#AskLav mailbag: Curing the post-Masters hangover


Pass the Advil and throw on the shades – this post-Masters hangover has been especially harsh.

Armchair rules officials are still stewing over Dropgate.

Casual fans can’t watch Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy for two more weeks.

And even the women are bummed out. In 24 hours, they went from hoping that Masters winner and resident golf hunk Adam Scott would be on “The Bachelor,” to learningthat he’s actually in a healthy, happy and committed relationshipwith his former longtime girlfriend, Marie Kojzar, a Swedish interior designer. Life is indeed good for Scotty, if you weren’t already aware. 

But chin up, everyone. We’re only 56 days away from the start of the next four-day rager: the U.S. Open.

In the meantime, enjoy this week’s head-pounding #AskLav mailbag:

One suggestion: Read more GolfChannel.com. We batted this exact question around a few days ago. But since you missed it, here's a recap: A few staffers opined that Scott will be stuck on one major for the rest of his career. I'm not ready to go that far his ball-striking gives him a chance in each major he enters. And on those rare weeks when he marries up his long-game prowess with a hot flatstick (as we saw on the back nine at Augusta on Sunday), then he has asgood a chance as any to bag another major title. Questions linger, however. How will the anchoring ban affect his game? Does he yearn to be one of the game's all-time greats? After playing his entire career in the Tiger Woods era, will Scott be undercut by another up-and-coming star (see: McIlroy, Rory)?

I'll step aside and finally let Brandel Chamblee answer this question just kidding.

Here's my take: The blame falls on the Masters rules officials, who too quickly green-lighted Woods' drop in the second round. It was an illegal drop. Tiger admitted that. But the rules committee threw out the possibility of a DQ as soon as they initially decided that he shouldn't be penalized. There are no mulligans in championship golf. I still believe that a Woods withdrawal would have been a magnanimous gesture, the best P.R, if only to remove himself from a no-win situation and keep from clouding the race to 18 majors. But in the end, hisfinishing four shots behind the difference between a kick-in birdie and triple bogey on the 15th hole was punishment enough.

The East Course at Merion will be set up at 6,996 yards, which will take the big stick out of Tiger's hands. Yet again, that may prove to be his winning major formula much like Hoylake, in '06 for he is one of the game's best tacticians and can bludgeon the course with 2-irons and 3-wood stingers. Also, he's a good bet to win at Muirfield. Don't forget, in 2002, he finished six shots out of the playoff, and that was only after a Saturday 81 when players got blown away in the wind and rain.

No, it was not 14-year-old Tianlang Guan's T-50 at this year's Masters, even if it's forever etched in Masters lore. The gold standard remains Ken Venturi's performance in 1956, when he held a four-shot lead after 54 holes, shot a final-round 80 in windy conditions, and eventually lost by one. Other notable achievements include Matt Kuchar's T-21 at the '98 Masters and Ryan Moore's T-13 in 2005, following up on the hype from a year earlier when he won the NCAAs, Western Amateur, U.S. Publinx and U.S. Amateur, all in the same summer.

Seems Guan and I will see each other in New Orleans. If the 14-year-old doesn't want to engage in a pushup contest, perhaps we will determine who can eat 100 oysters the fastest. Bet on me, always.

Two surprising names who are staggering in the low-200s in the world: Camilo Villegas (No. 278) and Jhonattan Vegas (No. 294). No, I didn't pick them just because their surnames rhyme.

For Villegas, 2008 must seem like a lifetime ago. In 2008, he won back-to-back FedEx Cup playoff events and rose to No. 7 in the world. Now, he has lost his playing privileges on the PGA Tour, doesn't have a top 10 in a full-field event in 20 months, and finds himself just ahead of some guy named Alessandro Tadini in the OWGR.

Surely you remember Jhonny Vegas, too. Great backstory, humble kid, and he won in his fifth career start, at the event formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic. Since then, he has missed the cut in half of his 44 starts (and recorded only four top 10s), and in February announced that he was undergoing shoulder surgery and will miss at least six months. Oy.