At mid-morning on moving day at the Augusta National you would have been forgiven for being disillusioned with the old course's tiresome totalitarian approach. Guan Tianlang's one-shot penalty for slow play was followed by Tiger Woods' illegal drop during his second round, which resulted in a two-shot punishment.
Six-time major winner Nick Faldo was among those to lead the disdain for Augusta laying down the letter of the law. In the case of Guan, the youngest player in Masters history and the leading amateur, there was sympathy, but for Woods, anger, that the American had not been disqualified entirely.
Regardless of your view on either incident, the interpretation of the rules or the motivation for their arguably selective implementation, both episodes, and the debate that followed overshadowed the start to the final two rounds of the weekend, and not until the back nine on Sunday did golf belatedly take over.
For much of the final round the burden of leading appeared too much for the field. Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker all led at one stage or another before being eclipsed.
The collapse of Day was perhaps the most notable. At one stage, two ahead with three holes to play; dropped shots at the 16th and 17th suddenly saw the tide swing decisively.
Scott and Cabrera may have represented the no-thrills candidates of the leaderboard, but their consistency produced a fascinating duel in the gloom down Magnolia Lane as they rose to the top.
The Australian had allowed himself a premature moment of euphoria that his demons from Royal Lytham were banished, having birdied the last to go one clear. Cabrera, the champion in 2009, failed to wilt, producing an approach out of the top draw, that landed within three feet.
It was the South American's own version of Lyle in '88, Tiger in '05 and Mickelson in '10 and it set up a play-off with both players level on nine-under.
The similarities, not least the nerves shared between the two was emphasised in their tentative second shots into the 18th, which landed 18 inches apart, with first Cabrera's chip shaving the cup, before Scott went safe.
Both went to within 15ft on the second play-off hole, surely the last of the day before the light would make conditions amid the teeming rain unplayable. The Argentine misread the line, coming up an inch short, allowing Scott to bury his chance.
But unlike the infamous moments of the 2013 Masters, there is no controversial nor sour edge. The long-handled putter, which has helped deliver major titles to three of the last four winners, may be soon outlawed by the sport's governing body but it makes the victory anything but controversial.
The embrace between Scott and Cabrera said as much about the absorbing duel between the two as it did the popularity of the first Aussie to win the Masters in the tournament's 77-year history. Let our abiding memories be that of joy, and not of technicalities or hullabaloo.