Submitted by George Hines
Well the Masters has concluded for another year. Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods not here they both did not make the cut. Ernie Els, yes Ernie Els won the Masters, finally. This attempt was his nineteenth according to the Masters records. As we all know he failed to qualify for the real Masters as he had not won a tourney since the last Masters or was in the top 50 ranked in the world. So , in my play of the 2012 PGA season he qualified at the last tourney that he could with a four man sudden death playoff at the Shell Houston Open.
Give the opportunity Ernie Els made the most of it from the very beginning of the Masters. Opening day of the Tournament with rumors of rain coming after the first day of the tourney being deluged with heavy rain. Ernie fired a round of 66 setting his sights on a top ten finish. Keegan Bradley opener startled Masters faithful with a 67 but he soon was to disappear into the field. A four some of golfers finished in third. Bob Estes a ASG winner joined Stuart Cink, Tommy Gainey, another ASG winner and young Rory McIlroy eager to make up for 2011. Nick Watney made a hole in one on 16.
Ernie Els backed his opening round with a 67 but Rory McIlroy joined him with a 67 but two strokes back. Robert Garrigus climbed 8 spots to place a hold on third for the day but the weekend action sent him back to the field.
Rory McIlroy continued the pressure on Ernie Els matching Ernie’s 69 on Saturday as the weather straightened out. Bob Estes and Jim Furyk brought up third place at (-8) but trailed the leader by 8 strokes.
Sunday, dawned and Ernie Els was up to the challenge taking the tour in a record setting (-19) under par for the tourney with falling back to (-13) six strokes back.
Newsy notes……Ernie Els had only 5 bogey holes all par fours. Rory McIlroy out birdied Ernie 26 to 24. Eleven bogeys and a double bogey was his undoing. Jason Day who withdrew in the real Masters had an all around score card scoring an eagle to go with 3 double bogeys. Finishing in the top 10 he scored with 22 birdies but had 10 bogeys. Steve Stricker rounds where much like Jason Day rounds scoring 2 eagles but 12 bogeys to go with 16 birdies.It was nice to see both Tom Watson and Fred Couples score 22 and 23 birdies respectively and finish 3rd and 4th.