5 things you might have forgotten about the 2019 Masters

April 6, 2020

The 2019 Masters was one of the most memorable editions in the long and storied history of Augusta National. Tiger Woods’ return to glory and subsequent hug with his children will be seared in the memory of every golf fan for years to come. But the 2019 Masters had plenty of underlying storylines that got lost in the shuffle. Here are five things you might have forgotten about last year’s Masters.

1. Viktor Hovland took low amateur honors

It can be easy to forget considering his rapid rise to stardom, but this time last year Viktor Hovland was still an amateur as he made his Masters debut. By virtue of his U.S. Amateur victory, Hovland came to Augusta National still a member of the Oklahoma State golf team, and he represented his squad on Sunday wearing their colors.

His three under performance netted him a T32 finish, low amateur honors and a spot alongside Woods in Butler Cabin. And he was just as awkward and endearing then as he has been in his ascension to fame since. Watch the whole interview below.

2. Patrick Cantlay held the lead on the back nine on Sunday

True to his personality, Patrick Cantlay flew under the radar most of the tournament last year, but on Sunday there was a fleeting moment when he was actually in the lead. After eagling the par-5 15th, Cantlay jumped to 12 under and shared the lead with Xander Schauffele. Cantlay’s reign atop the leaderboard was brief, however, as he bogeyed 16 and 17 to drop to 10 under where he would finish T9.

But the fact that Cantlay was even able to climb into the lead was a feat in itself. Through 36 holes, Cantlay was two over and made the cut by just one shot before storming back to post 64-68 on the weekend. Quite an impressive weekend showing that has been forgotten in the mix.

3. Final round tee times were moved up

In a necessary move, tee times for the final round were moved up and players were grouped in threesomes to ensure play was completed before impending storms hit. Additionally, split tees were utilized, a rarity at Augusta National. It might not be as forgotten as some other details from the tournament, but knowing Woods’ comeback was completed under unusual circumstances just adds another layer to the story.

4. Tiger Woods was nearly taken out by a security guard

After hitting a nifty recovery shot from the gallery on No. 14 on Friday, Woods was nearly slide tackled by a well-meaning police officer. In the soggy conditions the officer ran to protect the most famous man in golf and in doing so slipped and clipped the back of Woods ankle.

Woods had a slight limp after the incident, but he didn’t seem to have any lingering effects from the collision.

“Well, he made birdie, so I guess it all worked out,” the officer told GOLF.com after the incident. “Man, I am really glad he made birdie.”

Plus, he won his fifth green jacket. No harm, no foul.

5. Rory McIlroy didn’t backdoor top 10 (for once)

The Masters is said to be a tradition unlike any other. In that same ethos, Rory McIlroy mounting a charge late to slip into the top 10 is another tradition of Masters week. From 2014 to 2018, McIlroy’s results go as follows: T8-4-T10-T7-T5, but he never truly had a chance late on Sunday in any of those events. The results are stellar, but they are a bit hollow when presented with the appropriate context.

Last year was different, however, as McIlroy finished outside the top 10 for the first time since 2013. There were no late heroics to keep the top-10 streak intact, nor any heartbreaking moments keeping him from the green jacket. Just a ho-hum T21 that left him waiting yet another year to capture the career grand slam.

To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.