Goodbye, Augusta National.
Your 2013 edition has been an action packed, pimento-cheese-filled week of legendary greatness. After all, that’s what you do at The Masters.
I’ll remember you for the moments, the people and the feelings.
I’ll remember you for “the kid,” the 14-year-old Tianlang Guan of China meticulously plodding through your fairways like at old pro. The record books will remember him as well. In the place Bobby Jones, the greatest amateur of all-time, made famous, Guan will not only go down as the youngest Masters competitor of all-time, but also the youngest player to ever make the cut and the youngest to win low amateur. With remarkable consistently – no three putts or double bogeys all week – Guan will likely remain in Masters Lore for years to come. Now, he has to finish his homework.
I’ll remember you for acceptance. The entry of Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore into your hallowed club was widely applauded from your staunchest supporters to your harshest critics. From the week’s hottest talking point to ultimately a mere afterthought, their entry left the controversy for the golf course, and that’s where it belongs.
I’ll remember you for your relentlessness, for artistically promoting meltdowns of the game’s best – from Dustin Johnson to Fred Couples to Brandt Snedeker – all while displaying your harsh beauty to its core.
I’ll remember you for anticipation, as in, my anticipation to quickly reach your revered gates. I’ll especially remember this when I pay for the speeding ticket I received Monday morning while dreaming of Magnolia Lane.
I’ll remember you for Bubba Watson, not for his treacherous 10 on the 12th hole Sunday, but for his emotional candor of reigning as your defending champion. Watching a man named Bubba cry about putting his young son into your winners’ jacket - as he did Tuesday - well, it’s memorable.
I’ll remember you for the 15th flag, the inanimate object that changed history. Tiger Woods came after your flag, and your flag won the duel. Jack Nicklaus, perhaps, thanks you.
But most of all, I’m remember you for Sunday, and for the sights and sounds that accompanied it. From the disappointment of Tiger’s mom after he missed a birdie putt on the 16th green to the Australian elation after the final putt, I’ll remember your course coming to life. I’ll remember the men wearing full suits made out of the pattern of the Australian flag, and the unwavering focus and ability of your final two survivors, Angel Cabrera and Adam Scott.
Finally, I’ll remember the meaning of your ultimate prize and the joy that your green jacket brings – to a player, to a family and to a nation. Adam Scott’s dad, in the middle of embracing his son behind the 10th green, said it best.
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” the proud father said to his 2013 Masters Champion.
I’ll remember it all.Next year, I’ll remember my raincoat