Friday, April 11, 2008

A Little Bit of a Masters Update....

So round one was pretty ho-hum, maybe just because Tiger Woods approached it ho-hum. The chip-in was a bonus, but he did hit some good putts that didn't fall and I'm still convinced his shot on 13 was really good, just landed about two feet too far. Also, I've never played Augusta, so my claim on "where the good place to land it" is about as accurate as Bush instructing speech therapy.

Anyway, Trevor Immelman is now leading the Masters, with a birdie-bogey-birdie run on 5,6 and 7 to find himself at five-under heading into the par-5 eighth.

Like my dad always says (and Zach Johnson might have changed this last year), "None of these guys will be sniffing the leader board come Saturday night."

I partially agree with him, even though Justin Rose being at the top of the leader board after today (banking on the fact that he doesn't trip over the wire) scares me a little. He is the only guy besides Tiger last year to finish in the top-12 of all four majors.

Retief Goosen is continuing his solid play and for some reason looks like he did at those U.S. Opens, making an early birdie to stand at two-under. The guy made two bogeys yesterday (on 7 and 11, arguably the two toughest holes at Augusta) but played solid otherwise and is a front-runner that could just keep pounding away at the field.

I'm also loving Johnson right now. The guy just hits the ball really well in these here parts of Georgia. His comfort level looks about as high as anybody in the field.

One interesting note on Mr. Tiger - I've always said that Tiger, even if he isn't convinced it's the smartest or highest percentage shot out there, can convince himself to commit to certain golf shots. When he decides on a golf shot, he's the best in the world at being comfortable with his shot selection. On 13 yesterday, when he duffed the chip, you could tell even through his body language that he wasn't sold on what to do. The post-round interview when he said Stevie and him talked about just putting it to 30 feet and making par was interesting. Not to get all Johnny Miller here, but if he had been one or two under par, he putts that ball to the middle of the green for a long look at birdie.

That right there is why it seems more and more appealing to play the Zach Johnson way around the par-5s. From 60 or 100 yards, those guys can keep the ball below the hole with a respectable look at birdie. From 200 yards or more, they could hit it just past where they want, and make five or six. Augusta National is a damn tough test of golf around those green things.


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