As the first round of the Masters draws to a close, some awards from the day’s play:
• The “we should admire and thank them” award: Phil Mickelson, whose tee time was 1:53 p.m., showed up at 7:40 a.m. to watch Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus hit ceremonial opening tee shots. Classy guy, that Lefty.
• The crooked-stick award: No, it’s not the same as Crooked Stick Golf Club, located outside Indianapolis. It’s Mickelson. His drive on No. 9 snaked its way through a wall of trees and ended up in the first fairway. Then his drive on No. 10 was so far left that he hit a provisional ball off the tee. He did not find the original.
His scores on nine and 10: bogey, triple bogey. That 10th hole, it’s a killer.
• Bounce-back award: Rory McIlroy, after an ugly double bogey on the first hole, got back to even par after birdies at two par-5s, the second and eighth. Then he added another birdie at the par-4 ninth.
• The “I am not a perfect 10” award: And then came the 10th for McIlroy. It was the first time he played the hole in competition since he self-destructed with a triple bogey in last year’s final round.
This time, for accuracy, McIlroy used a 3-wood off the tee. Instead of accuracy, he got crookedness. He blew his tee shot into the right-hand trees, followed that with a miraculous escape, then saved par with a chip and putt. All’s well that ends well.
• Eagle-is-me award: Paul Lawrie, who made two eagles on the back nine. At 13, he hit a 240-yard hybrid shot to 3 feet. At 15, he hit a 230-yard hybrid shot, missed the green, then chipped in from a position near the right bunker.
His hybrid is a 19-degree TaylorMade Rescue 09.
• The “I can do it, too” award: Henrik Stenson eagled both par 5s on the front nine, the second and eighth.
• The infamous-quad award: Stenson made a quadruple bogey 8 on the 18th hole after leading the tournament most of the day. With that disaster, he went from 5 under to 1 under.
Here’s how he did it: 1. Quick hook into the left woods; 2. punch shot that ended up in the pine straw; 3. fat shot that finished 90 yards short of the green; 4. overcooked wedge shot that flew the green; 5. chip shot that stopped on the fringe; 6-7-8. three putts.
• Vintage-photo award: In the club repair building, located near the practice round, Ed Mitchell pointed to separate photos of a young Ben Hogan and a young Arnold Palmer, both with tools in their hands, working on their golf clubs.
Mitchell, founder of Mitchell Golf in Dayton, Ohio, manufactures and sells bending and measuring machines for golf clubs. He was asked by Augusta National to handle all golf club alterations at the Masters.
• “Time to concentrate on senior golf” award: 58-year-old Craig Stadler, the 1982 Masters champion, hit just 2 of 18 greens. He shot 81.
• “Hey, I tied a former champion” award: Randy Lewis, the 54-year-old U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, joined Stadler at 81. Lewis hit six greens in regulation.
• The grind-away award: “I grinded it out all day,” said Tiger Woods, describing problems with his swing as “old stuff” during the first round. He shot an even par 72.
• The Louis-Louis award: Do not forget that Louis Oosthuizen is a fabulous frontrunner. His opening 68 reminded many golf fans of his runaway victory in the 2010 British Open at St. Andrews.