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Masters Recap

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As I mentioned in the fade this morning, the 2011 Masters was magnificent. Sunday afternoon was possibly the most dramatic, compelling three hours of sport I’ve ever experienced in my life. Tiger trying to roar, Rory gagging on his own greatness, Adam Scott from out of nowhere, Charl Schwartzel from really out of nowhere.

We weren’t for want in the way of storylines and a Cowboy was in it all the way to the very end. Let’s look back and hand out a few grades to the four golfers from OSU.

Peter Uhilein – It wasn’t so much that he didn’t make the cut, I don’t think anyone realistically expected that. It was more that he went out and coolly dropped off a 72 at the scorers tent in the first round while playing with the reigning Masters champ and then didn’t make the cut. He carried himself like an absolute professional though. Some guys were cut out from birth to play for titles and jackets and I’m pretty confident he’s one of them.

Final Grade: B+

Rickie Fowler – You could sense something special happening with the McIlroy, Day, Fowler group on Thursday and Friday. Not a changing of the guard as much as a “well, we’re here so I guess we’ll go out and post red numbers all over the scoreboard.” It’s as if those guys don’t really understand the pecking order, that you’re not supposed to compete for majors until you’ve played in them a few times.

Fowler shot 70 and 69 on the weekdays to put himself in legitimate contention for a run at a top-5 finish in his first Masters. Then the wheels came off on Saturday and Sunday. He went 76 74 to finish in a tie for 38th (albeit with good company: Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, and Paul Casey). I followed his back nine on Sunday and it wasn’t pretty.

As you watch him though, you kind of get the sense that he’s not that inherently talented. He earns his place by grinding, playing aggressive, and out-working everyone. For now that’s not enough at Augusta, in three years though? He could absolutely be wearing green, I just hope it’s a jacket and not that hideous attire he was sporting on Thursday.

Final Grade: B-

Hunter Mahan – He was never really in it after posting a 75 on Thursday. It’s disappointing too because he knows this course, heck, he’s dominated this course in the last few years. To be the O-Stater with the most expectations on you coming in and have a MC next to your 2011 performance is disappointing to say the least.

Final Grade: F

Bo Van Pelt – So, who saw this coming? I wrote earlier this week that Van Pelt wasn’t the same golfer as the guy who missed the cut at Augusta way back in 2005 and that clearly showed up in his performance, but I don’t think anyone predicted him to be a few shots from snatching the clubhouse lead from Tiger on Sunday afternoon.

At one point, as the leaders were exiting Amen Corner, he was tied for the lead with four or five others at -10. He finished poorly though and ended up at -8, tied for 8th with KJ Choi. He’s probably not complaining though as his direct deposit saw $240,000 pass through it for one week of efforts at the prettiest golf course in the United States. So, yeah, that’s nice.

Final Grade: A+

All in all it was an unexpected but solid showing for the boys in orange. Now if we can just get Verplank and Howell III back in this thing next year…

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