Notes: Chung chooses coach as caddie
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Admittedly focused on how his professional entry, Anthony Kim, was coming along, swing coach Adam Schriber concedes it was tough to juggle his early-week devotions in regards to his amateur, David Chung.
Photos: Masters Thursday
From Arnie and Jack to action on the course, the Masters on Thursday.
Oh, they worked on the swing and all that, but on the course, Chung seemed unprepared, a bit uptight, and Schriber sensed that he wasn’t getting enough help from a club caddie.
Enter Kim, who unbeknownst to Schriber was paying close attention. Over breakfast Tuesday morning, Kim told Schriber: “If you don’t take his bag, you’re a terrible coach.”
Schriber laughed, but got Kim’s point. What’s more, he appreciated it, too, because “I was afraid that I needed to be around for (Kim).”
Freed of that concern, it was agreed Wedneday night that Chung, the U.S. Amateur runner-up out of Stanford, would hand the caddie duties over to Schriber.
“I’m not a caddie. I told David that,” Schriber said. “But I told him I’d be there to talk to and hear you. Nothing against the (club) caddie, but it was a matter of chemistry.”
It’s hard to argue with the results, because Chung, the U.S. Amateur runner-up, at one point had it to 2 under before he finished bogey-bogey to shoot 72. Still, it was an impressive start – yes, even for the caddie.
“I was like a fish out of water,” Schriber said, “but the guys were were with (Sandy Lyle and Alex Cejka) were really nice.”
Was there any problems with changing roles? Schriber shook his head. “I was a caddie out there. I was a coach before we teed off and I’ll be a coach when we’re done.”
Which actually served to remind him – Schriber had to rush from the 18th green and back onto the course where Kim was a few holes into his first round.
AND HE’S NO. 1? Easily the most startling round of the day was turned in by the world’s top-ranked player, Martin Kaymer. But for all the wrong reasons – six bogeys, a double, and two measly birdies. It added up to a 6-over 78.
But hold on, maybe this isn’t a shock. Maybe there’s something about Augusta National that is just too confounding to the quiet German.
Playing here for the fourth time, Kaymer has never made the cut and in seven rounds he’s now a whopping 18 over par. He’s broken par just once, 70 never.
“Every day that I’ve played here has been a tough day so far,” Kaymer said. “I was disappointed, because there are just some golf courses that suit you and some that just don’t.”
Was he going to re-assess his game plan? Kaymer shrugged.
“I don’t know. I think that I don’t really know how to play the golf course,” he said. “I think that maybe I have got to sit down with Bernhard Langer later and ask him.”
Langer, who was the stoic and precision-like German decades before the golf world heard of Kaymer, is a two-time Masters champ who is sitting out the tournament for the first time since 1983 because of surgery to his arm. So Kaymer can’t have that talk with him this year, which leaves him searching for his own answers.
“I need to try something different again,” he said. “I don’t know what I have to do here. Maybe one day it will work out.”
GOOD START, POOR FINISH: Retief Goosen started his Masters in a most impressive way, holing out a fairway shot to record just the fifth eagle in history at the 445-yard first hole. It was the first eagle at the opening hole since Scott Verplank in Round 1 of the ‘87 Masters. If anyone were to eagle the first hole, it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s Goosen. After all, while icons such as Tiger Woods (15 over) and Phil Mickelson (13 over) have struggled at the first, Goosen is now 3 under in 43 rounds.
As he stood behind the 18th green and saw that Goosen had turned in 5-under 31, Sean O’Hair predicted “he’ll get to 7 or 8 under.”
Chalk O’Hair up for a double bogey because Goosen finished bogey, bogey, came home in 39, and signed for 2-under 70.
NOT LIKELY TO ADD MORE GREEN TO THE CLOSET: If you had thoughts of celebrating the 25th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus’ historic win at the age of 46 with another veteran fairytale, forget it. Veteran champions really struggled, led by Tom Watson’s 79. Craig Stadler came home in 80, Ben Crenshaw in 78, Ian Woosnam in 78, Mark O’Meara in 77, and Vijay Singh in 76.
AMATEUR HOUR: When in a falling twilight Peter Uihlein rolled in a short birdie at the par 4 18th, it meant three of the six amateurs shot even par 72. Earlier, David Chung and Hideki Matsuyama had also posted that score. Uihlein’s effort was most impressive, given that came alongside major winners Geoff Ogilvy (69) and Phil Mickelson (70), which meant the galleries were enormous and the spotlight intense.
“It exceeded (my expectations),” said the reigning U.S. Amateur. “The place is unbelievable.”
While Ogilvy put on a ball-striking clinic (11 fairways, 15 greens), Uihlein had a front-row seat to Mickelson’s uncanny scrambling skills.
“That’s Phil,” said Uihlein. “He can do it all.”
THIS AND THAT: Ernie Els hit 12 of 14 fairways, but only 12 greens in a disappointing 75 that included an inward 40. Here’s a stunner: In his last 19 rounds at Augusta National, going back to 2005, Els has broken 70 just once and par just five times . . . . . In Group 25, Jose Maria Olazabal (73) got the better of Davis Love (75) in a pairing of 2012 Ryder Cup captains . . . . . The field average was 72.717 with the usual array of toughest holes: No. 11 at 4.545, No. 12 at 3.374, and No. 18 4.253 . . . . . Only three birdies were made at the 11th – by Rory McIlroy, Ross Fisher, and Louis Oosthuizen. Shockingly, it was the only birdie made by Oosthuizen as the British Open champ shot 75 . . . . . McIlroy posted the only bogey-free round, Woosnam had the only birdie-free round . . . . . Only the par 4 third and par 4 17th failed to produce double-bogeys or worse.