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The Masters Day One — The Wrap

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Day one of the 2012 Masters was about what you might have expected, if filled with a few surprises.

Augusta National may have been the “star” today — she was playing very tough, despite the soft greens, and the winds (and, later in the day, light rain) and heavy air, made for some long play.

I can’t remember the number of players who were short (in Rae’s Creek) or right on 13, and only the longest hitters were consistently hitting greens in regulation.

If you take a look at the final leaderboard for the first round, it is, not surprisingly, a “who’s who” of men’s professional golf.  As far as the top of the leaderboard, well, it was Henrik Stenson’s to own at 6 under until a snowman (a quadruple bogey 8) on the closing hole dropped him back to −1 (he’d also bogeyed 16 to take him to 5 under).

Lee Westwood came in “under the radar,” as the announcers kept telling us, shooting a sweet 5 under, his last birdie coming at the 17th.

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen came alive in a birdie run on the last five holes to land at 4 under, along with Sweden’s Peter Hanson.

Then, there was a six-way tie for third, including that most interesting man in the world, Spaniard Miguel Anjel Jimenez.

Beyond that, it was your typical PGA log jam, with former Master’s winner Zach Johnson at 2 under, followed by fellow Augusta green jacket owner Vijay Singh, and 2010 FedEx champion Jim Furyk.

Even Steve Stricker’s in the running at 1 under.

That’s where you also found Irishman and favorite Rory McIlroy, while Tiger came in at even par and Phil Mickelson arrived at 2 over, after a disheartening bogey on 18.

Tomorrow is another day, but if today’s play was any indication, round two should be filled with plenty more drama before we see who survives the cut and moves into the weekend and “moving day” on Saturday.

Written by turbotodd

April 6, 2012 at 1:16 am

Masters Update, Mid-Afternoon

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Here’s what I’m seeing at Augusta so far on day one of the 2012 Masters.

Or should I say, what I’m not seeing.

No birdies by anyone on 11, 16, and 18 as of press time.

Tiger just wasted a birdie opportunity on 15, a hole he would typically be in on two but had to chip onto the green for his third shot during today’s round.

Stenson continues his lead at −5, having given up a stroke at 16, with Jason Dufner coming on strong at 3 under through 8 and 10 holes to play.

Lee Westwood is also coming on strong, with three consecutive birdies at 5, 6 and 7.  Keep an eye on Lee — he’s hungry for it.

Keegan Bradley is also playing consistently, 2 under through 16, and tied by both Woods and Woods’ playing partner Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Save for Stenson’s additional two strokes on the field, it’s wide open on day 1!

Written by turbotodd

April 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Mastering the Masters

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I never would have projected that golf’s greatest tournament, The Masters, would prove to be a morality tale in 2010, but that’s what it ultimately ended up being.

I’ll skip through the morality part for a moment, and simply say congratulations to the new three-time Masters champion, Phil Mickelson.

Phil, that shot on 13, the one from behind and between those two trees…well, it was a pure thing of beauty, it took some major guts, and it paid off.

That, along with Phil’s two-eagle run on Saturday (including a chip-in on 14) made for some pretty amazing golf to watch.

Of course, the others at the top of the leaderboard over the weekend also brought tremendous drama to this year’s Masters.  Tom Watson (60 years of age) and Fred Couples (50 years of age, and with still the most beautiful swing in golf), shooting under par and demonstrating to the young flat bellies they could still play and play bigtime.

K.J. Choi, whose almost robot-like performance belied a seeming concentration to rival that of Tiger Woods, his four-day playing partner.

Woods, who despite the off-course drama still brought an amazing, if inconsistent, golf game to Augusta after a five-month layoff.  Not sure many other players could have shot 11 under under similar circumstances.  And even Woods hit several magical shots from out of the trees.

Britain’s Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, both of whom walked into the weekend with a Union Jack stride, and Westwood incredibly gracious and positive in his post-Masters interview.  If you want to know what good sportsmanship is all about, watch that interview with Westwood.

But in the end, it was the picture of a tearful Phil Mickelson, hugging his wife Amy (who has been battling breast cancer) and their three kids just off the green at 18, that the Masters was left with.

And whether or not the morality tale was an intentional one, it was one we could all relate to.

Written by turbotodd

April 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm

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