If there’s one thing we know about this year’s Masters Tournament, it’s that anything was possible. From Tianlang Guan at age 14 becoming the youngest player in tournament history making the cut, to Tiger Woods being penalized, and to Adam Scott becoming the first Australian to ever win the Masters, this year’s tournament truly had something for everyone.
As golfers prepared to begin their tournament in Augusta, Georgia, all of the media attention focused in on Guan, the eighth grade wonder who improbably found himself at the Masters after winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand. From there, Guan continued to impress as he became the youngest player to make the cut in a major championship-a record previously held by Matteo Manassero at age 16.
It didn’t come easy for Guan who was penalized for slow play but still managed to make the cut. He was penalized one stroke after being warned a couple of times by scoring officials that he was taking more than his allowed 40-seconds to swing after initially addressing the ball. Guan would go on to finish 12 strokes above par, ranking him 58th overall.
Along with Guan, Woods felt the wrath of the scoring officials as he too was punished. However, this seasoned vet wasn’t penalized for slow play; rather he was penalized two shots for his placement of the ball after it had gone into the water.
The ruling came down that Woods didn’t drop his ball as close as possible to where his original shot took place. Instead, he left it about two yards behind his prior shot which is against the rules. The committee added two strokes to that hole for Woods, turning a bogey into a triple bogey which left Woods five swings under par and tied for fourth place. Despite the penalty, Woods managed to have the best finish of any American.
Then there was the surprise from down under as three Australians finished in the top five. Marc Leishman tied Woods at five under, Jason Day at seven under took third place and then of course there was Adam Scott who at nine strokes under par went to a playoff to win his first green jacket.
You generally don’t think of golf as a sport in which it comes down to the final shot. Everyone holding their breath, waiting. After Scott successfully birdied the first playoff hole, it looked like it was over for the Argentinean, Angel Cabrera. However, to everyone’s surprise, Cabrera answered right back with a birdie of his own essentially sending it to another overtime.
On the second playoff hole, Cabrera missed a putt for birdie by just inches, forcing him to settle for par. He would quickly find out that par wasn’t good enough in the Masters as Scott sunk a putt for birdie and the win.
Just like that, it was over. It came down to a game of inches and the man from down under came out victorious.