Four things we learned from The Masters 2015

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Less than a week has passed since the golf world crowned its latest major champion and as work gets underway at Augusta in preparation for next year's tournament, here is a look back at what has been learnt from this year's Masters Championship.

A new rival for Rory

Forget Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, for there is only one man who deserves to dominate the column inches this week, a 21-year old Texan named Jordan Speith.

Having led throughout the entirety of the four day event, his thoroughly deserved victory rounded off a remarkable performance in which Speith announced himself onto the world stage by breaking multiple long-standing major records as if they were mere PB's set by a student at his local high school.

Becoming the second youngest major winner behind only Tiger Woods, Speith broke records for most birdies (21), and the lowest score at any point in a major (-19) to name a few.

With many years still to play in a career that has only just come to blossom, a potential long-term battle for supremacy between himself and Rory McIlroy is leaving golf fans worldwide drooling in anticipation.

If anyone is surprised by Speith's emergence, they need only to look back at his record over the last 12 months to realise his potential has been there for all to see.

Finishing joint 2nd in his Master's debut last year, that performance proceeded a maiden Ryder Cup appearance in which his unbeaten pairing with Patrick Reed was one of few highlights for the US team. Currently ranked an number World No.2, a continuation of this form will soon see him rise to golf's summit.

Woods & McIlroy

Prior to the first tee off on Thursday morning, one could be forgiven for believing that only Tiger Woods & Rory McIlroy were competing such was the extent to which they both dominated the headlines.

Looking to complete a grand slam of golf majors Rory was put under intense pressure to deliver on only his first attempt whereas Tiger, who was making his much anticipated return to golf following an indefinite leave of absence, made a mysterious reappearance on the biggest stage of all.

Although some feared that Tiger might once again struggle out on the course, there were brief glimpses that he could roll back the years and display flashes of his former brilliance.

However these moments were spread sporadically amongst times where Tiger seemed to be teetering on the edge of a meltdown, particularly on the final day where the majority of his tee-shots failed to find their way onto the fairway.

An accomplished finish considering his lengthy absence, but Woods will need to show much more to convince his critics that he can win a fifteenth major.

Rory had been expected to mount a challenge but it is fair to say that a poor opening day, finishing on only -1, ruled him out of serious contention for honours on Sunday. At one stage it appeared questionable whether or not he would even to be able to make the cut, but eventually McIlroy showed his class to score final rounds of 68 & 66 and finish in 4th place on -12.

Strong rounds like this will do much to aid his quest for major titles, it is just a shame that he didn't maintain this form from the outset. If he had then perhaps the Grand Slam would have been completed.

The British contingent

It was a strong tournament for the Brits, who filled four of the top ten spots on the leader board.  Along with Rory McIlroy, the English trio of Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey all finished strongly to raise British hopes ahead of July's British open in St Andrews.

Ever since Darren Clarke was appointed the European Ryder Cup captain, the competition to make his team intensified. Based on this showing they will all be sure to catch the attention of their leader to be.

One final thing

The BBC's exemplary  coverage demonstrated what a loss they will be to the sport when their contract to air the British Open ends this year. While Sky may have a budget to blow their competitors out of the water, they struggle to replicate the key features such as Ken on the course, which has made BBC's coverage such favoured viewing for year's gone by.

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Ian Poulter
Tiger Woods
Paul Casey
Rory McIlroy
Justin Rose
US Masters

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