2017 Masters

3. Parity continues to reign in golf

With Garcia’s win, six of the eight Masters contested this decade have been claimed by a first-time major champion. Phil Mickelson (2010) and Bubba Watson (2014) remain the only exceptions.

In general, first time-major winners have claimed each of the last six majors, dating back to Jason Day’s victory at the 2015 PGA Championship. It doesn’t quite match the nine in a row that we saw between the 2010 U.S. Open and the 2012 U.S. Open. But make no mistake, parity reigns.

And while a few guys (notably Rory McIlroy) have won multiple majors this decade, the major championships in the 2010’s have been far more spread out than they were in the 2000’s.

Only 22 men won the 40 majors contested between 2000 and 2009. By comparison, 22 men have won the 29 majors contested since 2010.

We don’t yet know who will win the U.S. Open in June. A lot can change in two months. But if you’re a believer in recent trends, note that the U.S. Open will probably be won by another first-time champ.

4. Rickie Fowler once again struggles to post four good rounds

Rickie Fowler at the 2017 Masters

Another first-time major winner being crowned in June is music to the ears of Fowler. But for now, the 2017 Masters will go down as another in a growing line of major disappointments.

For three rounds, this looked like a golden opportunity for Fowler. He entered the final round only one shot back and seemed to have the complete game necessary to win, or at least be a heavy factor on Sunday.

No dice.

Fowler bogeyed the fourth and fifth holes and never got on track afterwards.

Fowler is one of the most popular players on tour and deservedly so. He got a lot of attention early for his bright outfits, but he also developed a reputation for being gracious and giving with the fans. He’s also a darn good player, posting four wins in the USA and two more on the European Tour.

But he’s left a lot of wins on the table with poor fourth-round performances. He’s also failed to win a single major, having far too many follow a similar script to the 2017 Masters.

In order to be truly defined as one of the best players in the world, he has to seal the deal at one of these majors. Fowler is accomplished, but other twenty-somethings like Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Jordan Spieth have won more in general and have all claimed at least one major.

For Fowler to be in a group with them, he has to come through at one of golf’s four biggest events. For Fowler, the 2017 Masters will be remembered as a failed opportunity to do just that.