Achie's Awards: From Mr. Elastic to Mr. Polite
Saturday, April 12, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Forget all the "moving day" talk. Saturday at the Masters was "let's make it close day" among the international field.
Lee Westwood, who has not broken 70 in the first three rounds, is just three shots back. Let's hear it for the Englishman. Perhaps the best player never to win a major championship, he deserves an award for perseverance.
Oh, by the way, the list of contenders includes golfers from Sweden, Spain, Denmark and Australia as well as another Englishman -- all are within four shots of the lead.
Wow. What an all-world tournament. So let's distribute some 54-hole awards.
• Bare with me on this first award. It goes to the best putter in the world who five-putted the 4th green Saturday afternoon. That would be Brandt Snedeker, who shot 80 for the day.
"I watched arguably the best putter in the world today five-putt the 4th hole," Westwood said. "That's the kind of thing we're dealing with out there."
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• There was a runaway winner for the Mr. Polite award. It was Jordan Spieth.
"What's you age cut-off for calling anybody mister," he was asked.
"Anybody older than me," replied the 20-year-old Spieth.
"So you'll call Bubba mister?"
"Yeah, Mr. Watson for sure. Just because it'll mess with him."
• The too-many-officials award goes to a host of men in green jackets.
How many golf officials does it take to change a light bulb? One, assuming the official does not have the yips.
How many golf officials does it take to change a hole location? On Saturday morning, 17 people were spotted (at one time) on the 1st green before the start of play. Members of the party of 17 were talking, measuring, putting and attempting to agree on the hole location.
• The "Most interesting man in the world" award winner is 50-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez. No secret there.
But Jimenez has earned other 54-hole Masters awards, all well-deserved.
- Low Spaniard.
- Low 50something.
- Low cigar smoker.
- Low man with a butt-circling warmup routine.
- Low man with a pony tail.
- Low Ping staff player … oh, sorry, that would be Bubba Watson.
• The "I hate left-to-right putts" award: Thomas Bjorn.
"I came up and out of it, especially on my left-to-right putts," Bjorn said. "I couldn't start the ball on line on my left-to-right putts. On 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 -- I couldn't start those putts on line."
And you still shot 73? Remarkable.
"I played really, really well today," Bjorn added. "I played the first 10 holes as good as I probably ever played at Augusta."
• The king of the bounce-back award belongs to Matt Kuchar.
After final-round collapses in two straight tournaments, Kuchar is in contention once again, just one back entering the final round. He is unflappable. He is the most resilient player in professional golf.
• The straight-taking award goes to Justin Rose, who shot a 69 in the third round and is just four strokes behind.
"Bubba (Watson) at this point is keeping me in it," Rose said openly, referring to Watson's erratic play.
• Best 7-iron shot of the day: Gary Woodland.
It was Ben Hogan who said "There are no 7-iron shots at Merion," but Woodland would never utter such a sentiment at Augusta National. He almost holed a 7-iron shot from 209 yards and easily eagled the par-5 2nd hole.
Let's see … 7-iron … 209 yards … what planet is he from?
• Finally, the Elastic Man award. Yes, you guessed it -- Jimenez wins this one in a landslide.
As Jimenez explained his warmup routine, he admitted, "That is a little funny what you see there. But it helps to move the joints, you know."
Yes, we know.
"You know, at 50 it's difficult to be here if you are not working out somehow. You need to be flexible, and you need to be elastic and strong to be here."
Yes, sir, Mr. Elastic Man, we promise to move our joints and be flexible and elastic and strong. Anything else?