The Stack is here on this Monday and not feeling that great, but trudging on nonetheless. There are a couple of big stories that dominated headlines over the weekend so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Monday, April 15:
Adam Scott wins the Masters
Another riveting Masters concluded on Sunday with a first...an Australian put on the Green Jacket for the first time ever. Adam Scott played a great back 9 and temporarliy took the lead with a sensational birddie putt on eighteen. He thought perhaps that he had won it at that point. But Angel Cabrera, in the final group, had one of the best shots of the day at eighteen landing his second shot within a few feet of the hole. He of course made birdie to force a playoff with Scott. They played eighteen again to start the playoff and the two hit almost identical shots, each landing very close to one another. Par for both. Then the two moved to the tenth again landing drives very close to one another. Their second shots were very nice too landing on the green giving each player a good chance for birdie. Cabrera would putt first. Looked like he had a slight uphill slope to contend with. Looked good for a while before break at the end and failing to reach the hole by inches. Heartbreaking. Scott came up and calmly read the line on his putt and drained it. Wasn't a terribly difficult putt, but when there is a green jacket and $1.4 million on the line, there is a lot of pressure on you. With the win Scott won his first career major and the entire country of Australia has to be celebrating this remarkable achievement. Greg Norman came so close. The Shark was second in the Masters three times I believe. For Scott to win is truly something special, especially considering the gut-wrenching loss he had at the Open Championship last summer, losing a lead by bogeying the final three holes, allowing Ernie Els to comeback and win. This time it was Scott who had to make a comeback and win. It wasn't a perfect final day at the Masters as rain dampened the play a bit, but it was certainly one of the most exciting finishes we've seen in a few years.
Of course there were a couple of other stories that dominated headlines from the Masters. Tiger Woods two stroke penalty on Friday derailed much of his momentum and a serious charge from Woods at winning the Masters. After his shot on the 15th hole bounced off the flag into the water, Woods took an incorrect drop that ended up costing him two strokes, but no one knew at the time until after Woods had signed his scorecard. Apparently he dropped the ball too far back. Whatever. By signing the scorecard, Woods actually faced the possibility of being disqualified or Dairy Queened as Clark Kellogg would say, but instead received a two stroke penalty. I've heard that a viewer was the one who saw the infraction. No one on the course did or knew of it at the time. Totally changes the mindset of of how Woods attacked the course that weekend and also how other golfers reacted. You can't tell me that if Tiger was just one shot back that the leader or others around Woods wouldn't tighten up just a bit. Woods remains on a "major" drought, but I still think he'll win one major this year. His putting let him down this week, but he should rebound just fine.
The other story that has people talking is the Tianlang Guan, who was the low amateur at the Masters shooting an overall twelve over (+12), but breaking 80 in each of his four rounds. Oh yeah, he's only 14 years old! Fourteen and he was playing better than half the field. He was assessed a slow play penalty of one stroke Friday that nearly cost him and everyone else a chance at watching him on the weekend. He's 14 for crying out loud. Give him an extra moment or two to make his decision. Still his play was phenominal and he had almost everyone cheering. Give him a few more years, and he can be dominant on the course. Some wondered if he could break 80 once let alone four times. And to make the cut? Pretty special what we witnessed at the Masters this year.
Kobe Bryant tears Achilles
Kobe Bryant's season is done, and maybe even his career following a torn Achilles injury he suffered Friday night against the Golden State Warriors. It happened late in the game with the Lakers fighting back to take the lead. Kobe was driving in and thought that Harrison Barnes from the Warriors kicked him only to know immediately after that that it was a bad injury. He made two free throws and then walked off the court, but everyone feared the news almost right away. A torn Achilles. Done for the year. Surgery on Saturday gives him a recovery time of 6-9 months, and for someone who is 34, that could be very taxing. How will Bryant respond coming off of this injury? Surely he can't expect to play at the level he was at prior to the injury. Bryant was playing great this year and had played a lot of minutes in recent games as the Lakers were making their playoff push. There will be plenty of blame put on the shoulders of head coach Mike D'Antoni, but what is he to do? If Bryant doesn't play, the Lakers lose those games. A freak injury is giving D'Antoni blame? Doesn't seem quite fair. We don't even know if the extensive minutes were a direct cause and effect to Bryant's injury. Sure it probably didn't help matters, but we don't know for sure. Bryant certainly doesn't want his career to end and took to social media in the middle of the night asking why this would happen to him. He's upset and he should be. He doesn't want to go out like this. But you have to wonder that when he comes back just how good he's going to be especially at his age. More importantly at the moment, will the Lakers make the playoffs? They will. They beat San Antonio last night 91-86, but they'll get bounced pretty quickly in the playoffs no doubt about it. Without their leader, they're sunk.
Coming up Tuesday: Reaction to top stories from Monday