Metamucil. But the cracks started to show late on Saturday afternoon at Augusta. A bogey, double-bogey finish left us all gobsmacked. Little did we know it was a mere teaser of things to come. While normal service resumed in the final round when Spieth fired four straight birdies to take what looked like an insurmountable lead at the turn, the human came out in him again. He found water at the par-3 12, not once but twice. He then found the sand before eventually tapping in for a quadruple-bogey 7 that effectively spelt the end of his Masters defence. He leaked several tee shots into the woods at the weekend, perhaps the direct result of being forced to use a new driver before the start of the tournament. Spieth cracked the face of his Titleist 915D2 driver on Wednesday and had to use a backup. One feels another backup is on its way.
Day’s time will come – provided his fitness does
It wasn’t meant to be for Aussie Jason Day, who in all truth never got out of second gear this week. The red-hot favourite going into the Masters couldn’t find the spark needed to get on a roll. While he grinded well, missed opportunities from tee to green hurt the Aussie. “It was bad but it wasn’t great,” Day said after his round. “I just came out and didn’t feel comfortable with my swing.” Something else that continues to hurt Day is his back. He was seen stretching regularly throughout the week and one wonders just how much golf he can produce before an operation is required.
Great pin placements don’t have to be brutal
Three aces in one day … at the same hole. It’s the stuff that gets crowds roaring and it’s what made the 2016 Masters one of the most memorable yet. Holes-in-one at the 16th from Shane Lowry, Davis Love III and Louis Oosthuizen highlighted how the generous pin at the front of the green – which allowed players to feed the ball back down the slope towards the cup – can spark a tournament. Congratulations to the Augusta National greens committee. History was broken as a result of their foresight and the tournament was better off for it.
Nothing compares to a Masters Sunday
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 10, 2016
It’s the best theatre in sport that continues to over-deliver on drama. When people ask why it’s “A tradition unlike any other”, simply show them the highlights reel of this year. And to cut a long story short, fast-forward to the final two hours of action. Heartbreak, triumph and yet another model champion the sport can hang its hat green jacket on.