April 16, 2013
One mistake can dash your hopes of winning a major championship. The margin for error is smaller at Augusta than anywhere and sometimes the man that claims the green jacket is the one that avoids the major mistake. So in case you missed it, here’s how Adam Scott ended up winning the Masters on Sunday.
94 players qualified for the Masters.
Darren Clarke withdrew because of a hamstring injury. 93 players remain in contention.
Ted Potter Jr. defeats Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar to win the Par 3 Contest. Nobody has ever won the Par 3 and the Masters in the same year. 92 players remain in contention.
Nathan Smith makes the first bogey of the tournament and drops into last place.91 players remain in contention.
Craig Stadler makes an 8 on No. 10. and falls to +6.
Robert Garrigus makes a triple-bogey on No. 12 and falls to +6.
Other players who posted high numbers in the first round: Alan Dunbar, Ben Crenshaw, Ian Woosnam, Hiroyuki Fujita, Thaworn Wiratchant, Tom Watson, Michael Weaver, Branden Grace, Nick Watney, Padraig Harrington, Thorbjorn Olesen. 78 players remain in contention.
With the cut looming, several players played themselves out of contention: Louis Oosthuizen, John Merrick, Ben Curtis, Mike Weir, Nicolas Colsaerts, Ian Poulter, T.J. Vogel, Russell Henley, Kevin Streelman, Francesco Molinari, Steven Fox, and Hunter Mahan. 66 players remain in contention.
Mark O’Meara makes a triple-bogey on No. 18 to miss the cut. 65 players remain in contention.
Jason Day makes birdie on 16 to take the lead at -6 and move the cut line to +4. Jamie Donaldson, Martin Laird, George Coetzee, Matteo Manassero, Y.E. Yang, Larry Mize, Webb Simpson and Graeme McDowell are out.57 players remain in contention.
Tiger Woods receives a controversial two-shot penalty after the rules committee reviewed him taking an illegal drop and signing an incorrect scorecard in the second round. The No. 1 player in the world lost his momentum and dropped to -1, five shots off the lead. Many of the analysts and golfing greats called for Woods to disqualify himself from the tournament. Woods played on, but couldn’t overcome everything going against him. 56 players remain in contention.
Saturday is known as moving day and for some players, who barely made the cut, there was a lot of moving to do and some couldn’t get it going on the first nine. Tianlang Guan, Ryo Ishikawa, Keegan Bradley, Peter Hanson, Sandy Lyle, Carl Pettersson, John Peterson, Michael Thompson, Ryan Moore, Trevor Immelman, Kevin Na, Vijay Singh, Richard Sterne, D.A. Points, Henrik Stenson, 41 players remain in contention.
Others waited for the second nine to fall apart. The 11th hole was especially brutal and claimed big-name players Phil Mickelson (double-bogey), Rory McIlroy (triple-bogey) and Bubba Watson (double-bogey). Thomas Bjorn, Scott Piercy, Lucas Glover, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, David Lynn, Jose Maria Olazabal, Brian Gay, David Toms, Stewart Cink, John Huh, Ernie Els, Luke Donald, K.J. Choi, Fredrik Jacobson, Bill Haas, Dustin Johnson, John Senden and Charl Schwartzel were all unable to get into position going into the final round. 19 players remain in contention.
Fred Couples makes a bogey and Jason Dufner makes a double-bogey on No. 1. 17 players remain in contention.
Rickie Fowler makes a double-bogey on No. 3. 16 players remain in contention.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano makes a double-bogey on No. 4. 15 players remain in contention.
Justin Rose makes a bogey on No. 5. 14 players remain in contention.
Bo Van Pelt makes a double-bogey on No. 7. 13 players remain in contention.
Tim Clark makes a double-bogey on No. 5. 8 players remain in contention.
Angel Cabrera makes a birdie on No. 7, while Bernhard Langer bogeys No. 10. Langer and Matt Kuchar are both seven shots off the lead. 6 players remain in contention.
Lee Westwood makes a bogey on No. 13 and is six shots behind. 5 players remain in contention.
Brandt Snedeker puts it in the water on No. 13. 4 players remain in contention.
Mark Leishman hits it in the water on No. 15 and Jason Day makes a birdie. Leishman is now three shots behind. 3 players remain in contention.
Adam Scott birdies No. 18 to finish at -9. Angel Cabrera is in the 18th fairway at -8 and Jason Day is finished at -7. Day is eliminated. 2 players remain in contention.
Angel Cabrera birdies No. 18 to force a playoff with Adam Scott.
Cabrera and Scott both make par on the first playoff hole.
Adam Scott sinks a birdie putt on the second playoff hole after Cabrera’s putt just misses the cup.
Cabrera is eliminated and Adam Scott is your Masters champion.
April 11, 2013
This is what we’ve been waiting eight months for. Golf’s first major championship of the season has begun and there are plenty of storylines happening in Augusta. Of course, the most important one is winning the green jacket come Sunday afternoon. Here are a few guys I’ll be paying attention to this week.
One year ago, Bubba hit one of the greatest shots in Masters history on his way to claiming the green jacket. He’s become one of the biggest stars in golf. Don’t let the hot pink driver fool you…he hits it a ton and he loves to shape his shots. With that combination, he should have as good a shot as anyone this week. Can he defend his championship?
Really this should be a list of players to watch other than Tiger. If Woods is in the field, he’ll be the most watched player by far. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s won three times this year while nobody else has more than one. He back at the top of his game and back at the top of the world rankings. Will his major drought come to an end this week?
Johnson has already won this year and finished T12 and T4 in his last two tournaments. His length will give him an advantage over just about everyone in the field. He will have to get on a hot streak with the putter and if he is in contention on Sunday, we’ll see if he can avoid the major mistake that has already cost him a couple majors in his short career.
He nearly had the tournament won two years ago at the beginning of his rise to No. 1 in the world. He struggled and had confidence issues after making an equipment change but finished second last week, giving him some momentum heading into the season’s first major. Is it enough to handle the course that will penalize you for the slightest mistake?
He could be the best player that hasn’t won a major but he is running out of chances. He’s got three straight high finishes at Augusta and finished in the top 10 in Houston. He’s confident heading into the tournament but will he be able to sink the crucial putt down the stretch that he hasn’t made in all of his close calls?
He says this is his favorite week of the year. He always seems to be in contention at Augusta. He has won three of the last seven Masters tournaments and could have made it four last year if it wasn’t for a couple “Phil the Thrill” moments that turned into two triple-bogeys.
A few others
Tianlang Guan: He’s 14. And he’s playing in the Masters.
Martin Laird: He won last week
Brandt Snedeker: 2nd on the money list and FedEx Cup Points list
T.J. Vogel: An amateur usually shows up on the leaderboard. Why not him?
April 10, 2012
A lot of things need to go right for you to win a major championship. And, of course, it helps when things go wrong for the other players in the field. Sometimes you just have to survive the pitfalls of a pressure-packed week to give yourself a chance at the end. That is just what Bubba Watson did. In case you missed it, here’s how the field narrowed down to one Masters Champion:
Tuesday: No. 12 in the world rankings, Dustin Johnson withdraws with a back injury. 96 players remain in the field.
Wednesday: Padraig Harrington and Jonathan Byrd tied for first in the rain-shortened Par 3 Contest. No winner of the Par 3 Contest has won the Masters in the same year. 94 players still alive for the green jacket.
Thursday, 10 a.m.: The first group of the day has finished the front nine. Craig Stadler is already +6. Count him out. 93 players still alive.
Thursday, 11 a.m.: Mark O’Meara withdraws with a rib injury. 92 players left.
Thursday, 3:30 p.m.: You can’t win the tournament on Thursday, but you can sure play yourself out of it. Just ask Henrik Stenson. He led the tournament at -5 as he stood on the 18th tee. He walked off the 18th green at -1 after making the highest score ever at the finishing hole. Talk about ruining your week. Other players who shot themselves out of the tournament with a 79 or higher are Sandy Lyle, Randal Lewis, Chez Reavie and Johnson Wagner. 87 players left.
Friday, 3 p.m.: Jason Day withdraws with a foot injury. 86 players left.
Friday, 6 p.m.: Lee Westwood makes a double-bogey at 18 and falls out of the lead. The lead is now -5, leaving the cut line at +5. A few players at +5 get lucky and will be around for the weekend. John Senden, Kyung-Tae Kim, Paul Casey, Mike Weir, Jose Maria Olazabal, Larry Mize, Harrison Frazar, Kyle Stanley, Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, Rory Sabbatini, Robert Garrigus, Ryan Palmer, Ryo Ishikawa, K.J. Choi, Bryden MacPherson, Ian Woosnam, Mark Wilson, Darren Clarke, Tim Clark, Lucas Glover, Simon Dyson, Corbin Mills, Alvaro Quiros, Brendan Steele and Ben Crenshaw aren’t so lucky. They’ll be watching for the weekend. 59 players remain.
Saturday: It’s moving day and if you just barely made the cut you need to go low. Tiger Woods makes his second bogey of the day at No. 9 and drops back to +3. He is done. It also doesn’t happen for Thomas Bjorn, Keegan Bradley, Angel Cabrera, Patrick Cantlay, Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker, Robert Karlsson, Ross Fisher, Scott Verplank, Eduardo Molinari, Anders Hansen, Martin Laird, Kelly Kraft, Bo Van Pelt, Gonzalo Fernando Castano or Trevor Immelman. 41 players left.
Saturday, front nine: In one of the final parings of the day, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia combine to shoot 82 on the front nine. Who knows where that came from, but it takes both stars out of contention. 39 players left.
Saturday, 4 p.m.: Gary Woodland withdraws with a wrist injury. 38 players left.
Saturday, 6 p.m.: Fan-favorite Freddie Couples’ bid to climb back up the leaderboard comes to an end with bogeys on 15 and 16. He’s got plenty of company as Stewart Cink, Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer, Bill Haas, David Toms, Zach Johnson, Aaron Baddeley, Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na, Kevin Chappell, Y.E. Yang, Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Scott Stallings, Geoff Ogilvy, Hideki Matsuyama, Webb Simpson, Justin Rose, Charles Howell III, Brandt Snedeker, Sang-Moon Bae, and Jim Furyk are all too far back to make a Sunday run at the Masters. 15 players left.
Sunday, 2nd hole: Louis Oosthuizen makes the fourth double-eagle in Masters history to take the lead at -10. Francesco Molinari, Nick Watney, Jason Duffner, Fredrik Jacobson, Ben Crane, Sean O’Hair and Paul Lawrie are too far off the lead. 8 players left.
Sunday, 4th hole: Phil Mickelson makes triple-bogey. No Masters champion has ever had a triple-bogey. Phil has two this week. 7 players left.
Sunday, 12th hole: Peter Hanson shanks his tee shot on the par 3. It stays short of the water but a shank doesn’t leave your mind for a while. 6 players left.
Sunday, 13th hole: Hunter Mahan fails to make a birdie and falls fives shots behind leader Louis Oosthuizen. 5 players left.
Sunday, 17th hole: Ian Poulter needs a birdie-birdie finish to post a number for the leaders to think about. His birdie putt just misses and he is four shots behind with just one hole left. 4 players left.
Sunday, 16th hole: Bubba Watson makes a birdie to tie for the lead at -10. Lee Westwood is in the clubhouse at -8 and cannot expect two players to falter on the last two holes. Westwood is out. 3 players remain.
Sunday, 18th hole: Matt Kuchar misses a birdie putt that would have pulled him to within a shot of the lead. He needs both leaders to make a double-bogey on 18. Not going to happen. Kuchar is eliminated. 2 players left.
Sunday, 20th hole: Louis Oosthuizen is unable to get up-and-down from in front of the 10th green for a par on the second playoff hole. Bubba Watson hits a miracle recovery shot out of the woods and two-putts for a par and the win.
Masters Champion: Bubba Watson
April 12, 2011
99 players teed it up at Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday to compete for the green jacket. Charl Schwartzel was the last man standing on Sunday afternoon. He survived one of the most wide-open and unpredictable finishes in Masters history. If he is anything like me, he is still wearing that green jacket.
If you missed it, here’s how the field narrowed from 99 players to one Masters Champion:
November 25, 2010 – Tiger Woods will never forget this Thanksgiving Day. As we all know, his life changed in a major way and he hasn’t won since. (Just kidding about his elimination. Tiger could have won this tournament.)
Monday, April 4: No amateur has ever won the Masters. It is too tall an order for a group of guys who are probably just happy to be playing in the Masters. Players eliminated: David Chung, Jin Jeong, Lion Kim, Hideki Matsuyama, Nathan Smith, and Peter Uihlein. 93 players still alive.
Wednesday, April 6: Luke Donald wins the Par 3 Contest. No winner of the Par 3 Contest has won the Masters in the same year. Players eliminated: Luke Donald. 92 players still alive.
Thursday, April 7, 8:51 a.m.: Aaron Baddeley’s tee shot on the first hole ends up in a woman’s lap. When he arrived he marked the ball’s spot underneath her chair with a tee and took a drop. This is not the way you want to begin a major championship. Baddeley goes on to shoot 75. Players eliminated: Aaron Baddeley. 91 Players still alive.
Thursday, April 7, Round 1: You cannot win a tournament in the first round but you can play your way out of it. Just ask Martin Kaymer. He came into the week at the top of the world rankings but shot a 78 in the first round and went on to miss the cut. He was not the only big name to struggle in the first round. Players eliminated: Mark O’Meara 77, Padraig Harrington 77, Martin Kaymer 78, Ben Crenshaw 78, Ian Woosnam 79, Tom Watson, 79, Craig Stadler 80, Arjun Atwal 80, and Henrik Stenson 82. 83 players still alive.
Friday, April 8, 12th hole: Matt Kuchar stood on the 12th tee at 3-under par and within a few shots of the lead. His tee shot vanished as it landed. They finally found the ball but he had to take a drop on the other side of Rae’s Creek and walked away with a double-bogey. Graeme McDowell ran into trouble on 12 as well. He took a triple-bogey and missed the cut by two shots. Players eliminated: Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell. 80 players still alive.
Friday, April 8, Round 2: Only the top 44 and ties get to play the weekend at Augusta. Those who miss the cut can only think about what might have been. Players eliminated: Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, Sandy Lyle, Davis Love III, Jonathan Byrd, Larry Mize, Jose Maria Olazabal, Rory Sabatini, Hiroyuki Fujita, Kevin Streelman, Anders Hansen, Louis Oosthuizen, Gregory Havret, Jason Bohn, Yuta Ikeda, Carl Pettersson, D.A. Points, Retief Goosen, Peter Hanson, Jhonattan Vegas, Ben Crane, Heath Slocum, Jerry Kelly, Stuart Appleby, Mark Wilson, Kevin Na, Francesco Molinari, Hunter Mahan, Anthony Kim, Sean O’Hair, Robert Allenby, Zach Johnson, Lucas Glover, Tim Clark, Stewart Cink. 45 players still alive.
Saturday, April 9, Front Nine: It’s moving day. Those who just made the cut have no room for error. They need to go low. Players eliminated: Kyung-Tae Kim, Ernie Els, Nick Watney, Camilo Villegas, Steve Marino, Alex Cejka, and Paul Casey. 38 players still alive.
Saturday, April 9, Round 3: Anything can happen in the final round of a major championship. If you can stay within shouting distance of the lead, you’ve got a shot. Players eliminated: Jeff Overton, Trevor Immelman, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Justin Rose, Bill Haas, Robert Karlsson, Charley Hoffman, Gary Woodland, Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter, Ryan Moore, David Toms, Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker, Sergio Garcia, Ryo Ishikawa, Ricky Barnes, Ricky Fowler. 20 players still alive.
Sunday, April 10: Rory McIlroy holds a four shot lead at -12. Anybody within range of second at – 8 has a shot to make a run if McIlroy struggles and comes back to the field.
1st hole – Alvaro Quiros and Martin Laird make bogey. Ryan Palmer makes double bogey. 17 players still alive.
3rd hole – Y.E. Yang makes bogey. 16 players still alive.
4th hole – Steve Stricker, Edoardo Molinari and Bubba Watson make bogey. 13 players still alive.
5th hole – Phil Mickelson makes double bogey. 12 players still alive.
3rd hole – Charl Schwartzel holes out from the fairway for an eagle to go -11 and tie for the lead. Fred Couples and Geoff Ogilvy are seven shots behind two players. 10 players still alive.
8th hole – Tiger Woods makes an eagle to get to -10 and a tie for second. Bo Van Pelt and Ross Fisher are five shots behind two players and six shots off the lead. 8 players still alive.
11th hole – Lee Westwood makes bogey and drops to -5 with three players tied for the lead at -10. 7 players still alive.
10th hole – Rory McIlroy makes a disastrous triple-bogey to fall out of the lead. He is just two shots behind but it is too hard to recover from a mess like that. 6 players still alive.
16th hole – Adam Scott nearly makes an ace but settles for birdie to go -12. Angel Cabrera falls four shots off the pace. 5 players still alive.
17th hole – K.J. Choi makes a bogey and drops to -9. 4 players still alive.
17th hole – Charl Schwartzel makes birdie to take the lead at -13. Tiger Woods is in the clubhouse at -10. 3 players still alive.
18th hole – Charl Schwartzel makes birdie to win the Masters by two shots over Jason Day and Adam Scott.
Your winner: Charl Schwartzel
February 2, 2011
Phil Mickelson had his caddy tend the pin on the 72nd hole at the Farmers Insurance Open and nearly holed out to force a playoff with Bubba Watson. It would have been the third playoff in the first month of the PGA Tour season. Add that to a 36-hole Sunday finish, a rookie winner and Martin Kaymer passing Tiger in the world rankings and it’s been a pretty exciting 2011 so far.
But the biggest story in golf is the disqualifications of Camilo Villegas and Padraig Harrington. Villegas was disqualified from the Hyundai Tournament of Champions for moving some loose grass as his ball rolled down the slope towards him. Harrington was disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Championship after it was determined that he moved his ball and failed to replace it.
Both infractions call for a two-shot penalty. That is, unless they are reported by fans watching at home and scorecards have been signed before the penalties are assessed. Then the players are DQ’d for signing an incorrect scorecard.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has asked golf’s governing bodies to review situations in which players could be disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. That’s a good start. But it’s not enough. Something needs to be done about fans reporting rules violations.
Golf is known as a gentleman’s game. It’s a game of honor. It’s a game where players call penalties on themselves. They consult rules officials if there is a question. They don’t try to fool the officials like Derek Jeter pretending to be hit by a pitch.
Fans watching on TV don’t get to call in balls and strikes and they don’t get to call in holding or pass interference penalties. And they shouldn’t be able to call the PGA Tour get players DQ’d either.
It’s not fair. A fan saw what Villegas did and called it in. Would that fan have called it in if he saw Tiger do it? Maybe. What if it was a guy like Gary Woodland? Or Bill Lunde? (Both are in the top 25 on the money list) They would probably not be shown on TV so they could do the same thing and nobody would call it in.
The same thing goes for Harrington’s case. It took a slow motion replay to see that he inadvertently moved his ball while marking it. Harrington never denied touching the ball, but said he didn’t think the ball had moved. If it takes slow motion replay to see the ball move, it didn’t move enough to necessitate a disqualification.
I’m not the only one that thinks this should not happen. Ian Poulter tweeted, “An armchair official tweeted in to get Camilo DQ’d, what is wrong with people have they got nothing better to do.”
The rules are what make golf what it is. They don’t change every year like the rules in the NFL. If the tours want to take advantage of technology like slow motion replays to uphold the rules, that’s great. Get more rules officials on the course or have somebody in a replay booth like the NFL does.
In one of the many great episodes of Seinfeld, Jerry turns the tables on a heckler by showing up at her office and heckling her while she works. She doesn’t like it very much. She is so upset that she runs into the street and ends up losing her pinky toe.
I don’t think these fans would be too thrilled to have Villegas and Harrington show up to their jobs, monitor their every move and report any mistakes they make. So as fans of the game, let’s just watch and enjoy the game and leave the officiating to the officials. We don’t need to be putting our pinky toes at risk.