Masters 2012: Winners and losers
Here is the final scorecard, one last look at who won and who lost at the Masters:
WINNER: Bubba Watson. The thrilling finish and his emotional reaction will open many new doors to Watson and his family. In one day, his Twitter following increased to a half-million.
WINNER: American golf. Nine months ago, there was caterwauling about U.S. golfers never winning majors. Now they have two in a row, and a golfer doesn't get any more American than a guy named Bubba, the son of a Green Beret who served in Vietnam.
LOSER: Official World Golf Rankings. They seem more irrelevant than ever after No. 1 Luke Donald was a non-factor (except for a scoring snafu Thursday).
LOSER: Billy Payne. Augusta National chairman lost control of his own news conference because of his nonanswers about the club's males-only membership policy. What will he do next year when questions resurface?
WINNER: Martha Burk. Her organized demonstration nine years ago was a fiasco, and no one knows how many people really are in her organization, but she still is the spokeswoman -- and a wry one at that -- against Augusta National's policy.
WINNER: Novelty. Each of the past eight majors has been won by someone who never had won one before, suggesting there is a world of new talent out there.
LOSER: Consistency. Thirteen different winners in the past 13 majors. Wouldn't a little dominance help the sport? Without Woods in contention, Sunday TV ratings plummeted.
LOSER: Rory McIlroy. When he had the opportunity Saturday to prove he really is the next great golfer, he built his own trap door and fell in it.
WINNER: Fred Couples. You couldn't expect him to actually win. For a 52-year-old, he was terrific.
WINNER: History. Louis Oosthuizen's double eagle was one for the books.
LOSER: Botany. Augusta's warm winter caused the azaleas to bloom too early, robbing the Masters of its usual color.
WINNER: Peter Hanson. Predictably, he failed to hold his Saturday lead. Still, he did not fall apart. His tie for third was a nice career boost.
LOSER: Phil Mickelson. True, the new Hall of Famer fueled this Masters with his Saturday charge. Yet he lost a golden opportunity to win another major. At 41, how many more chances will he have?
WINNER: Sergio Garcia's honesty. By telling Spanish reporters that he just doesn't have what it takes to win a major, Garcia acknowledged what everybody else was thinking.
LOSER: Sergio Garcia's stature. If he is not a major contender, should he still get so much attention?
WINNER: Sudden death. The Masters is the only major that uses the most exciting playoff format. Great theater.
LOSER: Sudden dusk. By pushing it with those CBS-friendly late tee times, the Masters is going to get burned one of these years and run out of daylight for the playoff.
LOSERS: Golf swing technocrats. With his hyper-intricate, over-analyzed mechanics, Woods again made swinging a golf club seem like splitting the atom. He seemed bewildered.
WINNERS: Natural swings. Big week for smooth rhythms: Couples, Oosthuizen. And the Masters was won by a guy who never has taken a golf lesson.