The Masters 2013: Golfers Who Will Carry Augusta Success into U.S. Open
While stars such as Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson must use the Masters as a tool to improve, others will use the legendary tournament as a springboard to more success.
Highlighted by Adam Scott's redemptive win, this year's play from Augusta was highlighted by heart-pumping action and elite, memorable performances.
Let's take a look at some top finishers who will ride that momentum into the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in June.
Leslie Knope's boyfriend entered the Masters ranked No. 7 in the world with seven career Tour wins and eight top-10 major finishes, so it's not exactly shocking that he walked away from Augusta wearing the green jacket.
However, this win represents the crucial removal of the figurative weight off his back.
Less than a year ago, Scott suffered a major four-hole collapse at the British Open. Everyone knew he had talent. But combine that nightmarish Sunday finish with the rest of his close losses, and it was beginning to look like he didn't have the necessary clutch gene to ever win the big one.
After two dramatic, stone-cold 20-foot putts on the 18th green and second playoff hole to win the Masters, it's safe to say that narrative is all over.
The pressure is now off Scott, and when he's hitting greens (an amazing 55 out of 72 in regulation this week), he has the talent to be a major force at every tournament.
Woods finished the tournament at five-under in a tie for fourth place, and his week is still being seen as some type of massive disappointment.
That should you tell you all you need to know about the World No. 1.
Regardless of how his Friday shot on No. 15 and subsequent two-stroke penalty affected his outcome, he played well enough to win the Masters. He wasn't all that accurate with his driver and his putting wasn't nearly as effective as it had been leading up to Augusta, but he was hitting greens in regulation, making clutch shots and finished Sunday with the best nine holes (33 on the back nine) of his tournament.
Essentially, Woods wasn't perfect and had to overcome some bad luck and unusual circumstances, yet he still managed a fourth-place finish.
That should alarm the rest of the golfing world.
Who will finish highest at the U.S. Open?
At the age of 23, I was barely learning how to put my pants on correctly. Olesen was appearing in his first Masters tournament and treating it like it was some high school Par 3 contest.
The young Dane led the field with 21 birdies and finished in sixth place after shooting two masterful 68s on the weekend.
In four majors, he now has two top-10 finishes and a top-30 finish on his resume and clearly doesn't succumb to any type of pressure. Combine that with his oozing talent, thunderous driver and solid mid-range game, and you have an up-and-coming stud who will consistently contend with the big boys.
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