Today at the Masters: Garcia’s major nightmare is over
Feel-good moment of the day – Martin Kaymer
The German and the Masters have never made for good bedfellows; he missed his first four cuts, his best finish in nine starts is a tie for 31st and until Friday he had never even broken 70. It was leaving here that prompted him to try and install a right-to-left ball flight into his game and the next few years were a relative mess by his own high standards.
Now Kaymer, who has won the US Open and PGA, will leave Georgia with something of a spring in his step. The usual whispers went around after his opening 78 but then look what happened, five little circles in a row and another at 15.
Kaymer might not be a future Green Jacketeer but at least he appears to have finally come to terms with the test that the Masters presents.
Spare a thought for – Justin Rose, obviously
Forget all the talk about Spieth or Rory or Fowler or anyone else this will be remembered as a shoot-out between two European superstars. Rose was round in 69, looked like being the only winner six holes out, birdied 16 to take the lead and might have won it at the 72nd hole.
For the Englishman it was a second runners-up place in just three years, the pair of them were three ahead of the next best.
At some point Rose will win a Green Jacket, for now it will have to wait.
Best shot – Sergio Garcia, second to 15th
Forgive the obvious Seve comparisons but it would have been his 60th birthday and from a similar position this was the shot (a mishit 4-iron into the drink) that haunted Ballesteros.
But Garcia ripped it, an 8-iron high and handsome, and so precise that it actually hit the pin. Minutes later the eagle putt followed to tie for the lead. It was the first eagle by an eventual champion since Jose Maria Olazabal in 1994.
Worst shot – Jordan Spieth, tee shot to 12th
This wasn’t the worst shot of the day but the repercussions for Spieth will be seemingly never-ending. He might well have parred the par 3 for the first three days but that will matter little as he will continue to face more questions about his demons over that tee shot.
Spieth said prior to the Masters that he was looking forward to the week being over, the loss of a five-shot lead in 2016 when he made seven here, the reason to a year’s worth of questions over his capitulation.
Now those questions will continue in some shape and certainly when he arrives back on the property in 2018. For the record he made a five this time around and had to birdie three of the last four for a 75.
Got dressed in the dark – Rickie Fowler
Yes, yes I get why Fowler wears orange on Sunday and all power to him. But surely there must be some other way to include his favourite shade and not run the risk of looking like the first Masters champion to be on the run from Guantanamo or be on a month-long bender supporting the Netherlands at Euro 2004.
The top is fine and he’s got film-star looks, it’s just that your eyes will be nowhere near here.