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15 takeaways from an epic Sunday at the Masters

Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Golf

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods faced this question: Should Jack Nicklaus be worried about his record 18 majors?

"Well, I don't know if he's worried or not," Woods replied, later adding: "I'm just enjoying 15."

Perhaps he'd also enjoy these 15 takeaways from one of the most memorable Masters in history:

1. This place always delivers. Sunday drama at the Masters is a given. The risk-reward holes on the back nine lend themselves to "ooohs" and "aaahs" every year. Dustin Johnson picked up four shots on the back nine Sunday. Francesco Molinari crumbled, putting two balls in the water.

Masters officials lengthened the fifth hole and got what they wanted, we suppose. Woods bogeyed the hole all four days. But they'd be wise to think twice before moving the tee box back at No. 13, which yielded 17 crowd-pleasing eagles this week.

2. Woods' victory is great news for Chicago golf fans. Medinah will host the BMW Championship (Aug. 15-18), a FedEx Cup playoff event featuring the top 70 on the points list. Woods just surged from 81st to 13th.

 

3. Woods' dissection of his thought process on the 155-yard 12th was epic. "I had 147 over the first tongue in the bunker, so my number was 150. I saw Brooks (Koepka) ended up short. (Ian Poulter) ended up short as well. I was up there on the tee box and I could feel that wind puff up a little bit. Brooksy is stronger than I am, and he flights it better than I do, so I'm sure he hit 9-iron but didn't make it. So I knew my 9-iron couldn't cover the flag. I said: Just be committed. Hit it over that tongue. Let get out of here (with par) and let's go handle the par 5s, and I did."

4. Masters officials had a spectacular week. The women's amateur event was well attended and shined a light on the progress the club has made since former Chairman Hootie Johnson's "point of a bayonet" clash with Martha Burk. Champion Jennifer Kupcho won in epic fashion, with an eagle on 13 and birdies on three of her final four holes.

And then, because of the threat of severe weather, they moved up Sunday's start time and had players go off both the first and 10th tees. By the time the weather horn sounded at 2:52 p.m., calling for the evacuation of the course, Woods had received his green jacket from Patrick Reed.

5. Woods has won green jackets in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2019, joining Nicklaus as the only men to win the Masters in three decades.

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