Friday, April 11, 2014

The Masters -- Day 1 Wrap-Up

The first Masters of the post-Tiger era got off to a quiet but steady start.  On an absolutely spectacular day -- even by the standards of the Augusta National Golf Club -- we were all reminded that the Masters is worth watching no matter who participates.  It's still far too early to tell what's going to happen, although a few big names are in trouble already.  In fact, of the top 10 golfers in the world rankings, only two (Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy) managed to break par:

1.  T. Woods:  DID NOT PLAY
2.  A. Scott (AUS):  -3 (tied for 2d place)
3.  H. Stenson (SWE):  + 1
4.  J. Day (AUS):  + 3
5.  P. Mickelson:  + 4
6.  S. Garcia (ESP):  + 2
7.  M. Kuchar:  + 1
8.  J. Rose (ENG):  + 4
9.  R. McIlroy (NIR):  -1
10.  Z. Johnson:  + 6

Nevertheless, there are some big names near the top of the leaderboard, including the last two Masters champions, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson:

1.  B. Haas:  -4 (68)

T2.  A. Scott (AUS):  -3 (69)
T2.  L. Oosthuizen (RSA):  -3 (69)
T2.  B. Watson:  -3 (69)

T5.  K. Stadler:  -2 (70)
T5.  J. Blixt (SWE):  -2 (70)
T5.  G. Woodland:  -2 (70)
T5.  J. Walker:  -2 (70)
T5.  K.J. Choi (KOR):  -2 (70)
T5.  B. Snedeker:  -2 (70)
T5.  M. Leishman (AUS):  -2 (70)

65 comments:

  1. So far, Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson are the only players from yesterday's leaderboard out on the course. Oosthuizen bogeyed the fourth hole and is now 2 under after the fifth. Bubba has parred the first.

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  2. Marc Leishman has birdied the first two holes, and is now tied for the lead at 4 under par.

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  3. Leishman birdies the third hole -- his third birdie of the day -- and he becomes the first man in the tournament to get to five under par.

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    1. This says 10:16, but that was Central time ...

      Dan Jenkins ‏@danjenkinsgd
      Maybe if I wait long enough to tweet about leader Marc Leishman he'll go away.
      10:16 AM - 11 Apr 2014

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  4. Leishman came back to earth with bogeys on 4 and 5. Bubba Watson (who has played 7 holes so far today) and Bill Haas (who has not yet teed off) are tied for the lead at 4 under.

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  5. Jinxed him. Back to 3-under after a bogey on 9 for Bubba.

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  6. Bubba ... birdie-birdie at 12 and 13 ... he's 5-under and alone in the lead.

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  7. Oh, my. Bubba Watson has now birdied 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16. He is now 8 under par, and he leads the field by four shots.

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  8. On the radio, they're saying that Bubba Watson doesn't practice much and largely gets by on raw talent -- but that he can compete with anyone if he has the right mental focus. Knowing something about how people from the rest of the country perceive people from the rural South, I'm going to say that much of that viewpoint is an exaggeration.

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    1. Wait ... do I gather that you are starting to join me on the bandwagon of my main man, Bubba?

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  9. Oosthuizen shot a 75 today, so he is at even par for the tournament.

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  10. Now Mike Weir is charging up the leaderboard. He went out in 32, and is now 3 under par for the tournament, five shots behind Bubba.

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  11. Bubba bogeys the last hole. He finishes with a 4-under par 68, and holds the lead at 7 under par.

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  12. Mickelson finishes with 76+73 = 149, five over par, and so he will probably miss the cut for the first time in 17 years.

    It will be interesting to see how American golf does without Mickelson or Woods around to carry the flag.

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  13. Adam Scott looked great yesterday, but today he has bogeyed three of the first five holes and he is now at even par.

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  14. Other big names likely to miss the cut are Luke Donald (plus 5), Sergio Garcia (plus 5), Dustin Johnson (plus 7), and Jason Dufner (plus 11 through 24 holes).

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  15. The cut line is currently at plus 4 -- it could go to plus 5, in which case Mickelson, Donald, Els (who's also 5 over), and Sergio would be around for the weekend.

    On the radio, they think the guys at plus 5 are going to make it.

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  16. Meanwhile, here's what the top of the leaderboard looks like:

    1. B. Watson: -7 (36 holes)
    2. B. Haas: -4 (25)
    T3. T. Bjorn (DEN): -3 (36)
    T3. F. Couples: -3 (28)
    T3. J. Walker: -3 (27)

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  17. Eric's guy Mike Weir bogeyed the 10th, and he is now 2 under with seven holes left in his round.

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  18. On the PGA Tour web page, they allow you to pick your favorite golfers and create your own leaderboard. I normally track 20 golfers, one of whom is Tiger. Of the other 19 golfers in which I have an interest, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler (who is one under) are the only ones currently in the top 10.

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  19. Rory McIlroy is one of the guys I track. After finishing the sixth hole, he is two over for the day and one over for the tournament.

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  20. Unless you're a big Bubba fan, this may be the least appealing leaderboard in the history of the Masters:

    1. B. Watson: -7 (36 holes)
    2. J. Senden (AUS): -4 (33)
    T3. T. Bjorn (DEN): -3 (36)
    T3. J. Blixt (SWE): -3 (34)
    T3. B. Haas: -3 (27)

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  21. Just as most American fans were about to turn off the golf coverage, or at least stop using it as anything other than a chance to see some lovely scenery, Jordan Spieth (the 21-year-old wunderkind from Texas) has birdied 7 and 8 to move back into contention. He is 2 under for the tournament, five shots behind Bubba. Can he do something on the back nine?

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  22. Bill Haas has bogeyed 10, and double bogeyed 11. He's four over for the day and even par for the tournament.

    Wait, he just bogeyed 12. So he's five over for the day and one over for the tournament. He will probably not win the 2014 Masters.

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  23. Meanwhile, Mike Weir, who was one under coming to 16, has put his tee shot into the water.

    John Senden, on the other hand, hits a terrible drive on 18, but makes up for it with a great pitch shot, and he posts a 68. He's in second place at 4 under par, three shots behind Bubba Watson.

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  24. Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -7 (36 holes)
    2. J. Senden (AUS): -4 (36)
    T3. T. Bjorn (DEN): -3 (36)
    T3. J. Blixt (SWE): -3 (36)
    T3. F. Couples: -3 (32)
    T3. J. Walker: -3 (31)

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  25. McIlroy double bogeys the 10th hole to fall to 2 over par, and his challenge is fading.

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  26. It's not looking good for Mickelson and the other guys at 5 over. There are only a few hours of golf left, and the cut line is still 4 over par.

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  27. Adam Scott isn't out of it yet. He birdies the 12th hole with the silly long putter, and he is one under for the tournament.

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  28. Mike Weir pars the 18th hole. He went out in 32, came home in 40, and is one over for the tournament.

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  29. Spieth bogeys the very difficult 11th hole, and he falls back to 1 under par.

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  30. Speith hit a great tee shot on 12 to within 8 feet, but missed the birdie putt. He stays at one under.

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  31. Walker bogeys the 16th hole to fall back to 2 under.

    Couples bogeys the 17th hole to fall back to 2 under.

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  32. The long putter strikes again. Scott birdies 13, his second birdie in a row, and he moves to 2 under.

    He doesn't have to worry about a playoff with Angel Cabrera this year. Cabrera is eight over after 36 holes, and he won't be around for the weekend.

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  33. Couples misses a short birdie putt on 18 and finishes with a second straight 71. He is 2 under par after 36 holes, which is quite good for a 54-year-old.

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  34. Webb Simpson bogeys the 18th hole to fall to 5 over, so he is now on the wrong side of the cut line.

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  35. Jordan Spieth is not charging. He had a chip shot for eagle on 13, but ran his chip well past the hole, and missed the birdie putt coming back. He remains at 1 under.

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  36. Walker pars the 18th and finishes with a 72. He is two under for the tournament, five shots behind Bubba.

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  37. I haven't heard anything about Jim Furyk so far, mainly because he shot a 74 yesterday. But he just birdied the 15th hole, and he is now 1 under for the tournament.

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  38. Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -7 (36 holes)
    2. J. Senden (AUS): -4 (36)
    T3. T. Bjorn (DEN): -3 (36)
    T3. J. Blixt (SWE): -3 (36)
    T5. F. Couples: -2 (36)
    T5. J. Walker: -2 (36)
    T5. J. Donaldson (WAL): -2 (34)
    T5. A. Scott (AUS): -2 (32)

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  39. On ESPN, Mike Tirico is now doing what appears to be a very happy interview with Fred Couples. I have the sound turned down, but I'm sure Eric would be loving this interview.

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    1. I probably would. I imagine Freddie was saying that he needs to play better on the weekend than he has the last few years at the Masters.

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  40. Again with the long putter! Scott rolls in an 8-footer on 15 for another birdie. He is now 3 under for the tournament, only four shots off the lead.

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  41. Furyk hits a great shot on 16, and rolls in the short birdie putt. Now he's at 2 under par.

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  42. Meanwhile, Donaldson bogeys the 17th to fall back to one under.

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  43. But hold the phone! Jordan Spieth -- who was getting more and more annoyed with his lack of charging -- whanged a huge drive down the middle of the 15th fairway. Then he whacked a great approach shot to within about 15 feet. Then he drained the putt for an EAGLE. That moves him to 3 under par, and he is suddenly tied for third.

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  44. I am impressed that Spieth isn't satisfied to be under par. He wants to win this thing.

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  45. Bill Haas, the Day One leader, had a horrific day. He goes out in 37, comes home in 41, and follows up the 68 he shot yesterday with a 78. So he's 2 over par.

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    1. They interviewed his dad on Golf Channel this morning, and he was so proud.

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  46. I can only imagine what the 20-year-old Spieth is thinking, but his tee shot on 16 lands in a greenside bunker.

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  47. Spieth makes a great up-and-down to save par and remain at three under.

    Spieth and McIlroy are playing together, and McIlroy is four over. This has got to be one of the few times McIlroy has been outplayed by a player younger than he is.

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  48. The silly long putter fails! Scott had an eight-foot birdie putt on 17, but just barely missed it. He remains at 3 under.

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  49. Furyk finishes with a very nice 68, and he is at two under.

    Spieth hits a terrible drive on 17, while Scott hits a terrible drive on 18. They are both in trouble.

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  50. Spieth bogeys the 17th to fall back to 2 under.

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  51. Adam Scott, on the other hand, saves par. He finishes with a 72, and he is three-under par, four shots off the lead.

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  52. The folks at 5 over are, in fact, going to miss the cut.

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  53. Spieth, playing in the last group of the day, whacks a drive into the 18th fairway.

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  54. Spieth hits a great approach shot to within about 2 feet of the 18th hole. He'll have that for birdie.

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  55. McIlroy makes a difficult two-putt on 18 to finish with a 77. He makes the cut on the number at 4 over par.

    Spieth rams in his own short birdie putt for a 70. He is three under par, and only four shots off the lead. He looked really good.

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