Last Updated: 07/03/14 9:49am
At the start of the week all the talk focused on the lengthening of Augusta National which, everyone agreed, had taken short-hitters out of the equation.
Strategy had been sacrificed for strength went the argument and yet nothing could have been further from the truth as 31-year-old American Zach Johnson claimed the Green Jacket by virtue of superbly plotting his route around the course.
After Arnold Palmer had become the first ceremonial starter of the Masters since Sam Snead in 2002, England's Justin Rose and American Brett Wetterich were the Thursday headline-makers, their rounds of 69 giving them a share of the first round lead.
Wetterich (73) maintained the pace to retain a share of top spot through 36-holes and was joined by the South African Tim Clark (71-71).
The surprise leader's joy was short-lived, however, as he imploded with a third round 83 and he completed a miserable weekend with a final round of 77 to slump home in a tie for 37th.
On 'Moving Day' it was Australian Stuart Appleby and Tiger Woods who took steps in the right direction. Appleby's 73 gave him the lead whilst Woods' 72 left him in a tie for second, one shot behind.
With tough conditions wearing down the field, Rose was able to add two rounds of 75 to his first day 69 and still find himself playing in the final group with Appleby.
Johnson, meanwhile, trailed by two at this stage, not helped by a three-putt from four feet on the 16th green late on Saturday which contributed to a 76 that had many wondering if he had wasted his chance.
Early on the final day Tiger made a move - a birdie on the second hole gave him the lead but a broken club and poor putting proved costly. He shot 72 and for the first time in his career he failed to win a major when he had held the lead at some stage.
South Africans Retief Goosen and Rory Sabbatini closed with rounds of 69 to tie Woods in second and Rose made a late charge before a double bogey on 17 left him back in tied fifth but the day belonged to Johnson.
He was steady on the front nine and then clinical on the back stretch, collecting three birdies in the final six holes to clinch an unlikely two-shot win.
On a big course that had provoked lots of debate it was victory for a small man who talked little but achieved a lot.
Perhaps something different was required to triumph in the first Masters since 1956 to be won with an over par score. And Johnson provided it with his strategy of not going for any of the par fives in two. The plan worked a treat as, thanks to some brilliant pitching, he played the four long holes in a combined 11-under par - two shots better than anyone else. Third in Driving Accuracy, Fourth in Greens In Regulation and Sixth in Putting Average, Johnson won this Masters with guile and precision.
|Par 3 Contest Winner||Score|
|U.S. Open||Angel Cabrera|
|The Open||Padraig Harrington|