When he first tried to talk about it, Mattiace paused. Then he broke. Tears flowed down his cheeks as he spoke. "I would like to have done this 12 years ago," he said. "But it was worth the wait."
After speaking to the press, Mattiace climbed back into the golf cart, and two Augusta National trash collectors approached. "Congratulations, man," one of them said, as Mattiace's cart sped away. Then the trash collector turned to his partner and said, "What was his name?"
By then, though, Mattiace was on his way to catching up with his family. This Masters left many scars, but he has endured more losing, more dents in his pride, than Martha or Hootie or any of his fellow competitors who took hard blows last week. He knows how to recover. The instant Mattiace saw his wife, Kristen, and two daughters standing in the dying light at the edge of the clubhouse, they all fell into familiar roles. Five-year old Gracee singsonged, "I know you didn't win, Daddy, but first is worst and second is best." Mattiace hugged and kissed her and chimed in, "Second is best," and suddenly, losing at Augusta didn't seem so terrible.