Sports

Liguori: Thrilling Finish Much-Needed After Tiger Controversy At Masters

Adam Scott of Australia celebrates his win on the 10th hole during a playoff with Angel Cabrera at the 2013 Masters. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Adam Scott of Australia celebrates his win on the 10th hole during a playoff with Angel Cabrera at the 2013 Masters. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

By Ann Liguori
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The Masters is always great theater. There’s never a shortage of compelling storylines both on and off the course.

Sunday’s finale — and the entire tournament — went beyond the usual drama. And it was indeed a much-needed joyous ending!

After an ugly cloud hovered over the tournament on a perfect, sunny day on Saturday when the “Tiger dropped ball controversy” dominated the news, Sunday’s finale, with the fine play of Adam Scott and his noble opponent, Angel Cabrera, seemed to make it all better again.

There’s not a golf fan on the planet who doesn’t like Adam Scott. He’s a gentleman. A class act. And so deserving of winning a major title.

What a swing. What a smile. What a nice person.

And Angel Cabrera showed the world what fine sportsmanship is all about. Giving Scott a thumbs-up after the Aussie hit a beautiful approach shot to the 10th green during the second playoff hole showed what a class act Cabrera is and the positive side of the sport we love.

It was a subtle gesture but it made a huge impression in the heat of a most competitive battle. The tenacious Argentinian, whose play at Augusta National was nothing short of spectacular, showed one of the reasons why golf is so special. There’s a wonderful camaraderie amongst most of the players.

This year’s Masters will be remembered for a variety of crazy storylines, but the positive ones will prevail — and there are several images that will be forever installed in our memories.

Seeing Scott drain that dramatic birdie on the 18th green in regulation to take a 1-shot lead at 9-under is one of them. And watching Cabrera standing on the 18th fairway in the pouring rain, knowing he would have to come up with a spectacular approach shot to set himself up for a birdie to force the playoff, is another one. And seeing Cabrera come up with the goods — sticking his approach shot to within three feet of the cup was thrilling.

And then Scott’s putt found the bottom of the cup on the second playoff hole to win his first major, bringing a green jacket to Australia for the first time ever. It was a just ending after a noble battle between two fine men.

And perhaps it was the 14-year-old who shined most brightly with the way Tianlang Guan handled the entire week, the one-stroke penalty for slow play and being the youngest player ever to make the cut at the Masters.

Yes, and after the events which unfolded Saturday involving Tiger and his dropped ball, the Masters had a much-needed sunny ending — despite the rain.

Which storyline will you remember most from this year’s Masters? Sound off in the comments!