Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Masters -- Day 2 Wrap-Up

From one perspective, the big story of Day Two at the Masters was that Phil Mickelson missed the cut.  It's been a long, long time since we went into Masters weekend without Tiger or Phil being involved.  In the fourteen years from 1997 from 2010, they combined to win seven green jackets.  Their absence from the weekend really makes it feel as though we have entered a new era.

From another perspective, the big story was the potential for a showdown between Bubba Watson and Adam Scott, the last two winners of this event.  Playing in the morning, Bubba shot a spectacular 68 to open up a three-shot lead over the field.  Playing in the afternoon, Scott played the back nine in three-under par to close within four shots of Bubba.  If the Masters comes down to a duel between these two champions, it should be very entertaining.

But from a third perspective, the big story may have been the continuing rise of Jordan Spieth, the 20-year-old who got the lion's share of attention in the late afternoon TV coverage.  Spieth didn't dominate the course like Tiger Woods back in 1997, and it's far too early to draw any conclusions about his future career.  But, like most golfing greats throughout history, you could see that Spieth is not just happy to be there -- he is playing to win.  That attitude is vital to success at golf's highest level, and I can't think of another recent young American who has shown so much confidence.

Of course, if the tournament is won by John Senden, Jonas Blixt, or Thomas Bjorn, then we'll look at this whole day from a different perspective.

Here's the leaderboard:

1.  B. Watson:  -7 (69+68=137)

2.  J. Senden (AUS):  -4 (72+68=140)

T3.  T. Bjorn (DEN):  -3 (73+68=141)
T3.  J. Blixt (SWE):  -3 (70+71=141)
T3.  A. Scott (AUS):  -3 (69+72=141)
T3.  J. Spieth:  -3 (71+70=141)

T7.  F. Couples:  -2 (71+71=142)
T7.  J. Walker:  -2 (70+72=142)
T7.  J. Furyk:  -2 (74+68=142)

T10.  K. Streelman:  -1 (72+71=143)
T10.  S. Gallacher (SCO):  -1 (71+72=143)
T10.  R. Henley:  -1 (73+70=143)
T10.  K. Stadler:  -1 (70+73=143)
T10.  J. Donaldson (WAL):  -1 (73+70=143)

103 comments:

  1. I'm on board for either a Bubba-v.-putter showdown or Jordan Spieth-a-thon.

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  2. Gary Woodland, a 29-year-old from Topeka, Kan., eagled No. 2 and birdied No. 6, and he's joined the T10 at 1-under after starting the day at 2-over.

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  3. Birdie at 8! Birdie at 9! Charging Woodland sinks to 3-under, soars to T3.

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  4. BIRDIE AT 10! WOODLAND IS 4-UNDER, T2!

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  5. Jinxed him. Bogey at 11. Back to 3-under.

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  6. Oh, man ... then Woodland ended up finishing his round in 3-under and even for the tournament.

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  7. Before I went and took one of the greatest naps of my life, CBS's coverage was starting, and, to the dulcet stylings of Jim Nantz, I learned that Jordan Spieth had birdied No. 3 while Bubba Watson was bogeying No. 1. That left the wunderkind Spieth just two strokes off the lead.

    But during the supernap, Spieth got a bogey, and Bubs, an eagle. So now Watson is 8-under for the tournament and five better than anyone else.

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  8. There are few things in life better than a good afternoon nap.

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  9. Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 66, and he is now 3 under for the tournament.

    Rickie Fowler (who has cut his hair!) shot a 67, and he is also 3 under.

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  10. Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -7 (41 holes)
    T2. J. Spieth: -4 (43)
    T2. T. Bjorn (DEN): -4 (42)
    T2. J. Blixt (SWE): -4 (42)
    T5. M.A. Jimenez (ESP): -3 (54)
    T5. R. Fowler: -3 (54)
    T5. K. Stadler: -3 (46)
    T5. J. Furyk: -3 (45)

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  11. Bubba three-putts the sixth hole for a bogey, and he falls back to 6 under.

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  12. Lee Westwood birdies the 13th hole to move to 2 under par.

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  13. Discussing Craig Stadler, CBS just shows clips of the 1982 Masters. But the clips were of such poor quality that you would think that tournament was played in 1952. I remember television in 1982, and the quality was quite good -- I have no idea was was up with those clips.

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  14. Bubba starting to struggle now, as he flies into a bunker behind the seventh green. If he doesn't get up and down from there, his lead will almost be gone.

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  15. For the second day in a row, Adam Scott got off to a dreadful start. But he birdies the 8th hole to move back to one under par.

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  16. Adam Scott is even par, not one under.

    And Bubba is now only 5 under par, as he follows a bogey at six with another bogey at seven. So this tournament is very much up for grabs.

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  17. Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -5 (43 holes)
    T2. J. Spieth: -4 (44)
    T2. T. Bjorn (DEN): -4 (43)
    T2. J. Blixt (SWE): -4 (43)

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  18. Bubba, using his pink driver, bangs out a great drive on the par-5 eighth hole.

    Blixt and Bjorn both par the 8th to remain at 4 under.

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  19. Matt Kuchar birdies the 13th hole to move to 3 under, and he is now only two shots off the lead.

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  20. A very crowded Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -5 (43 holes)
    T2. J. Spieth: -4 (44)
    T2. T. Bjorn (DEN): -4 (44)
    T2. J. Blixt (SWE): -4 (44)
    T5. M.A. Jimenez (ESP): -3 (54)
    T5. R. Fowler: -3 (54)
    T5. M. Kuchar: -3 (49)
    T5. J. Furyk: -3 (46)

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  21. Spieth pars the ninth, and he is out in 35.

    Bubba hits an enormous shot up the hill on 8, and he runs through the 8th green. He will be chipping for an eagle.

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  22. Bubba's chip on 8 is somewhat too aggressive, and he's left with about 8 feet for birdie.

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  23. Bubba leaves his birdie putt shy, and he experiences what the CBS announcers describe as a "horrible par."

    He stays at 5 under.

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    Replies
    1. Sir Nick Faldo comments that Bubba's chip shots are all running well past the hole. He sees this as a sign that Bubba is too amped up.

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  24. Jonas Blixt holes a long birdie putt on 9. He's out in 34, and he's now tied for the lead at 5 under.

    Bjorn matches Blixt, and he's also tied for the lead at 5 under.

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    Replies
    1. It took Bubba an hour to lose a five-shot lead.

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  25. Westwood birdies the 15th hole and moves to three under par. The Europeans are rolling!

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    Replies
    1. This is like watching Saturday at the Ryder Cup.

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  26. Leaderboard:

    T1. T. Bjorn (DEN): -5 (45)
    T1. J. Blixt (SWE): -5 (45)
    T1. B. Watson: -5 (44)
    T4. M. Kuchar: -4 (50)
    T4. J. Spieth: -4 (45)

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  27. Kuchar birdies the difficult 14th hole to get to 4 under par. Westwood had a decent chance for birdie on 16 that would have put him at 4 under, but he missed and remains at 3 under.

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  28. Bubba pars the 9th, and whacks another long drive down the hill on 10.

    Meanwhile, Blixt had a putt on 10 for the lead, but he left it short. He stays at 5 under. Jim Nantz tells us that no male player from Sweden has won a major.

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  29. Bubba hits a spectacular approach shot on 10 to within about 3 feet of the hole. He almost holed out.

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  30. Kuchar, meanwhile, ran his second shot on 15 through the green, but makes a great recovery shot to give himself a 10-foot putt for birdie.

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  31. Kuchar's birdie putt on 15 was really more like four feet. He knocks it in, and he is now tied for the lead at 5 under.

    Meanwhile, Furyk birdies 13 to move to 4 under. The Americans are fighting back!

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  32. But Spieth bogeys the very difficult 11th hole and he is now 3 under, two shots off the lead.

    Wait -- Spieth is now three shots off the lead, because Bubba just birdied the 10th hole. Bubba is now 6 under.

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  33. Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -6 (46 holes)
    T2. M. Kuchar: -5 (51 holes)
    T2. T. Bjorn (DEN): -5 (46)
    T2. J. Blixt (SWE): -5 (46)
    5. J. Furyk: -4 (49)

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  34. But now Blixt and Bjorn have gotten into trouble on 11. Blixt's second shot caroms into the water, while Bjorn's second goes into a greenside bunker.

    Bubba whacks another great drive down the 11th fairway.

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  35. Spieth almost birdies the dangerous 12th hole, but he takes a par and remains at 3 under.

    Blixt, from the drop zone on 11th, ALMOST HOLES OUT for a par. But he will settle for a tap-in bogey. He goes to four under par.

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  36. Bjorn gets up and down from the sand on 11, and remains a 5 under par.

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  37. Spieth pulls out the driver on 13, and slams it way off to the right. He will be far up into the gallery. He immediately drops the club and signals to the right.

    Meanwhile, Bjorn has gone into a greenside bunker on 12.

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  38. Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -6 (46 holes)
    T2. M. Kuchar: -5 (52)
    T2. T. Bjorn (DEN): -5 (47)
    T4. J. Furyk: -4 (50)
    T4. J. Blixt (SWE): -4 (47)

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  39. On 13, Spieth finds a path through the trees, but is forced to lay up short of the green.

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  40. Blixt and Bjorn both miss the green on 12, but they both get up and down to save par.

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  41. And Freddy Couples just birdied 13 and 14 to move to two under par! This is just nuts.

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  42. Bubba picks up a relatively straightforward par at 11 and he remains in the lead at 6 under.

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  43. Bubba, facing one of the scariest shots in golf, lofts a very nice shot onto the tiny 12th green.

    Blixt and Bjorn have both hit good drives on 13.

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  44. Westwood finishes with a 70 that leaves him at 2 under par.

    Spieth had a six-foot putt for birdie on 13, but missed it and settles for par to remain at 3 under.

    Furyk has put his second shot on 15 into the water.

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  45. Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -6 (47 holes)
    T2. M. Kuchar: -5 (53)
    T2. T. Bjorn (DEN): -5 (48)
    T4. J. Furyk: -4 (50)
    T4. J. Blixt (SWE): -4 (48)

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  46. Bubba's birdie putt on 12 comes up just short, and remains at six under.

    Meanwhile, Blixt goes for the 13th green in two shots, but he seems to have gone into the creek guarding the green.

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  47. Bjorn also goes for the green on 13, and he goes into the creek as well.

    Kuchar runs his approach shot through the 18th green, and he will have to get up and down to save par.

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  48. Spieth, undaunted by his bogey at 11 and his missed birdie putt at 13, hits a wonderful approach shot to within four or five feet of the hole on 14.

    And Bubba hits a stupendous drive on 13 that leave him less than 200 yards from the green.

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  49. Kuchar's chip on 18 looked very good, but then it caught the downslope and the ball ended up about 40 feet from the hole.

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  50. After going into the water on 15, Furyk cannot save par. He takes a bogey and falls to 3 under.

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  51. Kuchar ALMOST HOLES his enormous putt for par on 18, but the ball was going so fast it hit the back of the cup and stayed out. He taps in for a 68 (33 out, 35 in), and he is the leader in the clubhouse at 4 under par.

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  52. Blixt almost saves par on 13, but his putt stays just out. He takes a bogey and falls to 3 under.

    Bjorn also bogeys to fall to 4 under.

    And Spieth knocks in his short birdie putt on 14, and he moves to 4 under.

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  53. Bubba reaches the 13th green in two, and he will have a long putt for eagle.

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  54. Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -6 (48 holes)
    T2. M. Kuchar: -4 (54)
    T2. J. Spieth: -4 (50)
    T2. T. Bjorn (DEN): -4 (49)
    T5. M. A. Jimenez (ESP): -3 (54)
    T5. R. Fowler: -3 (54)
    T5. J. Furyk: -3 (52)
    T5. J. Blixt (SWE): -3 (49)

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  55. Bubba hits a terrible eagle putt on 13, and leaves it about eight feet short. Sir Nick continues to think that Bubba is suffering from nerves.

    Bubba misses the birdie putt, and he stays at six under.

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  56. Spieth drives off into the trees on 15, then lays up short of the pond, then puts his approach shot to within about 8 feet. If he makes that putt, he'll be only one shot off the lead.

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  57. And Spieth makes the birdie putt. He's now 5 under par, only one shot off the lead.

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  58. Bjorn and Blixt both parred 14, and they are now working their way down 15.

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  59. Bubba pars 14 and remains at 6 under.

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  60. Meanwhile, Bjorn goes for the green at 15 and goes into the water in front of the green.

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  61. Bubba, finally through the 14th hole, unleashes an enormous drive that bounds far down the 15th fairway.

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    Replies
    1. "Oh. My. Goodness." That's what the Masters.com streaming dude said.

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  62. Bjorn cannot save par on 15, and he falls to 3 under.

    But Jonas Blixt makes birdie, and he moves to 4 under.

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  63. Bubba, meanwhile, bangs his second shot through the 15th green, and he will have a tough up and down for birdie.

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  64. Leaderboard:

    1. B. Watson: -6 (50 holes)
    2. J. Spieth: -5 (52)
    T3. M. Kuchar: -4 (54)
    T3. J. Blixt (SWE): -4 (51)

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  65. Furyk bogeys the last hole. He finishes with a 72, and is at 2 under par.

    Bjorn and Blixt make great tee shots on 16, and they will have decent birdie chances.

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  66. Bubba cannot get up and down on 15, and he takes his fifth par in a row.

    Meanwhile, Blixt makes his second birdie in a row, and he moves to five under par.

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  67. Bjorn cannot match Blixt, and he stays at 3 under.

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  68. Bubba misses the green on 16.

    Spieth drives into a fairway bunker on 18.

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  69. Couples bogeys 17, pars 18, and finishes with a 73. He is one under par with one round to play.

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  70. Bubba cannot get up and down from behind the green on 16, and he falls back to five under par. Sir Nick thinks that he has completely lost his touch.

    Bubba, Blixt, and Spieth are all tied for the lead at 5 under.

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  71. From a fairway bunker, Spieth lofts a shot that puts him on the front of the 18th green, about 50 feet from the hole.

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  72. Leaderboard:

    T1. J. Spieth: -5 (53 holes)
    T1. J. Blixt (SWE): -5 (52)
    T1. B. Watson: -5 (52)
    4. M. Kuchar: -4 (54)

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  73. Bubba hits another great drive on 17. He's like the reverse Tiger today; he hits great drives, and then has all kinds of trouble around the green.

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  74. Blixt hits a poor drive on 17, and that leads to a bogey.

    He falls back to 4 under, and Spieth and Bubba are tied for the lead.

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  75. Bjorn also bogeys 17, and he falls back to 2 under.

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  76. Adam Scott, who looked so good yesterday afternoon, has been terrible today. He finishes with a 76 that leaves him at one over par.

    Nantz suggests that Scott may have been intimidated by playing with Spieth. Sir Nick is skeptical of that notion.

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  77. Spieth pars 18 and finishes with a 70. He is five-under par, he is tied for the lead, and this 20-year-old will probably be playing in the last group tomorrow. Nantz assures us that win or lose, this young man will be a big part of the future of this sport.

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    Replies
    1. If Spieth wins tomorrow, he will break Tiger's record and become the youngest winner ever at Augusta.

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    2. What did Hal Sutton shoot today?

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  78. Meanwhile, Bubba is on the 17th green, and his birdie putt comes up about 10 feet short. He is really struggling to read these putts. If he misses that par putt, Spieth will have the lead by himself.

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  79. Sir Nick tells us that Bubba has lost his focus when it comes to putting. But then Bubba rolls in a testing 10-footer for par. Again we get the narrative that Bubba needs to stop thinking and just rely on his talent. Again I suspect that Bubba is both smarter and more diligent than the commentary would have us believe.

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  80. Blixt pars the 18th hole, and he finishes with four birdies, three bogeys, 11 pars, and a 71. He is four-under par, one shot behind Spieth and Bubba.

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  81. Bjorn pars 18, and he finishes with a 73. He's two under par. He was done in by going 6-6 on the two par fives on the back nine.

    Meanwhile, Bubba whacks his drive on 18 into the trees. Sir Nick tells us that he was wondering when Bubba's putting woes would affect his long game.

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  82. Bubba's drive on 18 is not in the trees. It bounced out onto the fairway. Sir Nick thinks that he's about 220 yards from the green.

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  83. Bubba's second shot lands off to the right of the green, hitting the gallery and leaving him with another up and down.

    Sir Nick tells us that Bubba has "lost the plot."

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  84. CBS interviews Blixt, and Nantz reminds us again that no Swedish man has ever won a major golf tournament.

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  85. Sir Nick tells us that Bubba just needs to pitch the ball onto the green and let it roll down toward the hole. And that's what he does. For awhile it looks as though it might go in -- but it just misses the hole and then slides about five feet past. He'll have that to stay in a tie for the lead.

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  86. Bubba may have lost the plot, but he knocks in the par putt to remain in a tie for the lead. Nantz tells us that just when things were looking shaky, Bubba made two huge par putts.

    John Senden, who started the day in second place, bogeys the last hole and finishes with a 75 that leaves him at one under par.

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  87. This was a great day of golf, and I am now very curious to see what will happen tomorrow.

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    Replies
    1. Hear, hear! This has turned out to be quite an interesting leaderboard.

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  88. Leaderboard after 54 holes:

    T1. J. Spieth: -5
    T1. B. Watson: -5
    T3. M. Kuchar: -4
    T3. J. Blixt (SWE): -4
    T5. M.A. Jimenez (ESP): -3
    T5. R. Fowler: -3
    T7. L. Westwood (ENG): -2
    T7. J. Furyk: -2
    T7. T. Bjorn (DEN): -2

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  89. Man. Nicklaus shot 65 on Sunday to win by one stroke in 1986. That's amazing.

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  90. I'm watching Rory McElroy practice chipping. The internet is amazing.

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