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Monday, April 11, 2016

The Limerick Summary: 2016 Masters

Winner: Danny Willett

Around the wider world of golf: Brad Fritsch won the Servientrega Championship on the Web.com Tour; Samantha Richdale won the Florida's Natural Charity Classic on the Symetra Tour; and Erika Kikuchi won the Studio Alice Ladies Open on the JLPGA (bangkokbobby has details).

Danny Willett dons the Green Jacket

They say the Masters doesn't begin until the back nine on Sunday. But that was actually the beginning of the end.

The end of an almost boringly predictable finish to the 2016 Masters. The end of Jordan Spieth's magical walk into Masters history -- at least, in the way he envisioned it. The end of Danny Willett's anonymity in America. The end of a 16-year European drought at the Masters.

After finishing the front nine with four straight birdies, Jordan Spieth had a 5-shot lead and seemed destined to become the first man to win two Masters in his first three tries, among other records. Then that pesky pushed shot that had plagued him intermittently all week ceased to be intermittent. It cost him a bogey on 10, another on 11, and then the inconceivable quad on 12 that killed his Masters run and gave Danny Willett the lead after a birdie on 15.

Give me a bit of credit as a prophet here. While none of my picks for the week panned out -- although DJ did make a run on the back nine -- I wrote this at the end of Sunday's post:
But I'd keep my eye on that group at even. For one of them, a 67 just might be enough to squeak out a green jacket.
Danny Willett was in that group, and he posted a bogey-free 67 to become only the second Englishman ever to win a green jacket. (Nick Faldo is the other. I didn't know that at the time I wrote the post.)

A few Tweeters blasted for Jordan Spieth for appearing devastated during the green jacket presentation, which demonstrates why Coach Herm Edwards constantly tells people that the one rule on Twitter is "Don't press send!". After all, Jordan didn't have any time at all to gather himself; he had to go straight from the 18th green to the presentation. It's sad when we can no longer allow our heroes to be human.

There will be a lot of debate over why Jordan collapsed. I think all of the favorites suffered from the same problem -- it's just a function of being human. All of them wanted this win so much -- and there was so much hype surrounding this first major of the year -- that I think they all just got in their own way. They'll all recover in time, and perhaps they'll all be better prepared at the next big event.

Of course, Danny Willett will have an entirely different problem. The new father will have to find time for his family while juggling all the new sponsors who clamor for his attention. He may decide to take up PGA Tour membership now since he gets a fully-exempt card for a few years. At any rate, I suspect he'll be fine. He handled Jordan Spieth and the rest of the Fab4 plus Friends; this should be a cakewalk! And perhaps he'll even find time to celebrate his new Limerick Summary:
Yes, the end started on the back nine
And for Danny, the end was divine.
After Jordan’s ball sank
When it bounced off the bank,
Danny stepped up and played superfine.
The photo came from this page at pga.com.

2 comments:

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