As golf’s highest drama, the back nine of the final round of the Masters, began to unfold Sunday, it was hard not to do the math.The Tiger Woods math.Namely, that no matter which Australian, middle-aged Argentine or guy in a pink shirt won, he had better win the tournament by more than two strokes.Otherwise, of course, some guy watching on TV at home was going to phone in to the Augusta National rules cabin and reset the golf world on its axis, as is apparently allowed in the game of golf.Take the two shots that Woods was penalized Friday away from his final-day score, and Sunday could have — should have? — been most interesting. That would not have been fair to the eventual winner, the well-liked Adam Scott of Australia, but rules are rules.Didn’t you see the Nike ads, trumpeting this season’s Tiger comeback — “Winning takes care of everything?”I’ll bet his ex-wife’s divorce lawyers didn’t write that.By broad acclamation, Scott’s playoff victory was being hailed around the planet Sunday night. Could it be that the new Fresh Prince of Golf hails from Australia?Eight-time PGA Tour winner Brad Faxon went on Twitter to report, “The press room just gave Adam a big round of applause. Has to be as popular a player to win in awhile.”Trevor Immelman, the South Africa-born 2008 Masters champion, called Scott, “a true champion and gentleman.”And even Greg Norman, still the gold standard of Aussie golf, was humbled by any comparison to the new Masters winner.“I think he’s a better driver of the golf ball than I ever was,” Norman said.As it traditionally does, Sunday’s final round evolved with dizzying drama. The tournament’s 2009 champion, Angel Cabrera of Argentina, appeared to have firm grasp of the lead, until his shots started tangoing in wayward directions. Young Jason Day also had his turn in the lead.Always hovering five, six strokes back, though, was Woods, even though many had questioned what he was still doing in the tournament in the first place.In golf, rules are rules, even if some guy wants to blow the whistle on them from his sofa.Few seemed to have an issue with Tiger being assessed two penalty strokes for his Friday illegal drop. But some were arguing that, having been assessed, the two strokes weren’t enough.David Duval on Twitter: “I think he should withdraw. He took a drop to gain an advantage.”Norman tweeted: “It is all about the player and the integrity of the game . . . WD for the game.”As TCU ex Angela Stanford, who’s on the women’s tour, noted via Twitter: “If I tell a rules official I wanted two more yards, I’m on my way to Dairy Queen.”She meant DQ, as in disqualified.The best Twitter response to the Tiger controversy, however, had to come from Thomas Vonn, who happens to be the ex-husband of Woods’ current girlfriend, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn.Said Lindsey’s ex: “No problem Masters tournament. Happy to call in and help. You always try to keep an eye on those cheaters.”Ouch.Blessedly, though. the two penalty strokes failed to matter. Woods, who has been critical of Adam Scott in the past, failed to mount his customary Sunday charge.Tiger, it seems, has an ongoing issue with Scott’s broomstick-sized putter, which looks like something straight out of Caddyshack instigator Al Czervik’s bag. For what it’s worth, Scott’s long putter is legal and is not the controversial belly putter that much ink has been spilled over.Besides, winning takes care of everything. I’m sure Tiger has read that somewhere before.
Gil LeBreton, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @gilebreton