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The Clubhouse

Sam Torrance

Welcome to the Caledonia Best Clubhouse. I’m delighted to fulfil the role of Clubhouse Captain again this year. There’s an exciting season of golf in 2013 and I hope to bring you my own perspective on the season over the coming months.

Register on-line for our Clubhouse newsletter to get a notification when I make an update. I wish you all success on the course.

Yours in golf.

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Masters 2013

Sam Torrance

2013 was definitely a classic Masters made more so by players of varying vintages. We saw a glimpse of the future when a 14 year old from China holed out on Sunday. We witnessed a young player who has been around for what seems like an eternity finally fulfil his destiny. And we saw some champions of yesteryear make their own telling contributions to the drama over an unmissable weekend of golf.

I will come to Adam’s deserved triumph, however, for me the story of the weekend was 14 year old Tianlang Guan competing and making the cut. We can look forward to more players from China competing at the highest level as the game explodes domestically, however, not all will be as young as 14, which for me was a truly mind blowing achievement.

Skip a generation and we saw two ex-champions roll back the years to add to the spectacle over the weekend. Freddie Couples loves Augusta and the feeling is mutual amongst its galleries. Freddie admitted himself that he was tired going into the third round but he held it together until his collapse from 14 onwards including what he described as a ‘debacle’ at 17 when he triple bogeyed. He did rally on Sunday returning a fine 71 in trying conditions for a top 15 finish. Bernhard Langer, someone I played against for many, many years and a two time winner of the green jacket, also showed strongly. This will sound strange but Bernhard was unfortunate to open with three straight birdies on the final day. By that I mean it thrust Bernhard into the spotlight early on, he didn’t have the luxury of easing himself into the round and I think that extra pressure together with natural fatigue put paid to his challenge but a great showing nevertheless.

And so to our winner and one of the nicest young men you could meet. Adam Scott is a worthy Champion. For me, he has the best swing on the Tour. People say his swing was similar to Tiger’s in Woods’ early years but I always thought it was better that Tiger’s. I’m so pleased for Adam. To come back from the crushing experience of last year’s Open to win a major within a year shows real mental strength. In many ways it’s a similar path to Rory when he quickly followed up his Masters collapse in 2011 with his maiden Major at the US Open that year. It could well be that Adam follows Rory and starts his own collection of Majors; he’s still only 32 and moving into his prime.

What was really impressive about Adam’s win was his ability to keep his composure. In the final round he could not buy a putt but he didn’t let that faze him, he remained patient. As he ran out of holes he continued to produce sublime shots into 15, 16, 17 and then when it really mattered he finally drained one on 18 after another great approach. And what of his play-off opponent Angel Cabrera? His shot into the 72nd hole was magnificent; on a rain soaked course knowing only birdie will do - well, to then go and knock it stiff is incredible. Angel’s world ranking and the bookies odds before the tournament didn’t give him much of a chance this year but it’s amazing how much comfort and inspiration you can draw from playing somewhere knowing you have won there before. The 2009 champion looked relaxed and in the zone as the match moved in to the play-off. His sublime chip at the first play-off hole, the 18th, was incredibly unlucky not to go in as was his putt at the following 10th. But sometimes the golfing gods have picked the winner and this year they decided it was Adam Scott who duly took his chance supremely well on the 2nd play-off hole.

2013 didn’t see any Europeans seriously threaten for the title but look beyond the leader board and there was some great play. Justin Rose is the owner of a fantastic swing and was outstanding from tee to green, it was his putting that let him down badly throughout the tournament. Sergio had some magical moments and ultimately ended up tied 8th with Westwood who put another very solid, commendable performance.

Going on what we have seen at Augusta, I’m looking forward to 2013 being another vintage year for golf.

Yours in golf…

Sam Torrance Signature (Smaller)

Sam Torrance OBE is a Scottish golfing icon, and has been a member of the European Tour & European Senior Tour for an amazing forty years

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