Day Two at the Masters: Open Thread
posted at 10:45 am on April 6, 2012 by Rovin
So much for the “birdie-fest” many of the pros, (and golf pundits), had predicted in the opening round. Even with conditions on the course being “receptive”, the top golfers in the world were mostly humbled by Augusta’s wet conditions, (muddy balls), and the precarious pin positions.
Gary Van Sickle, Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated summed up the misconceptions and expectations:
Thursday was expected to be some sort of great international shootout at Augusta National Golf Club. The course was still soaked from Tuesday night’s heavy storms. The greens were still soft and receptive. The wind was down. It was oh-so-obviously going to be an exciting day replete with a buffet of low scores. Perfect scoring conditions were going to turn this Masters opening round, Phil Mickelson predicted Tuesday, into “a birdie-fest.”
Only nine players shot in the 60s, and only three of those were better than three under par. England’s Lee Westwood rode a streak of four straight birdies on the front nine to a five-under 67. South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, and Sweden’s Peter Hanson shot 68.
A group of six players at 69 featured Paul Lawrie, Ben Crane, Francesco Molinari, Jason Dufner, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Bubba Watson. Tiger Woods finished bogey-bogey for an even-par 72.
Westwood showed off the solid ballstriking form he’s enjoyed all year, hitting every fairway and 16 of 18 greens in regulation. He hit it close on four straight holes for easy birdies, starting at the fifth, then added a last one at the 17th to grab the solo lead late in the day. (For the day, he made seven birdies and two bogeys.) Westwood said he considers Augusta National a second-shot golf course, and iron play is the strength of his game, so he’s always felt very comfortable here. In addition, he was playing well coming into the year’s first major. link
With a 50% chance of precipitation and a few possible thunder-storms passing through, I don’t expect any one to “tear up Augusta” today. But the weekend weather outlook is supposed to be ideal with temps rising into the 70’s with clear skies.
I would expect most golfers up on the leaderboard, who survived yesterday to “protect their scores” playing conservatively, to get into the weekend. But there are a ton of pros who still need to post some low scores to even make it to Saturday, which means they’ll have to take some chances where the course allows it. Saturday has been traditionally called “moving day”……..this year, moving day might be today—with perhaps a few early plane reservations.
(note: I’ll try to provide some updates in the comments section)