Here is yet further proof that the Masters is the most flavorful of all our major championships. Four days later, the numbers and the sidelights still resonate.
For proof . . .
Some preferred going out . . .
Among the many reasons Charl Schwartzel won the green jacket was his 9-under performance over Augusta National’s outward nine. That was in large part to the fact that he went 4 under at the par-5 eighth. K.J. Choi nearly kept up with Schwartzel, going 8 under on the way out, while Angel Cabrera went 7 under.
While there were those who fared better coming in
Geoff Ogilvy, at 11 under, was clearly the most effective over the famed back nine, and that showed late Sunday when he birdied five consecutive holes starting at the par-3 12th. Of course, it might look like the Outback out there because two other Aussies, Jason Day (9 under) and Adam Scott (8 under) shined, too.
So, explain this
Aussie Aaron Baddeley played the back in 7 over. Here’s one possible reason: He was born in New Hampshire.
The toughest stretch
With apologies to Amen Corner, which is technically the 11th green, 12th hole, and 13th tee shot, the real estate that often decides who wins the green jacket starts at the 10th tee and concludes at the 12th green. If you don’t think so, ask Rory McIlroy, who went triple-bogey, bogey, double-bogey and was toast. Or, ask Choi. He wound up six strokes behind Schwartzel and coughed up a lot of that by going 5 over at the 10th, 11th, and 12th. Oh, and Baddeley, the guy we just said was 7 over on the back? He did all that bad work at this three-hole stretch.
Then again, don’t tell them it was difficult
All Ogilvy did at the demanding 10-11-12 stretch is shoot 4 under, including a trio of birdies at Golden Bell, the delectable par-3 12th. The only others to play under par at this corner – Bo Van Pelt, Edoardo Molinari, and Fred Couples all went 2 under while Alex Cejka and Kyung-Tae Kim were both 1 under.
Hey, what happened to the might?
One would have thought that Gary Woodland, Dustin Johnson, Alvaro Quiro, and Martin Laird would feast on the par 5s, given their massive power. But, not so fast. Woodland was level par at the second and 2 over at the eighth, while Quiros made just six birdies and Johnson had a triple-bogey at the 13th. They each shot 5 under on the longer holes. As for Laird, he was just 3 under.
Not the typical scoring recipe
While all 49 players who made the cut posted a red score for their par 5 efforts, some didn’t exactly shine. Couples went just 1 under for them (he was 2 over on the eighth) and so did Ian Poulter (2 over at the 15th). Steve Marino was also just 1 under.
Speaking of Marino . . .
Two trips to the Masters, two cuts made, but two confounding efforts. Why? Because he has done his scoring on the front (9 under), not on the back (9 over). That’s not exactly following the Augusta National blueprint.
Rookie rough spots
Rickie Fowler bogeyed the first hole three times, had a bogey and no birdies at the par-5 eighth, and had just one birdie at the 13th.
A tradition like no other
We still haven’t had a player fire four rounds in the 60s at the Masters.
Oh, if he’d had a fifth round . . .
We’re sure Justin Rose could have made a 5 at the par-5 13th to go with the 7, 3, 6, and 4 he made there.
You think he loves this week?
Thus far in 2011, Trevor Immelman’s biggest paycheck is the $128,000 he earned for finishing T-15 at the Masters. No shock there. His biggest check in each of the previous seasons came at the green jacket party, too. He was T-14 in 2010 ($131,250), T-20 in 2009 ($71,400), and the winner in 2008 ($1,350,000).
Call him Mr. Azalea . . . and Mr. Firethorn
He made a double at the short par-4 third and two more at the tiny par-3 12th, but on the par 5s coming home, Nos. 13 and 15, Bubba Watson was . . . well, Bubbbbaaa. With four birdies at Azalea and an eagle and three birdies two holes later, Watson was a 9 under. (Of course, he was 4 over on all the other back nine holes.) Watson overshadowed Steve Stricker, who birdied both 13 and 15 all four days, as well as Adam Scott, Y.E. Yang, and Gary Woodland, all of whom played those par 5s in 7 under.
Then again, go figure
Bill Haas played the 15th in three birdies and an eagle, but he had a bogey, double-bogey, and two pars at 13.
Hey, I think I figured half of it out
At the par-3 12th, Jim Furyk had made just four birdies in 52 previous rounds at the Masters. Then he went and made three this year. But at the par-4 11th he’s made one birdie in 56 rounds.
Where’s the crystal?
In 15 Masters, Furyk has made just one eagle, that at the 15th.
They’ll be back
Assuming the top 16 and ties earn exemptions into next year’s Master, a total of 19 players qualified via that category. The large majority of them would have made it through another category (for instance, Tiger Woods, Geoff Ogilvy, Steve Stricker, Lee Westwood, among others), but there were some names who couldn’t have counted on such a happening. Players such as Bo Van Pelt (T-8), Ryan Palmer (10), Brandt Snedeker (T-15), and Ross Fisher (T-15) all are teetering just inside or below the top 50 in the world cutoff, so knowing they’re in for next year is a relief.
Though he opened with a 67 and spent a lot of time on the leaderboard, Y.E. Yang fell into a share of 20th and for a big reason why he needn’t look any further than three holes on the back. He was 9 over at the 11th, 17th, and 18th holes, but 12 under everywhere else.
Phil being unlike Phil
We’re talking Mickelson, of course. The defending champion for just the third time in 18 Masters in which he’s played 72 holes failed to break 70 even once. Mickelson did not make an eagle and what’s even more shocking, in 74 Masters rounds he’s made as many eagles at the par 4 14th as he has at the par 5 15th – one.
Phil’s achilles is not Tiger’s achilles
While Mickelson’s worst hole to par at Augusta National is the par-3 sixth (17 over in 74 rounds), Woods made two bogeys and is now 17 over at the par 4 first in 66 rounds.