Master’s recap: A legend is born

Jake Rinehart
Staff Writer

The Masters Tournament began last Thursday at Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia.

The tournament kicked off on Wednesday with the annual Par-3 contest.

One of the most memorable moments from the Par-3 contest occurred on the final hole of the contest.

Typically, what you will see during the Par-3 contest is that the professional golfers will allow their caddies to play the final hole of the contest. The caddies are typically a family member.

Jack Nicklaus is regarded as one of the best golfers to ever play the game of golf. After Wednesday, he may now be regarded as one of the best grandfathers ever as well.

On the final hole of the Par-3 contest, Nicklaus allowed his caddie and grandson, Gary “GT” Nicklaus, to take play the final hole. Then, with just one swift swing of the club, magic happened.

Gary’s ball landed on the green about 10 feet away from the hole. Then, the ball began to roll. It rolled backwards slowly, not gaining any speed as it rolled. It was as if time had stood still on the ninth hole at Augusta. The crowd and the commentators were silent, all watching the ball roll.

The ball rolled and rolled until it dropped into the cup. Gary had hit a hole-in-one.

The crowd went wild. Gary jumped up, threw his club off the tee box, and ran and gave grandpa Jack a big hug.

This moment was so special because Jack had hit a similar shot in 2015 that had the same result.

Jack was asked by Golf Channel where his grandson’s shot ranked in terms of greatest shots he has ever seen hit. “No. 1,” Jack replied. “You know, what I did didn’t make any difference to me … I can’t talk. Watching your grandson do something so special … I’ve got a few tears. We talked about three days ago, and I said, ‘G.T., do you want to hit the ball on 9?’ He said, ‘Sure.’ And I said, ‘Well, I think you’re going to make a hole-in-one. That’s what I told him three days ago. He said, ‘OK.’ He’s never made a hole-in-one before. That’s his first hole-in-one. Pretty special, wasn’t it?”

The Par-3 contest was won by 68-year-old Tom Watson, who shot a 7-under-par 21.

Gary Player, the third player in the group who was cheering G.T.’s ball all the way to hole, summed up the afternoon like this: “It was a marvelous day, a marvelous day. A day I’ll never forget.”

The Tournament

This year’s Masters was one that we wouldn’t have expected.

Tiger Woods became the favorite to win quickly after announcing that he would be playing in the Masters in March.

Woods did not live up to those expectations as he would finish 4-over-par heading into Saturday.

Woods would finish the tournament T-32 at -3, his lowest ever finish at the Masters.

The Masters was won by Patrick Reed, who earned his first green jacket. Reed finished the tournament 15-under-par.

Other notable golfers who made a late charge included Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, and Rory McIlroy.

Fowler finished the tournament in second place with a final score of 14-under-par.

Spieth made an impressive charge on Sunday to come within striking distance of the lead. Spieth finished in third place, shooting 13-under-par for the tournament.

Spieth also shot a 64 on Sunday, which is only one shot shy of the course record for any round at Augusta National.

McIlroy would finish T-5, while shooting 9-under-par for the weekend.

Perhaps the most inspirational comeback story of the Masters was Tony Finau.

Finau had rolled his ankle while celebrating a hole-in-one during the Par-3 contest. After rolling his ankle, Finau bends over and pushes his bones back into place. This cringe-worthy video went viral on the Internet Wednesday.

It was revealed that Finau had suffered a dislocated ankle. In an interview with The Post and Courier, Dr.  David Geier, a Charleston orthopedic surgeon and author of “That’s Gotta Hurt: The Injuries That Changed Sports Forever,” explains that “From what I’ve read, he dislocated his ankle but didn’t actually break any of the bones on either side of the ankle, Geier said Friday. “And that’s really, really good news.”

“I think he’s really lucky,” Geier said. “The majority of the time when you dislocate an ankle, you break one of two of the bones and end up needing surgery. That’s the part where he’s lucky.

“With a dislocation like that, you are usually in the emergency room and need to fix it with some screws or something like that.”

Contrary to his doctor’s advice, Finau decided he would play in the tournament despite the pain in his ankle.   

Finau ultimately made the right decision, as he would finish the tournament in T-10 at 7-under-par.

The 10th place finish was also good enough to ensure Finau a chance to compete for a green jacket in next year’s Masters.

Now, the world must wait another year to see the granddaddy of them all take place. The question is will this year’s drama be topped next year at the Master’s? We’ll find out soon enough.

Photo: Former Masters champion Sergio Garcia, of Spain, helps Patrick Reed with his green jacket after winning the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. during the fourth round at the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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