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Tour Confidential: Best and Worst Moments of 2013, Looking Forward to 2014 and Best Golf Book Stocking Stuffers

Adam Scott
XINHUA / LANDOV
Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters in 2013.

Every Sunday night, Golf.com conducts an e-mail roundtable with writers from Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

1. What was your favorite golf moment of 2013?

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@GaryVanSickle): Even non-Australians were happy when Adam Scott made the putt to win the Masters. He's a hero to his continent, a good guy, and he probably prevented the Masters from spilling over to a Monday morning finish. His thrill of victory was palpable.

Joe Passov, senior editor, courses and travel, Golf Magazine (@joepassov): Gotta be Phil Mickelson winning the Open Championship. It was so amazing to see him recover from the gut-punch of the U.S. Open at a tournament we really never expected him to win.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Walking onto the National Golf Links for the Walker Cup without being frisked.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): The 72nd hole pyrotechnics by Cabrera and Scott at the Masters. Pure electricity.

Josh Sens, contributing writer, Golf Magazine (@JoshSens): The bemused look on Fred Couples' face when the Stricker Streaker flashed by him.

Eamon Lynch, managing editor, Golf.com (@eamonlynch): Mickelson winning the Open at Muirfield. He was 43, three years removed from his last major win (with just four top 10s in that stretch), suffering from arthritis, bearing more scar tissue than Cher, and yet somehow he finds a way to win the major that always seemed least likely for a high-ball hitter who loves flop shots. And it came just weeks after his sixth runner-up finish at the U.S. Open. It was a perfect story.

Jeff Ritter, senior editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): Not necessarily my favorite, but most memorable: On Friday night of Masters week, I was relaxing after a long day in a corner booth a T-Bonez steakhouse in Augusta surrounded by beef, beer and a few media colleagues. After a couple rounds, Brandel Chamblee leans in and says: "I think Tiger Woods might be disqualified for an illegal drop tomorrow." I almost spit out my ribeye. It was the first I'd heard of a story that would arguably become the year's biggest.

2. What was your least favorite golf moment of 2013?

LYNCH: Pick any week: slow play. It is a cancer in the game. Props to the USGA for finally addressing it, and to the LPGA, the only body that seems willing to assess stroke penalties without fear or favor. Jeers to the PGA Tour, which hasn't handed out a slow play penalty in 20 years. Somewhere in between is the Masters rules committee, which handed out a richly deserved slow play penalty this year, but did so to a 14-year-old who simply didn't know how to game the system like the pros.

RITTER: The moment I returned from T-Bonez that same night and thought about how nutty the next 48 hours would be. Couldn't sleep for several hours.

PASSOV: Anytime some bonehead yelled "Mashed Potatoes," or whatever the current synonyms are these days for "Get in the Hole" or "You Da Man." I'm so protective of my favorite sport. Don't get me wrong, I prefer Ryder Cup/Waste Management Phoenix Open cheer to garden party yawns, but I just can't get over that there are so many yahoos at these events week in and week out.

SHIPNUCK: Any article about the USGA television deal. Yawn.

SENS: As the epitome of the sour side of sporting culture -- the nastiness of fans, the odd insecurity and arrogance of athletes, the lowest common denominator quality of social media, and the way they all swirl together these days -- it's hard to top Lee Westwood's post-PGA Championship Twitter meltdown.

VAN SICKLE: I didn't agree with the USGA and R&A's decision to ban anchored putting. The way they handled it didn't sit well, and their admission that they have no data or evidence regarding anchored putting versus conventional putting reeks of old-school, country-club blue bloods. Too many players had invested too many years in alternative putting methods for a decision to have been made without any testing whatsoever.

BAMBERGER: One of my four-putt greens but I can't remember which one.

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