Jackets and packets
Dave Tindall reflects on the final outcome at Augusta and a memorable week at his first Masters.
By Dave Tindall
Last Updated: 07/03/12 10:30am
What a day, what a week and what a tournament.
It's gone by in an absolute blur and I can't quite believe it's Sunday night and I'm looking back rather than forward.
I kicked off this final day at Augusta National by spending some time in the Sky Sports editing suite where Director Michael Allan showed me how his role worked during play.
So when this Masters turned into an absolute riot with nine different players having a share of the lead at some point today I couldn't help but imagine what a job the Sky TV team must have had on their hands trying to keep track of it all.
The general feeling back here in the press centre was that even for the veteran hacks with long memories this was one of the best Masters in history. And I'm not surprised - it had a bit of everything. A Tiger charge, a dramatic collapse by the leader and a bunch of contenders, who had started the day four, five, six or even seven shots back, suddenly sensing the Green Jacket was up for grabs.
And how appropriate that, ultimately, it should be won by a classic Masters back nine charge.
To finish birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie was a simply magnificent effort by Charl Schwartzel and if it's any consolation to poor Rory McIlroy, even a 71 by him today wouldn't have been enough after the South African's charging finish saw him end on 14-under - two shots better than where McIlroy started.
Whereas Tiger scored another PR own goal with his post-round interview, young Rory oozed class with the way he handled defeat after a microphone was thrust into his face soon after he'd endured his most difficult day on a golf course
That response wasn't lost on his fellow players and many came onto Twitter to praise the way he had spoken.
As one tweet said: "If I had a 21-year-old son like that I'd be as proud as hell."
Absolutely right. Hopefully Rory's time will come again soon.
I was pulling for Angel Cabrera today having made him my 125/1 dark horse pre-tournament and although the birdies dried up on the back nine and he finished seventh he still added to my enjoyment of a quite fantastic week.
I'll still never forget the feeling I got when wandering around the hallowed grounds of Augusta National for the first time. It's a magical place and I absolutely agree with the comment that it doesn't match your expectations, it exceeds them.
For much of the time there is serenity as birds tweet while players line up their shots. But that can suddenly be shattered by the famous Augusta roars of which there were so many on this crazy Sunday afternoon.
With a South African, three Aussies, an Englishman, an Argentine and a South Korean in the top 10 this really was a global event with eyes looking at it from all over the world.
I got a flavour of that too as my position in the state-of-the-art press centre was between journalists from South Korea and Japan. Both were extremely friendly and my new Korean friend, Hong Seol, was lucky enough to be one of the 20 or so pressmen to win the lottery which gives them the chance to play Augusta National on Monday morning.
I have to admit I was convinced my name was going to be pulled out after I'd backed the first two home in the Grand National on Saturday but sadly my luck had run out.
To be honest, coming here in the first place was an absolute result and numerous friends and colleagues have referred to me as a "lucky (insert own word)" for being at The Masters in the first place.
It remains one of the hardest sporting events to get into although for 2012 things looks a little brighter.
A press release this week said that from next year fans can visit the official Masters website to submit an application for 2012 practice round tickets and, for the first time, a small number of daily tournament tickets. Get in quick as the deadlines are June 30th (tournament) and July 30th (practice).
Anyway, it's gone dark outside now so it's time to head home.
But first I'm off to the canteen for one final bag of Masters crisps.