1. Charl. Geoff Ogilvy tells me Schwartzel has one of the two or three best swings on Tour. Phil tells me, “He’s a closer.” The Masters win was a surprise but not a fluke. Expect more big-time wins from this cool customer.
2. The Masters. For all the pomposity of the host club and the funeral-home piano music we’re subjected to on CBS, this tourney remains golf’s best because it always delivers spills, chills, unforgettable shotmaking, bang-bang finishes, history. Only 51 weeks til next year’s Masters …
3. Aussies. It was a blast to watch Adam Scott playing with such passion and Ã©lan. Jason Day is slower than evolution, but he looks like he’s ready to be a force. And I’ve felt for years Geoff Ogilvy should win a green jacket — he finally brought the heat at Augusta National. I think the Aussies and South Africans alone could fill a Presidents Cup team.
4. Bo Van Pelt. In only his second Masters the glib Midwesterner eagled both back-nine par-5s on Sunday and finished T8, making him the second-best American finisher. He’s now officially my second-favorite Bo behind only the dread-locked Ms. Derek, circa 1979.
5. Angel Cabrera. Love his swagger, love his swing. Coming off months of injury/inactivity he wasn’t quite up to the Sunday crucible, but it’s nice to see Pato take flight once again.
1. Martin Kaymer. You knew he was in trouble when before the tourney even began he was riffing about how he wished he was left-handed so he could keep playing a cut. Memo to the world number one: Nicklaus was also a righty who played a fade and he did okay around Augusta. You need to learn to love the place because the Masters ain’t moving to TPC of Augusta anytime soon.
2. Rory. Nice kid, nice swing, but he had already shown an inability to close on Sunday. This one will leave some serious scar tissue.
3. K.J. Choi. He was one of eight guys to have a piece of the lead during the final round but bogies on three of the last seven holes doomed his bid. Is the window closing for Tank to get his major?
4. Broomsticks. I’m glad the long-putter is helping to unlock Scott’s potential, but it would not have been kosher for the Masters champ to be wielding one. Then again, the accompanying outrage may have finally gotten these abominations banned once and for all.
5. Henrik Stenson. Dude shot 45 on his first nine holes of the Masters. ‘Nuff said.