Well, that's it for another year.
Augusta National, what with all its shimmering shrubbery and manicured magnificence, never fails to induce the kind of intoxicated drooling and panting usually reserved for a slavering Bullmastiff at the height of the mating season.
More than any other golfing spectacular, the Masters is a gasping, gawping exercise in jaw-dropping reverence and the chocolate-box style television presentation generates more dewy-eyed oohing and aahing than a 30-minute sequence featuring a puppy gently pawing the nose of a baby seal on a sheepskin rug.
Loading article content
Stick a close-up of a flowering dogwood on the screen, accompanied by a haunting, drifting piano medley and a series of deep and meaningful quotes from days of yore over slow motion montages of brooding golfers, and a watching nation goes weak at the knees amid this celestial cooing.
For a few days every April, golf enthusiasts immerse themselves in the fragrant familiarity of the Masters and the usual, well-worn croaks of wisdom that are trotted out at this time of the year. You need experience to conquer Augusta; first-timers rarely win; you've got to take advantage of the par 5s; it doesn't begin until the back nine on Sunday.
It was effectively over by the turn on Sunday night, of course. Bubba Watson's walloping waltz to a second green jacket victory in three years was something of an anti-climax. There were no crippling collapses, no rampaging runs over the last few holes. It was not really what the Augusta scriptwriters would have wanted.
Then again, Bubba played his role superbly and ticked all those boxes that you, apparently, need to tick in order to conquer this golfing corner of Georgia. As a winner before, he checks off the experience bit. And he certainly took advantage of those par 5s, covering them in eight under by posting six birdies, an eagle and, crucially, no bogeys over the course of the four days. In stark contrast, Rory McIlroy, who finished eight shots behind the eventual champion, failed to make hay on the long holes with five birdies and five bogeys, including leaked shots at the 13th and 15th on the final Sunday.
Watson, with the kind of fearsome swinging swipe that wouldn't look out of place during a brawl in a Wild West saloon, bludgeoned Augusta with his own brand of golf. Forget the basic geometry of planes and angles; Watson uses feel and instinct and sees shots that most would not, or would not dare, see. His caddie must feel like he is trying to rein in a bucking bronco at times.
With his left-handed cut and astonishing drives, Watson has the ideal weapons in his armoury for the Augusta test. For those who feel the game's governing bodies have allowed the horse to bolt on the issue of technology and ball distances, his tee-shot on the 13th must have made for staggering viewing. A drive of a colossal 366 yards, during which he just about unwound himself out of his shoes, left him with just a wedge into the green. Not many can live with that kind of prodigious clattering.
Jordan Spieth, the latest heir to the throne, tried his best to cling to his coat-tails, of course, but, after his rip-roaring start, the decisive four-shot swing near the turn put paid to his chances and that old chestnut, 'first-timers rarely win', came to pass. Jonas Blixt, the impressive Swede who has now finished tied second and fourth in his last two majors, also performed superbly, while Miguel Angel Jimenez and, for a spell, Fred Couples, kept up that Masters tradition of the old boys flirting with the unthinkable.
Overall, though, there was something missing on that back nine: that wee spark that ignites the roars amid the pines. Would a fit Tiger Woods, a man as much a part of Augusta as the azaleas, Rae's Creek and the Butler Cabin, have provided it? Who knows? But, even though he's not slipped into the green jacket since 2005, he would usually be lurking on a Sunday and applying some sort of presence. The cheers would tend to be that bit louder and the pulses would be racing that bit quicker.
With Phil Mickelson missing the cut there was another void to fill and the players stepping into those roles couldn't up the ante and accelerate the chase. Come the last few holes, most of the pressure on Watson was being applied by Bubba himself. He unleashed that bold whack on 13 and followed it up with the kind of eyebrow-raising effort on the par-five 15th that has become something of a trademark.
With a three-shot lead, caution should really have been the watchword, but Watson simply tossed all that to the wind and thrashed a draw through the trees. "To even consider that shot in the position he's in? I give up," said television analyst David Feherty, having presumably lowered his hands from his eyes just in time to see it. "I'm in a state of shock at him doing that with a three-shot lead."
Some may have thought it was the shot of a man who had taken leave of his golfing senses. It turned out to be the shot of a player in complete control of them.