Monday, April 15, 2013

4/15 (Adam Scott) Quickie

I love being proven wrong. I love changing my mind in the face of superior evidence. I love having my assumptions and presumptions challenged -- I might put up a fight, but I am open to yours.

I blithely throw around the concept that the only golf storyline anyone cares about is Tiger Woods. Well, the mania around 14-year-old Guan Tianlang proved that wrong.

And even after Saturday's insanity around Tiger's drop and subsequent two-stroke penalty, in the end, Tiger fell short and we were all captivated by Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera last night.

Scott's putt on 18 to put him briefly in the lead was incredible. Cabrera's answer was brilliant. The first playoff hole was tense. Following Cabrera's agonizingly close putt on the second playoff hole, Scott's close-out was clutch.

And so Scott had his first major -- more importantly, he exorcised the demons from his implosion at the British Open last year. Even more impressively, he exorcised Australia's legacy of Greg Norman's epic chokery at The Masters in 1996.

And perhaps most impressively of all, he made everyone forget about Tiger and forget that Tiger was supposed to be the be-all-end-all of the sport. He was a reminder that golf can captivate without Tiger.

Today's Morning Win column for USA TODAY Sports is a celebration of Scott's performance and how he left us all cheering nearly as loudly as he cheered for himself on that epic putt on 18.

Because I cannot learn my own lesson, I will maintain that losing Kobe deprives us of the most compelling storyline -- perhaps the only compelling storyline -- of the NBA Playoffs, which are going to be an exercise in "How few games will the Heat lose en route to the 16 wins needed for a repeat championship?" You better be ready to find drama in the middle rounds, as we figure out who will inevitably lose to Miami. That said: For a team like New York or Indiana, making it to the conference finals before losing is entirely a successful season. Does anyone actually give them a chance to beat the Heat? Come on.

-- D.S.

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