Masters 2013 – The Dark Shark Emerges

Posted: April 14, 2013 in Sport

Roy and HG always referred to IBF as The Dark Shark – it was funny at the time but not totally valid. IBF was a nice guy who could putt. Until he went to la la land in his head. Adam Scott has always had a strong tie to Sharkie and is the first to admit his influence on him. He probably falls somewhere in between IBF and GWS in the personality stakes but like his mentor/hero he is the purest striker of a golf ball in his era who more often than not is let down by average putting. These guys dont get to where they are being bad putters but if you look for their weakness it is the flat stick

So we come to the 72nd hole in The Master 2013 and Scotty( hereafter TDS) faces a very similar putt that GWS did to win all the bikkies back in 87. And it was pissing down. The Masters winner always birdies the 16th – TDS and Angel both faced a similar putt on 16 – TDS missed, Angel holed. The engraver moved from A to An…Ok, back to 18 – so who looked away? Not me , its the car crash phenomenon, you cant look away. He holed it and deservedly went slightly beserk. He made the long walk up with every man and his dog cheering him and high-fiving him. Back in the mist the ever cool and always lovable Argentinian Angel played one of the best shots you will ever see to 3 feet for certain matching birdie. Adam was still on cloud 9 in scorer’s tent and the camera shows his head swivel up to the TV when he hears the roar. His jaw , and likely his bowels, must have dropped . And then the true story begins

Sinking one great putt may be considered a fluke by the cold-hearted. Now TDS had to emerge from the warm hut into the doom and gloom and refocus again. Golf is a game of inches – and we nay think the way that TDS’s ball stayed out of the water on 15 showed that. But everyone who plays golf knows it is the 3 inches between the ears that matter. Not only did TDS have to redo it all again but against the totally relaxed and unflappable Angel. Walking to the playoff tee someone in the crowd leans over and yells QUEENSLANDER – is it an omen?After good drives on 18 they both leave approach shots short and it comes down to chipping. Angel plays a pearler that almost goes in. The one thing you dont want to see at The Masters is someone lose the tournament – you want someone to win it with a great shot or putt. So when TDS nervously left his chip short he faced that demon length putt – and nailed it. Out to 10 and another great tee shot from TDS only to have Angel blow it past him almost with an iron. Angel is on the green in birdie range and then TDS plays one that finishes just that little bit closer. Angel turns around and gives him the thumbs up. Class. Ok these guys are multi-millionaires who dont really need the money but when was the last time you saw one of over paid NBA/Soccer/Cricket clowns show such grace under pressure?? Angel’s putt finishes within a bee’s dick and then The Moment arrives. Remember it has been pissing down for hours. Notoriously fast greens are now slower but how much slower? Like all of these greens on first view the putts look quite simple. Then they show a different camera angle and you realise that what appears flat is not even close to it. How do they remain upright, let alone putt on these. He putts, it drops, the crowd erupts – and the monkey jumps off the back of Australian Golf.

Make no mistake – this is huge and oh so critical to the Australian Sporting psyche. We are a proud sporting nation who has always punched above its weight but struggled in a couple of big events. You can cross The Masters of that ever dwindling list. Sharkie will be interviewed of course and he will say how happy he is for TDS and it will be true. What he wont say, but we all know, is that he would fork over 10 million and 2 wives for one green jacket.

Will TDS now win the remaining 3 majors this year and challenge The Golden Bear’s major record? No. He will probably miss the cut in one of his next 3 events. Golf is like that. It was an amazing leader board all day with 3 Aussies in the Top 5 most of the time. You have to think this was Leishman’s best chance whereas Day will likely challenge again. JD shot his load on the 17th when he went back a club without apparent discussion with caddy and dropped it into the bunker. With 2 superb bunker shots under his belt already he didnt have a third in the bag. And Tiger? Who cares. Regardless of the rule change the penalty incident on the 15th will stay with him and slightly tarnish an already dulled lustre in the eyes of the golfing world. He does have a hot girlfriend though. Lets face it, most of them do.

The final 9 holes of The Masters is the greatest sporting theater you will ever see. If you had to pick the winner as the last group entered Amen corner and you got it right 3 out of 10 you would be burned at the stake for being a witch. This year marks about the 30 th time I have watched at least part of it live – being a reduntiree does have certain advantages now:) While this year will now rank as the most memorable there is one dead certainty – I will be watching it again next year even if it is a 15 yr old Chinese boy playing in the final group with Ben Crane and he is 10 shots ahead.

If only to see TDS place the Green jacket on his shoulders.

Tradition + Class = Golf.

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