Fitting end to a great Masters, and Tiger’s penalty was right

Sam Torrance
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ADAM SCOTT’S play-off triumph in the Masters provided the best finish to the tournament I’ve seen in a long time and capped a magnificent four days in Augusta.

The Australian deservedly took the green jacket but it was by no means just about him; runner-up Angel Cabrera and Jason Day, who ultimately settled for third, all played beautifully.

I really felt for Cabrera. His second shot at the last hole was supreme, while I don’t know how some of his other shots didn’t drop in, particularly his birdie putt at the 17th, his chip at the first play-off hole and then, crucially, his birdie putt on 10.

But every time Scott followed him in, and he also played a wonderful approach at the decisive play-off hole that allowed him to hole the putt that earned him a first Major title.

Among the supporting cast, Chinese 14-year-old Guan Tianlang looked incredible. To be the youngest player ever in the Masters is one thing, but to make the cut as well was astonishing. He took his penalty stroke in his stride and showed a lot of class all week.

Young Dane Thorbjorn Olesen recovered from a 78 in the first round to play three fantastic rounds and tie for sixth.

The 23-year-old’s Masters debut was all the more impressive as he suffered whiplash in a car accident just last month. England’s Lee Westwood and Spaniard Sergio Garcia played well without finishing off, while Rory McIlroy was one round away from a top finish.

And yet Tiger Woods would have won his fifth Masters if he hadn’t infamously hit the pin at the 15th during his second round, causing his ball to roll into the water.

He was penalised two strokes for dropping his ball in the wrong place, and that was resoundingly the correct decision.

Those arguing that he should have been disqualified do not understand the rules of golf, which were amended two years ago in relation to matters like this following an incident in which Padraig Harrington was disqualified.

Woods was not trying to gain an advantage – he wasn’t moving his ball from behind a tree, for instance – and on this topic I’m with David Feherty, who said: “To all those who don’t get [rule] 33.7. Sorry. There’s no cure for stupid.”

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. He has won 21 European Tour titles in a career spanning 40 years and famously sank the putt that clinched victory for Europe in the 1985 Ryder Cup. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam