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Masters 2017: Post Tournament Report Card

Report Card Pic3

Sergio - A+

Sergio Garcia: major winner. There were times, and many of them, that it seemed unlikely we'd ever see those words written. He’s battled putting woes, messy break-ups, controversies galore, bad luck and so much more throughout his career that it seemed somehow pre-ordained that he’d be remembered as the best golfer never to win a major. Not so anymore. A fantastic performance built upon previously unseen levels of resolve got him, finally, across the line. If you’re not pleased for him, you’ve got a chunk of breezeblock where your heart is meant to be.

Justin Rose – A

Simply didn’t deserve to lose. The Englishman gave absolutely everything he had only to be undone by a wayward drive at the first play-off hole that left him with an almost impossible second shot. One of the game’s good guys, Rose already has a major to his name, not to mention an Olympic gold medal, so that will console him somewhat. Not much, of course, but somewhat.

Patrons – A

How refreshing to watch a golf tournament in the States largely without having to suffer the shrieking buffoonery of the ‘Get in the hole!’ and ‘Mashed potato!’ imbeciles. People know how to behave at Augusta National. If only that were true the other 51 weeks of the year.

Kooch – A-

Matt Kuchar came from nowhere on the final day, made a stunning hole-in-one on the 16th and promptly paid it forward by giving a delighted little kid his signed ball. Fantastic scenes.

Thomas Pieters

Thomas Pieters – B+

Mark my words: this guy is going to be a world No.1 and multiple major-winner within the next five to six years. Took to Augusta National – a course we’re constantly reminded you need to play many times to truly figure out – as though he’d been playing there all his days, ultimately finishing in a tie for fourth. He’s got it all, this young Belgian: yardage-gobbling power, great imagination, a steady putting stroke and an even temper. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Fred Couples – B+

Golf’s ‘Fonzie’.

Jordan – C

Bang in the mix after 54 holes only to be undone by a horror final round, which included a re-load at the 12th after a visit to Rae’s Creek – stop me if this is sounding familiar. On the strength of his previous appearances at Augusta, Spieth was heavily fancied to turn a two-shot 54-hole deficit into a second victory in three years. Instead, he carded a 75 and finished eight shots shy of Rose and Garcia. By his own extraordinarily high standards in this tournament, this was a desperately ordinary week for the Texan.

Rickie – C

Started the final round one shot outside the lead. Seventy-six shots later, he finished the tournament outside the top ten. Brutal.

Rickie Fowler

Rory – C

Since he won the Open in 2014 to get three-quarters of the way towards the career grand slam, the Masters has become the most important week of Rory’s year – and it shows. Maybe it’s just me but the Northern Irishman looks as though he’s trying too hard to make it happen at Augusta, like he’s trying to force his way into the green jacket rather than play his way into it. Of course, if he’s looking for a silver lining this morning, this is it: the average age of past Masters champions is 32.5. Rory doesn’t turn 28 until next month. He’ll have plenty more chances… but it’s only got to get harder to do the longer it takes. Just ask would-be US Open champ Phil Mickelson.

Danny Willett – D

The first defending champion to miss the Masters cut since Mike Weir in 2004, the best thing Yorkshireman Willett did all week was serve roast beef at the Champions Dinner. It was all downhill from there.

Scotland – D-

That’s three years on the spin that there has been no Scottish involvement in the Masters beyond the second round. Now, whilst I hesitate to use an invitational tournament with a limited field to make a more overarching point about the state of our game, it is another example of where we’re currently at – and it’s not a good place. Sandy Lyle and Gordon Sherry agree. They told our man in Augusta, Bryce Ritchie, as much over the weekend. We’re in a bit of funk, golf-wise, and it may take years to resolve. Memo to the Scottish Government: this will require more investment, not less.

Staircase-related injuries – F

Do us all a favour and rent a bungalow next year, DJ.

Peter Alliss

Peter Alliss & Ken Brown – F

In the interests of objectivity, I tuned in to some of the BBC’s final round coverage. I soon switched back to Sky. Alliss’ curmudgeonly schtick is almost as unpleasant to listen to as his views on women, whilst I’d much sooner take a Mitre Mouldmaster to the goolies than endure any more of ‘Ken On The Course’.

Today - Z

Now begins the long, long wait until we next get to clap eyes on Augusta National. Today is Boxing Day for grown-ups, without the consolation of leftover turkey sandwiches. Today sucks.

The person in charge of the BBC Instagram account - Z-

All you had to do was get his bloody name right.

Sergio
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