Not that we had expected anything else to come out of Augusta National, but the 2013 Masters was again a thrilling week of action that went down to the final shot of the day in an epic playoff battle.
Adam Scott emerged triumphant over Angel Cabrera in the pouring rain and fading light to clinch his first Majors title, with several other fascinating storylines to emerge from the best golfers in the world on the hallowed grounds of Augusta.
Rory McIlroy's Decline Continues
After an incredible 2012 that saw him break through as the world's top golfer and consolidate himself as the World No. 1, it hasn't been a good 2013 for Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy.
Not only has he surrendered the No. 1 world ranking to Tiger Woods, McIlroy has struggled greatly throughout 2013—chalking up just two top 10 finishes in the calendar year to date, and one of those only came after a superb final round of 65 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
The same trend continued again in the Masters, with McIlroy unable to cope with the Augusta National course once more. He struggled to put together back-to-back birdies and could not get any momentum going, with his round of 77 all but killing off any chances he had this year—as has so often been the case for McIlroy at Augusta.
Is the former World No. 1 in decline?
The answer to that is undoubtedly yes, but the answer as to when it will end still remains to be seen for McIlroy. The PGA Championship is looming as a welcome tournament for McIlroy—having performed so well there in 2012—but how will he fare until then?
That storyline is definitely an interesting one to follow.
Can Tiger Woods Win Another Major?
By contrast to McIlroy, Tiger Woods has been in superb form this year, and had led many to believe that he would end his Majors drought with victory at his favorite course: Augusta National.
Alas, it was not to be, with the controversy surrounding Woods and the 15th hole ultimately sending him too far down the leaderboard to come back and win. And whilst we can speculate about how he would have fared without the penalty, the reality is that we'll never know how it would have turned out.
What we do know, however, is that Woods has now gone through another Major without a win, and has now played a golf course of tournaments (18 in total) since his previous breakthrough.
He's been stuck on 14 Majors for what seems like an eternity now, and will be hard-pressed to find himself with a better opportunity than the one he just let slip by him, given the form he was riding and the history he's had at Augusta National.
The outlook for Majors in 2013 doesn't appear good for Woods, with the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the British Open all presenting difficulties for the golfing great.
The U.S. Open will be played on a course (Merion Golf Club) that Woods has never played professionally; his last performance at Oak Hill Country Club (site of PGA Championship) saw him finish 12-over par and his last trip to Muirfield (British Open) saw him shoot his worst ever single-round score with an 81, that all but knocked him out of title contention.
Can Tiger win at any of those courses in 2013? It doesn't appear likely, so the question as to when his next Major will come is a fascinating storyline to follow.
Can Adam Scott Win Another Major?
Scott emerged as the champion of the Masters this year—finally triumphing at a Major event after being so close so many times before. And whilst he has only won the one Major, the question about just how far he can go in 2013 is certainly worth giving some thought.
The Australian has shown throughout the years that he can be competitive at the various major events, and will likely be a threat in the remaining three this year—especially now that he has broken his hoodoo with a newfound confidence.
Scott has three top 10 finishes from his five tournament appearances in 2013, and looks set to continue that form throughout the rest of the year. Moreover, he's missed just one of his past 21 cuts and showed this week to have the ability of a Masters champion.
Whether he will or not still remains to be seen this season.
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