Because I am widely recognised as one of the wisest 14-handicappers playing the game, many people have approached me over the past couple of days to seek my interpretation of events at Augusta.
Since I was (yet again) the victim of a cruel snub and my name was left off both the list of media guests and wild card invitees, like you, I have had to follow events from a great distance, albeit from the comfort of a DFS sofa.
Two things pleased me above all others. Firstly, and probably for the first time ever, the weather here in England was better than it was in Georgia. Coming in from cutting the lawn in my M&S vest to see spectators huddled together in a desperate attempt to stay warm, gave me enormous pleasure. Secondly, the scoring more closely resembled the sort of numbers with which I am familiar. Whilst recognising that Augusta National is a tad more challenging than my local track, nevertheless there were enough players up in the 80s to cheer those of us whose only hope of scoring in the 70s is to leave out all the par threes.
In my humble opinion, much of the appeal of watching the Masters has its roots in schadenfreude (trust the Germans to have a word for the pleasure taken from watching someone else?s misfortune). There is no question in my mind that the intensely comforting thought that it?s not you who has to chip over that bunker and onto a green that more closely resembles a marble staircase than a putting surface is simply exquisite. And watching the hopes of some of the very best golfers in the world disintegrate as another treacherous puts slips by is a cruelly levelling experience that gives the game?s greats a taste of the struggle that the rest of us endure all the time.
But perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the Masters was the performance of Tiger Woods. Here was a man clearly not happy with his game or at ease on the course. And yet, despite the fact that nothing seemed to be working properly, he so nearly won. And that?s a lot scarier than the 12th hole.