Instagrammer @GolfPeach pens her latest Golf Monthly blog after a thrilling climax to the season's first major at Augusta...

@GolfPeach: “Augusta made them look almost human at times… human like me”

If looks truly can kill, a high branch on a tall tree withered and creaked and crashed to the ground in Augusta, Georgia late last night. The way Jordan Speith stared long and hard at it, the fateful bough had no chance. Its crime was to get in the way of sporting history. Coiling his young frame to fire a drive 300 yards up the 18th fairway towards more Masters glory, Speith watched in horror as his soaring ball clipped the overhanging branch and fell vertically, pitifully to the ground in front of him. If they had ladies’ tees at Augusta, some wag would have been telling him to get his wedding tackle out.

All of us have hit that overhanging branch. For a fleeting moment, Jordan knew what it meant to be a real golfer like me.

The Masters didn’t disappoint… or it didn’t disappoint anyone other than the pack of stars left trailing in Patrick Reed’s wake with nothing but their hard luck stories to tell. Jordan, Rickie, Rory, Big Jon and the rest… I felt like I knew them all by the end of the night. Augusta made them look almost human at times… human like me. Much as I marvelled at their divine power and touch, it was their moments of angst and aggravation that endeared them to me the most.

If Phil can have a fresh air shot, if Bubba can putt into a bunker, if Sergio can… no, I can’t even bring myself to type it. Watching Sergio Garcia’s defence disappear into that pond on Thursday was like watching a lion kill in a nature programme. The tv director should have cut away after the second chip… 13 shots, and all because he can spin the ball like I’ve always dreamt of doing. And then he had to hang around all weekend and graciously fit someone else for his green jacket.

The cruel beauty of Augusta was captured perfectly by those bizarre images of Rory McIlroy up to his waist in pink and white azaleas behind the 13th green (where else?!) His ‘moving day’ charge was halted by a flowering border of beastly beauty… his boyish face peeping through the vivid colour in search of an unlikely escape route from this heavenly-scented hell… his golfing imagination trying so desperately to keep the famous tick on his cap pointing upwards. The Nike ad men will be searching for a caption for those pictures right now.

Patrick Reed was lucky. You don’t need to be a Major champion to work out that there is simply no other way to win a Masters. His approach shot to the 13th defied gravity by perching on that bank above the babbling creek, his long putt at 17 was running wild until it crashed into the flag. If that had been me, it would have raced miles past! Except it couldn’t be me because I couldn’t stuff enough balls in my bag to get me round 18 holes at Augusta. I’d be happy to break 100… for the front 9!

Reed wasn’t lucky at all. He earned any luck he got and he had no more, no less than anyone else. He kept his head. When Speith was gabbling after his ball, when Rahm was howling at the moon, Reed kept quiet, kept cool. The one time I heard him shout after his ball, he even said ‘please’. Whether he is a popular or unpopular winner, he did probably the most difficult thing of all at Augusta… he won from the front. Commentators will paint him as a gutsy, driven champion but he didn’t half hit the ball well too. He may have the rotund figure of many of the guys at my club but he was lean and mean in pursuit of a great victory. So he puts lashings of ketchup on his bacon bap at the halfway hut… I felt like I knew him too.

Which brings me to my round yesterday morning…

… I played pretty miserably and felt pretty miserable about it. I’m in one of those mid-lesson phases of trying to make adjustments, so maybe I should have been on the range, not the course. The steady drizzle and the casual water didn’t make for pure ball striking and my dripping wet bag weighed a ton by the end, so maybe I should have cut myself more slack. I was pretty fed up by the time I sat down to watch sunny, SubAired millionaires’ golf from the sofa. Let’s just say, I got out a bottle of the good wine!

And, well, I’m sorry, guys… but watching the very best players in the world grimace and groan like me, watching them find sand, water and pine straw occasionally, watching a ball hit the one slender overhanging branch between them and glory… well, it kind of made me think ‘welcome… briefly… to our world’.

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