We breathed a collective sigh of relief when Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera staged a magnificent finish to The Masters.
The rules issues involving Tiger Woods and the young Chinese player Guan Tianlang had threatened to turn the tournament into a farce.
But in the end the quality of the golf pushed the controversy into the background.
I firmly believe that no player knowingly cheats. The good thing to come out of this year’s Masters is that in the future there will be more tolerance of players who unwittingly break the rules.
Instead of the executioner’s axe, they will be penalised one or two strokes, and that’s an altogether fairer punishment than expulsion.
Scott was a worthy winner, and it was great to see a play-off won with a birdie, not lost with a bogey.
I believe that the Australian will become a dominant force, and Tiger Woods will know that it will be Adam and Rory McIlroy who will be his main threats over the next few years.
Rory’s aggressive play is always liable to come unstuck around a course where strategy plays such an important part. The penalty for miscalculation at Augusta is severe, as Rory found out.
There has always been a question mark over Adam’s ability to get the job done, having come so close in Majors in the past especially at Royal Lytham last year. Having had the Claret Jug snatched from him by Ernie Els after being four ahead could have left a permanent scar.
But Adam has always idolised Greg Norman, and Greg has given Adam his belief. He’s the perfect mentor because Greg should have won more Majors himself. He threw several away from good positions.
Adam had the potential to be the David Beckham of golf. Aside from his faultless technique on the golf course, he’s tall, photogenic and model agencies felt they could sell him. He could have gone down that lucrative route but that would have been short term.
Greg and Butch Harmon took Adam aside, and persuaded him to buckle down and concentrate on his golf.
His caddy, Steve Williams, also played a big part in last Sunday’s victory, especially when Adam came off the course having birdied the last and looking like he’d won the Green Jacket.
The purists will argue that Adam’s victory is more ammunition to ban the long putter.
However, we should remember that Adam doesn’t anchor his putter as users of the belly putter do, and also that the next eight places were filled by players using the short stick. As for Tiger, if that shot to the 15th had been an inch left or right, we’d have been talking about him going for the tournament. Effectively, hitting the stick cost him four shots.
I have no doubt, though, that before the year’s out, Tiger will be closer to Jack Nicklaus’ 18 Majors.