Augusta, Wild Wing Café, about 2330 ET - The 73rd Masters, and my first, has drawn to a close and it felt right to dish out a few awards.
Favourite hole: The tee shot on 12 is fun but the green is too far away to connect with what's going on, so it has to be the short 16th. A beautiful hole with water, a treacherous green and patrons packed in tight. Honourable mention goes to the picturesque 10th, inviting a sumptuous raking drive with a touch of draw down the hill and around the corner.
Most surprising thing about the Masters: Some holes don't feel quite the same as you imagine them on TV, but that's to be expected. But I didn't realise it was quite as open in the middle, around the second and 7th greens and 8th tee. Also surprised that its location, off the non-descript America's-ville of Washington Road, didn't bother me more. Who cares what's outside?
Best thing about the Masters: Obviously Augusta National itself - it's a fabulous course for spectators. Other than the obvious jam of 18 on Sunday, you could pretty much get to see what you wanted. Maybe it's the limit on the number of patrons, but I sidled up to the 18th tee and stood feet away from Mickelson and Woods on Sunday. Imagine doing that at the Open.
Also, because there's no sponsorship everywhere, or hullabaloo of people inside the ropes, it really does feel like the club championship at a plush members' club. Which it is, really. Also, the marshals (sorry, gallery guards) were polite and unfussy with no hint of jobsworthiness and the other patrons were extremely courteous.
And finally, the best bit about it is knowing we can look forward to it every year.
Worst thing about the Masters: Having to go home, maybe never to come back. Still, better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Most reassuring sight: Tiger virtually duck-hooking his drive on the 1st on Saturday after I'd spent an hour watching him just kill it in practice.
Worst outfit: The hordes of American males in polo shirts, tucked into A-frame chino shorts, brown belts, brown suede or leather loafers (tassles preferable), no socks.
Best line from Caddyshack not yet used in this blog: "Cinderella Boy, rags to riches, former greenskeeper, about to become Masters champion. It's in the hole." Pretty apt stuff for champion Angel Cabrera, though substitute greenskeeper for caddie.
Story I wanted to write but didn't get around to: An interview with one of the guys who shouts "Geddinthehole" on the tee at a par five. Just to see if there was anyone at home. Being the Masters, though, the crowd are a bit more restrained than a usual PGA Tour event and I didn't hear it when I was out and about.
One bloke did shout it when Tiger was putting on the 17th on Sunday, and an old chap in front of me said: "Why does he have to holler like that? Hey buddy, go back to your truck stop in Detroit."
So it's not just the British who frown on that sort of thing, then.
Bloggety Blog chequebooks and pens to:
Longest driver of the week - Dustin Johnson, average 308.38 yards. Rory McIlroy third on 293.
Best putter of the week - Steve Flesch (av. 1.50 per green)
Most accurate driver - Ian Poulter (89.29% fairways hit)
Most greens in regulation - Kenny Perry (77.46%)
Hardest hole - par-four 11th (av. 4.3288)
Easiest hole - par-five 15th (av. 4.5719)
Amount spent on Masters souvenirs: Not telling.