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A tradition like too many others? Readers debate a lackluster Masters finish

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Has Augusta National lost its magic? WorldGolf.com readers debate. (.)

Trevor Immelman's three-shot victory at the 2008 Masters sparked a debate as to whether the grand tournament is as exciting of a major as it was intended when Bobby Jones and Alister Mackenzie built the renowned course in 1933 to provide a tournament rich with drama.

In a newsletter following the event, WorldGolf.com's Brandon Tucker said it appeared the magic has been lost at Augusta National over the last two Masters.

Many readers agreed that Tiger-proofing the course over the last several years has taken some of the excitement out of Augusta.

"All of these changes to the golf courses to 'Tiger proof' them are ruining the fun of watching golf on TV," wrote Ben Calhoun. "I want to see birdies and eagles, and back nine charges at Augusta as well as the other Majors."

Wrote a disgruntled B.L. Brown: "Birdies and eagles are exciting. Pars and bogeys are not. "Same players, different course. The Green Jackets have defended Augusta National's integrity at the expense of excitement."

Mike Beachham is already playing greenskeeper at Augusta: "The Green Jackets should make the greens more receptive and move different tees up every day. Give more players a chance to get aggressive and make the crowd roar."

Reader Rodrigo Sampler defended the changes made to strengthen Augusta National.

"It's great to watch birdies and eagles but not when you are only using a pitching wedge or 8-iron like Tiger did in 1997 on the par 5's," he wrote. "I think the changes for the Masters are good. "Unfortunately nobody challenged Immelman on the back nine this year."

Other readers think Zach Johnson and Immelman's victories shouldn't be sold short.

"Let's not put down the last two champions. It can be a successful tournament if Tiger does not win. Look at the wonderful gentleman Zach Johnson was as an ambassador for the Masters this past year. The last two Masters made for great stories. Evidently you, like the TV was following only Tiger around the course until he was finished then they focused on the real Champion!"

Like Tucker, many readers criticized CBS's flowery coverage of the event.

"What finally got to me was the reverence, the music, the endless flashbacks, the sanctimony, Jim Nantz's voice & cadence," wrote Marty Burns. "Maybe I've watched too many of these, but it seemed like the sappy tone trumped all else. Bring on Johnny Miller & lower the tournament's pedestal a rung or two."

"Snooze" wrote: "Well, yet again I turn on the Masters to watch superlative golf only to be treated to endless syrupy music, soft-focus time-wasting and vacuous comments.

"What is happening? The CBS coverage is turning a unique sporting event into a third-rate soap opera."

Reader "Mikem", from the U.K., says the slow pace on Sunday was tough to take for his country, which is five time zones ahead. And it's only going to make slow play an epidemic at golf clubs everywhere.

"What is hard to take is the tolerance shown for incredibly slow play, another key component in the meandering combat that left many late-night Brit golf fans nodding off in their armchairs."

He added, "Fat chance of any amateurs heeding the NEXT appeal from club committees to speed up play. What? When five plus hours can secure a Masters' Green Jacket?

Click here to view all reader comments about this year's Masters.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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