Before they start considering how to Spieth-proof Augusta National, before the golf tour moves along to the U.S. Open and before Tiger Woods begins performing surgery, it is time to take one last look back at the Masters. Here is how it appears in retrospect, grading the winners and losers in golf terms:
ACE: Jordan Spieth. Blowouts in every sport are generally boring. Not with this one. The drama was in whether the likable, grounded 21-year-old could hold on to his lead and make history. It was not the cultural landmark that Tiger Woods' win was when he was 21, nor is Spieth a breakout star who will resonate with non-fans. But it was compelling nonetheless. TV ratings were up 23 percent from the final round last year, when Spieth lost a horserace to Bubba Watson. Here's wishing Spieth happy visits to Augusta for the next 60-plus years.
PAR: One-and-done. Four full years of college represent the right course for just about everybody, but there is nothing wrong with leaving early if, like Spieth and Kentucky basketball players, you are ready to start making your way in the world. College is all about preparing you to do stuff, right?
BIRDIE: Rory McIlroy showed the heart of a major champion when he refused to give up in the second round on Friday. At the turn, he had nothing going except the idea that he would miss the cut. He regrouped and played better than anyone except the winner over the final 45 holes. He finished strong Sunday, alongside Tiger Woods, shooting 6-under-par 66.
BOGEY: European golf. The continent has not produced a Masters champion in this millennium, what with Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal having taken the most recent green jacket in 1999. Maybe the Ryder Cup should move to Augusta.
BOGEY: The Masters might believe in preserving old customs, but that policy ends at the cash register. The price of a golf shirt is darn near three figures.
DOUBLE BOGEY: Charley Hoffman was a little defensive, a little cavalier in rare visits to the news conference room. He was second to Spieth after 18 and 36 holes, but when the heat came on in the weekend and major championship contenders reached for that extra gear, Hoffman didn't have one. He was the only one in the top 16 to shoot over par Sunday, dropping him to a tie for 10th. Golfdom gives a free pass to his ilk, just ignoring the collapse rather than exposing and exploring it.
BIRDIE: Tiger Woods enlivened the week just by showing up. On top of that, he contributed surprisingly good play, especially around the greens. He also showed new evidence of humor and humility. Finally, he exhibited orthopedist's skills, claiming that he popped a bone back in after he was injured trying to hit a ball off a tree root.
BOGEY: Woods' repeated observation that the greens were soft -- implying that they were easy -- took a bit of luster off Spieth's record-tying 18-under finish. What he didn't say was that the soft greens probably helped Woods have such a good return.
BOGEY: Having said that, the truth is, Woods did have a point. Augusta National did not have any fire or many teeth. The pressure of the event was the obstacle. Nothing about the course was.
MULLIGAN: It is hard to critique many golfers because Spieth was so far ahead, he made 90 percent of them irrelevant. Better luck next year.
BIRDIE: Augusta National did look good, which is a big reason why the Masters has become the biggest week in golf. "We're pretty good at landscaping, as you know," Masters chairman Billy Payne said. Add that to the whimsical, star-filled Par 3 Contest (and a hole-in-one by Jack Nicklaus); the Big Three as ceremonial starters; Ben Crenshaw's emotional goodbye and the fact that Spieth, McIlroy, Woods, Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose were all playing in the final hour, and you had quite a good show.