Behind the first-round numbers at the Masters
Friday, April 6, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. – If you’re looking for an omen, perhaps, that something good is in store for Tiger Woods at this year’s Masters, here it is: At level-par 72, he sits tied for 29th. The last time he was lower in the standings after 18 holes was in 2005, when he was T-33 following a 75.
2012 Masters: Round 1 at Augusta
Check out photos from Thursday's opening round of the 2012 Masters at Augusta National. Lee Westwood holds a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.
Of course, 2005 was the last time he won this thing.
Now for a little of this and a dash of that regarding numbers from the opening round:
• LONG HOLES SUIT THEM: Only three players birdied each of the par 5s – Brandt Snedeker, Paul Casey and Angel Cabrera.
• WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS POWER? It’s not a surprise that Bubba Watson shot 3-under 69. But to do it while playing the par 5s in even par was curious.
• MR. CLEAN: Jim Furyk’s round of 70 was the only bogey-free effort of the day.
• NOT SO CLEAN: Edoardo Molinari managed a 75, but he failed to make a birdie. The others who went without a birdie were Johnson Wagner (79), Craig Stadler (81), Randal Lewis (81) and Sandy Lyle (86).
• CALL HIM MAJOR BRADLEY: Keegan Bradley has now played in five rounds of major-championship golf. He has broken par four times and is a cumulative 9 under.
• TOUGH STARTS: Among those who opened with a double bogey were heralded names Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Angel Cabrera and Ryan Palmer. (Robert Garrigus made a triple.)
• GREAT FINISHERS: McIlroy made amends by finishing birdie-birdie, a feat that only Louis Oosthuizen was able to match.
• POOR CLOSER: Woods let a good score get away when he finished bogey-bogey, one of five players to do so.
• TOUGH BIRDIE, PART I: The only birdies at the opening hole were made by Jason Dufner, Peter Hanson and amateur Hideki Matsuyama.
• TOUGH BIRDIE, PART II: Hanson doesn’t shake at the hard holes, apparently, because he also birdied the par-4 11th. The only other birdies at 11 were notched by Vijay Singh and Ben Crane.
• TOUGH BIRDIE, PART III: Three players birdied the par-3 16th – Francesco Molinari, Sang-Moon Bae and Chez Reavie.
• NO HISTORY OF PROBLEMS: The par-4 10th had never caused Phil Mickelson many fits, so a triple bogey was a stunning result in the opening round. In 74 previous rounds, he had made 13 bogeys against eight birdies and 53 pars.
• THEY FIGURED IT OUT: Playing long, uphill and into a left-to-right wind, the 465-yard 18th was a brute. The field average was 4.295, but seven did make birdie: Mickelson, McIlroy, Furyk, Oosthuizen, Vijay Singh, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson.
• THIS ‘N THAT: Cabrera has now broken par in five straight rounds at Augusta . . . . . At 74, Mickelson had his highest opening score since a 76 in 2007 . . . . . Having shot 72, Woods has broken 70 just once in 18 opening rounds at the Masters . . . . . Two-time champ Bernhard Langer opened with a 72, but if he wants to make the cut for the first time since 2005, he’ll have to do something about his second-round woes. His scoring average is 77.2 since 2006 . . . . . With a 78 that featured a triple and a double, Alvaro Quiros is now 20-over par in nine rounds at Augusta National.