Aussie Wearing Green

Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 6:23pm

The Masters was played last weekend and there were many firsts to be spoken of, from the youngest player to ever make the cut, to a few controversial stroke penalties and a first-time wearer of the green jacket. Not only was this the first time he had ever placed the jacket on his back, it was also the first time his country has ever had a citizen place the jacket on his back.

Turn back you time clocks a few years. For most of us, we will need to turn them back more than fives years to fully understand what I am about to tell you. Take yourself back to the ripe young age of 14. Okay, you there? What were you doing with your life? When I was 14, I was playing in small inner-city basketball tournaments on the weekend and enjoying the eighth grade at South Summit. Cartoons were still being watched, (not that I still don’t watch them now) mom and dad were still telling me how important school was and I rarely associated with myself with people who were much older than I was.

Unlike the 14-year-old-me, 14-year-old Tianlang Guan had other plans with his Master’s weekend, he was participating. Yes, the 14-year-old Asian golfer won the fourth-annual Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in November as the youngest player in the field. When play began on April 11, Guan was 14 years, 5 months, and 17 days old. The Master’s previous youngest competitor was Matteo Manassero at 16. Guan would go on to shoot four over par after the first two days and after being assessed a one stroke penalty for slow play, leaving him sitting right on the bubble for the cut. He made the cut and made it a memorable weekend for himself and all who had the opportunity to watch him play.

Tiger Woods, who was recently named the number-one golfer in the world again, was in contention after day two as he found himself just a couple of strokes off the lead at the close of the day.  

However, when he came back to the course on day three, he was alerted he had been assessed a two-stroke penalty for a controversial drop the day before. After the two-stroke penalty, Woods found himself trailing the leader by five strokes. It would prove in the end to be too much for him to overcome as he finished in fourth place.

Coming into tournament weekend history wasn’t on Adam Scott’s side. No Australian has ever placed the green jacket upon his back as the winner of the Master’s. Scott paid no attention to history as he took the tee box on opening day.

On day one, Scott came out swinging as he birdied the first hole followed by a bogey and another birdie to leave him at one through three holes. Scott only had the one slip up on the second hole after day one and was sitting at three under.

Day two was by far the most difficult for all players as they battled winds all day long. Scott would finish round two even after having three birdies and three bogeys.

When day four rolled around, Scott found himself one putt away from forcing a tie breaker with Angel Cabrera, the Argentine and former champ. Scott sunk the putt and went on to beat Cabrera in the second-playoff hole.

The first time an Aussie had ever placed the green jacket upon his back. Needless to say, the green looks good on the Aussie and as they say in the down under, “put another shrimp on the Barby”.

I am officially signing off, not only for today, but forever. It was a pleasure having the opportunity to write for The Eagle, but I am now ready to move on to whatever else life has in store for me. 

Filed under: sports