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Nick Masuda
Marc Leishman got off to a hot start on Friday, including an impressive birdie on the opening hole.
Marc Leishman got off to a hot start on Friday, including an impressive birdie on the opening hole.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – If we could get all of our readers inside the gates at Augusta National, we would.

So the next-best thing we could think of is to use myself as your eyes and ears as the Masters wore on this week, providing some commentary, some one-liners, some observations – all from the course.

So continue to check back right here as I let you in on what is on my Masters mind throughout the day:

1 p.m.

NOW YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL . . . A day after Luke Donald's "pretty dumb mistake" on the ninth hole that led to ...

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Jeff Rude
Phil Mickelson was a bit wild with his wedges, leading to a 4-over 76 on Thursday at the Masters.
Phil Mickelson was a bit wild with his wedges, leading to a 4-over 76 on Thursday at the Masters.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Phil Mickelson shot 76, one off his high in 21 previous Masters. He made a short-game triple bogey on a hole (No. 7) where he had never made worse than bogey. He made a double bogey at 15, where his third shot spun back into the pond. And, understandably, he walked off disappointed.

"It wasn't the best day for me," he said.

But there's a stunning kicker.

"I actually played well," the three-time Masters champion said. "I know it's hard (to believe). . . . But I don't feel like my game is off. I don't ...

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Bill Zimmerman
Justin Rose during his preparation for the 2014 Masters at Augusta National.
Justin Rose during his preparation for the 2014 Masters at Augusta National.

We'll keep you posted with quotes from players at Augusta National or watching the Masters afar via their Twitter accounts during Thursday's first round.

Tiger Woods, @TigerWoods: "It never gets old watching the honorary starters tee off. One of the oldest and best traditions in the game."

• Greg Norman, @SharkGregNorman: "To the Players - past champs & 2 be @The_Masters champs, patrons, sponsors TV viewers & lovers of golf, enjoy the next 4 days. Go Aussies!"

Justin Rose, @JustinRose99: "Some work with a nice cuppa @PGtips before my afternoon round. #Masters pic.twitter.com/uRpCKcIi4H"

Ted Scott (Bubba Watson's caddie ...

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Nick Masuda
Mark O'Meara, the 1998 Masters champion, posted an ace on the second hole during the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday at Augusta National.
Mark O'Meara, the 1998 Masters champion, posted an ace on the second hole during the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday at Augusta National.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Mark O'Meara says he doesn't care about the dreaded curse that comes with the Par-3 Contest.

No one has won the contest and gone on to win the Masters – sending many of the players that are in contention late to have their caddies or family members putt so that their scores are not official.

"It doesn't bother me because I already won the Masters," O'Meara said with a chuckle.

O'Meara, the 1998 champ at Augusta National, gave the patrons yet another thrill Wednesday, picking up his second career Par-3 Contest hole-in-one at the ...

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Lance Ringler
Patrick Reed after the third win of his PGA Tour career, the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral.
Patrick Reed after the third win of his PGA Tour career, the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral.

Who is trending in the right direction heading into this week’s Masters?

The player who tops the list is the one who proclaimed to be a top-5 player in the world after his victory at few weeks ago at Doral. Patrick Reed started 2014 ranked No. 184 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and is now No. 48, an improvement of 136 spots.

Topping the list going the other way is Lucas Glover, who has dropped 104 spots.

Nick Masuda
Rory McIlroy prepares for the Masters at Augusta National in 2014, with his first-round tee time two days away.
Rory McIlroy prepares for the Masters at Augusta National in 2014, with his first-round tee time two days away.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – There will be plenty of intrigue both the morning and afternoon sessions at the 78th Masters, while amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick will get an up-close look at the pressures of defending a major title.

Here are some key pairings for the second round of the Masters:

1:48 p.m.: Adam Scott, Jason Dufner, Matthew Fitzpatrick

Wow, talk about trial by fire. Scott won the 2013 Masters and could take over as World No. 1 this week. Jason Dufner is as calm as they come and is the defending PGA Championship champ. And while Fitzpatrick is the reigning U ...

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Brentley Romine
Lexi Thompson during the LPGA's 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Lexi Thompson during the LPGA's 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The jump into Poppie's Pond after her victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship wasn't the only leap Lexi Thompson made Sunday.

Her first major title also vaulted her to sixth in the latest Rolex Rankings. She moved up three spots while runner-up Michelle Wie improved 14 spots to No. 24.

Thompson is now 17th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Click here to check out the full rankings.

Here's how the top 10 looks:

  • 1. Inbee Park . . . 10.01
  • 2. Suzann Pettersen . . . 9.14
  • 3. Stacy Lewis . . . 8.93
  • 4. Lydia Ko . . . 7.91
  • 5. Karrie Webb . . . 7 ...

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Golfweek Staff
Joost Luiten got a picture of No. 16 at Augusta National as Masters practice was halted Monday because of storms.
Joost Luiten got a picture of No. 16 at Augusta National as Masters practice was halted Monday because of storms.

With rain setting in at Augusta National and cutting short Masters practice, several players took to Twitter earlier than usual on Monday – not to mention having tweeted Sunday on all things golf as well. Here's a sampling of tweets from players' accounts amid Monday's storm, as well as more:

• • •

Graham DeLaet, @GrahamDeLaet: "First annual Masters cribbage tourney with the boys! #rainymonday pic.twitter.com/MeYWCjFoxd"

Trevor Immelman, @TrevorImmelman: "Rain delay at The Masters. Still working on the putting..... vine.co/v/M5ujhaMLK2m"

Mark Calcavecchia, @MarkCalc: "Rae's Creek has risen 3 ft. If it rises 3 more ft ...

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Nick Masuda
Patrons carrying umbrellas are evacuated from the course after play was suspended due to weather on Monday at Augusta national.
Patrons carrying umbrellas are evacuated from the course after play was suspended due to weather on Monday at Augusta national.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Due to heavy storms, Augusta National has decided to close up shop for the day.

The course was initially cleared around 10 a.m. EDT with the hopes that the rain might veer off and allow patrons to return to the course. But the storms have become stronger and it was deemed necessary to close the course until Tuesday morning.

For patrons who had Monday practice-round tickets, the club announced that all of those patrons will receive refunds in May and guaranteed a chance to purchase practice-round tickets for the 2015 Masters.

“We are disappointed that our patrons ...

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Jeff Rude
Rory McIlroy posted a 7-under 65 on Sunday to finish in seventh at the Shell Houston Open.
Rory McIlroy posted a 7-under 65 on Sunday to finish in seventh at the Shell Houston Open.

HUMBLE, Texas – Rory McIlroy had bemoaned his lack of scoring after three rounds of the Shell Houston. He talked about “nothing happening.” He talked about his short game being a bit off. He talked of needing a “spark” heading to next week’s Masters.

Mission accomplished Sunday. He got what he was looking for in the form of a 7-under 65 and a tie for seventh place.

That left him talking about a different kind of vibes. Good ones.

“(This gives) me some positive vibes going into Augusta,” a smiling McIlroy said. “I can’t ask for a better way ...

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Cassie Stein

“Thank you golf gods, for allowing me to hole out from the bunker, and then allowing me for me to be super excited both on the course and on the show later that night” (in a Jimmy Fallon voice and “thank you note” music playing).

That’s how Fallon should have started his “Thank You Note” session on Friday’s episode of NBC's “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

If you don’t watch the show you might not understand that – but as a golf fan you’ll understand that Fallon was pumped up when he holed out from ...

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Beth Ann Nichols
Mo Martin of the LPGA
Mo Martin of the LPGA

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Last year at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Mo Martin received a standing ovation on the Walk of Champions as she approached the 18th green. After crossing over the bridge, she heard fans start cheering again. A confused Mo looked back and saw they were clapping for her grandfather, Lincoln Martin, who was coming behind in a scooter.

Lincoln, who died peacefully at age 102 on March 25 at his ranch home in Porterville, Calif., deserved every bit of attention he received, though he never asked for any of it.

“He was the most peaceful person I've ...

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Beth Ann Nichols
Angel Yin during the LPGA's 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Angel Yin during the LPGA's 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Angel Yin had lunch with Katherine Kirk earlier in the week. When the veteran player said hello, a nervous Yin looked away.

The 15-year-old found it impossible to hide during Round 1 of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, however, as she was paired with Kirk. Things must have gotten comfortable fast for Yin, who posted a 4-under 68 to take solo second after the morning wave.

A chance meeting with Michelle Wie, however, might not go as smoothly.

“If (Michelle) sat next to me and said hi to me, I’d probably run,” Yin said.

That wide-eyed, youthful ...

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Bill Zimmerman
Jack Nicklaus' grandson Nick O'Leary, an FSU football player, reportedly has been injured in his second motorcycle crash in less than a year.
Jack Nicklaus' grandson Nick O'Leary, an FSU football player, reportedly has been injured in his second motorcycle crash in less than a year.

Florida State Seminoles football tight end Nick O'Leary, a grandson of Jack Nicklaus, has again been injured in a motorcycle accident, according to reports.

O'Leary was not seriously hurt but will miss the rest of spring practice after suffering abrasions across his body, Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher told ESPN: "He's skinned and got a swollen ankle and can't practice but he'll be fine. . . . He's skinned from head to toe."

Last May, O'Leary was injured in a motorcycle wreck that was caught on video. That crash had him "banged up for about ...

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April 2, 2014 | 6:44 p.m.

LPGA creates new Rolex Annika Major Award

Beth Ann Nichols
LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam (right), Rolex Director of Communication Arnaud Boetsch (center) and LPGA Commiishioner Michael Whan talk at a press conference announcing the Rolex Annika Majors Award.
LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam (right), Rolex Director of Communication Arnaud Boetsch (center) and LPGA Commiishioner Michael Whan talk at a press conference announcing the Rolex Annika Majors Award.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Annika Sorenstam’s presence at the majors is building in strength despite retirement. On the eve of the year’s first major, the LPGA announced a new Rolex Annika Major Award that recognizes the LPGA player who performs the best in all five major championships.

“Anytime there’s an award, I think we all want to win the first year,” said Stacy Lewis, winner of two majors.

To be eligible to win the Annika Major Award, a player must win a major in the current season. Players receive points for top-10 finishes, with a first-place finish receiving ...

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