Back to the grind? Not before our Sunday awards

Tianlang Guan after his final round at the 2013 Masters.

Tianlang Guan after his final round at the 2013 Masters.

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Masters is over. I don’t know if I can stand it, returning to real life. And I’m not the only one.

The Not-Quite-A-Cuss-Word Award: Sandy Lyle, reflecting on his return to the real life on the Champions Tour, almost sounded depressed. “Yes, I’m back to the old farts next week, on a frigging long golf course as well (TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga.),” he said apprehensively. Lyle, by the way, shot 297 at the Masters at the age of 55.

The No-Doubles Award: 14-year-old Tianlang Guan of China did not make a double bogey in 72 holes. Remarkable. “Are you sure?” he was asked. “Yes,” he replied.

The Man Who Loves the Masters Award: “This (shooting 297) was disappointing for me in that this is my favorite place in the world to play,” Phil Mickelson said. “This is my favorite place to be, my favorite tournament, the one I look forward to the day after it ends.”

The “My 10 Was Better Than His 10” Award went to Bubba Watson, who tied Kevin Na with a 7-over 10 on the 12th hole in the final round. “You know, it’s funny, if you’re not going to win, you’ve got to get in the record books somehow,” Watson said, “so I’m a guy that got a double digit score on a par-3.” And Na did the same, although he didn’t talk about it with the flourish displayed by Watson.

The Best Golf Comedian Award: Continuing his stand-up routine, Watson summarized his week by saying, “I had nine 3-putts, three balls in the water on 11, a 10 on 12. So when you add all that up, a tie for 50th is a pretty good week.”

The Tylenol Award: Wrestling with a sore back, Justin Rose finished at 290 for the week. “I struggled (with the back) yesterday, I struggled overnight, and then actually, to be honest with you, I was really pleased with how I felt out there today,” he said, setting the stage for his punch line. “Pills are a wonderful thing.”

The Worst Warmup for the Masters Award: Thorbjorn Olesen, who finished 4-under-par for 72 holes, outlined his week leading up to the Masters. “I had a car accident. It’s definitely not the best preparation for this week,” he said. “A couple of cars in front of me ran into each other, and I hit the brakes, but there was no chance for me to stop.”

The “I Can’t Stop Smiling” Award: Jason Day gets this one for his tendency to smile when he hits a bad shot. “I think maybe that’s just a coping mechanism,” he guessed.

The Rain Man Award: Tiger Woods described the effect of rain in Augusta, making frequent use of the word skid. “Well, chip shots were skidding. Approach shots, if you flighted them, would skid. Throw them up in the air, they would spin. And the greens were so much slower, the putts just weren’t rolling out.”

The Stimp Speed Reader Award: Few players are as analytical as Bernhard Langer. “After a great start (birdie, birdie, birdie), I lost the feel for the speed of the green,” he related. “I think they went (because of the rain) from a (Stimp) speed of 13 or something to about a 10. I just couldn’t get the ball near the hole any more. Couldn’t get it even close speed-wise.”

The Family That Cries Together Award: “The last Masters (in which he contended) I ended in tears (2008), and now my daughter’s crying in tears, so I guess we’re just tearful,” said Brandt Snedeker.

The Fearless Prediction Award: Even after his closing 75 at the Masters, Snedeker was willing to stick his neck near the proverbial chopping block. “Yeah, I fully expect to be in contention for the U.S. Open,” he said boldly. “I know my game can hold up to it. I know I was close today. I’m ready to do it.”

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