Some guy named Trevor Immelman…
Trevor made himself vulnerable, but Tiger failed to come from behind yet again.
The dream is over, and so is the hype. Woods finishes 2nd, which might as well be “1st Loser” to him, and, despite being “easily within reason”, Tiger won’t be getting that calendar Grand Slam. At least not this season. Perhaps the biggest let down, though, is the fact that the first piece of that Slam was all but put on a platter for him. That’s what will keep Tiger up for at least the next few nights.
Immelman’s 75 matched the highest final round ever by a Masters champion. Dropped Trevor to 8-under overall, which was still good enough to have Zach Johnson, last year’s winner, slip the coveted Green Jacket on him. It was Immelman’s first, not to mention his first Major win.
Every other player in front of Tiger coming into today fell off significantly as well. 2nd placed Brandt Snedeker went for +5, dropping him to 4-under overall. He finished 4th. In 3rd stood Steve Flesch. He had a +6 day and finished tied for 5th. Then there was Paul Casey, who came into the final round in 4th place at 7-under par. Today’s 79 knocked him back to the big “E”. He finished tied for 11th.
When Woods ultimately needed a 3-under day to force a playoff, the best he could muster was even par. Given the collapse of those above him, that was good enough for 2nd, but we know that’s not good enough for Tiger, and it certainly didn’t justify the hype. He still hasn’t come from behind to win a Major when being being down after 54 holes.
To be fair, it was a tough round overall. Windy conditions contributed to only nine of the forty-five player field shooting 72 or better. Only four of those nine were under par, but two proved that the score Tiger needed was, shall we say, “easily within reason.”
Heath Slocum shot the 69 Tiger would have needed to force a playoff. Even better, 44 year old Miguel Angel Jimenez posted the best round of the day with a 68; a round that would have given Woods his 5th Green Jacket, not to mention the momemtum to make the dream of an unprecedented calendar Grand Slam a reality. Maybe next year.
Still, notwithstanding the hoopla surrounding Tiger, perhaps a new Golf starlet has been born out of this year’s Masters. Trevor Immelman, who’ll turn just 29 in December, certainly presents a nice story. This guy just had a tumor removed from his back in December. Fortunatley, it was benign and recovery was swift. 4 months later he’s the Masters champion, the first South African to win the event since Gary Player, Immelman’s childhood idol, slipped on his 3rd and final Green Jacket in 1978. If Player’s analysis of Immelman’s talents is accurate, this may only be the beginning. I, for one, hope it is.