Sunday, April 10, 2005

Augusta Delivers Once Again

As usual there was an unbelievable amount of drama on Sunday at the Masters. This year there was definitely a twist to the story. The golfing world had grown accustom to Tiger chasing down the leader in the 3rd round and then squashing him in the final round. After Tiger shot 65 in the 3rd round, highlighted by 7 straight birdies on 7 thru 13, he had a 3 shot lead going into the final round. It appeared after two holes that it was over. He looked to be on his game with a massive 344 yard drive on #1 and two birdies to start the round. But DiMarco stayed very patient and just played his game, despite what Lanny Wadkins was saying, and put pressure on Tiger by just hanging around. I was quite impressed with DiMarco who clearly outplayed Tiger from tee to green. If he could have converted just a couple more birdies he would have won. The theme of the day was Tiger blasting drives 50 to 60 yards past DiMarco followed by DiMarco hitting 5, 6 and 7 irons stiff. His approach shots on 5, 6, 9, 13, 14 and 15 were amazing. The putter just wasn’t working for him. Tiger did what he had to do to win. I don't think he is back to where he was in 2000 and 2001. He may never get back to that, but he sure looks better. He still is hitting some loose drives and he did give up a 2 shot lead with bogeys on 17 and 18, but of course the only thing anyone is going to talk about is the chip on 16.

Below our my other thoughts for the tournament:

  • The chip on 16 was probably one of the 5 best shots in the history on of the Masters, given it was Sunday, it was impossible and it was Tiger. DLIII hit a similar shot a few years ago, but it didn’t get him a green jacket.
  • 3 of the Big Four where there on Sunday. Not sure what happened to Els, who was my pick for the week. Quietly, Goosen finished 3rd, ahead on most of the Big Four and backed up my pre-tournament prediction.
  • I am surprised that Sergio missed the cut. He was another pre-tournament pick to be there but let me down. I was right on with DLIII and Paddy Harrington
  • Immelman’s ace of 16 on Sunday won me my pool for the third straight year. I needed him and DiMarco to play the last 4 holes -2 to get the victory and that is exactly what they did. Once again, my late round picks dominated my pool.
  • Amateur Ryan Moore is pretty impressive. He is the best amateur since Tiger. He swept the amateur ranks last year with victories at the NCAA Tournament, US Amateur and a few others. Now he has a top 16 at the Masters and an invite to the 2006 Masters. And he’s suppose to go to class at UNLV on Tuesday!

Finally, I have to devote a second to Lanny Wadkins. Lanny was a hell of a player but he is one crappy announcer. He repeated second guessed and dogged DiMarco on Sunday. First, he though DiMarco was arguing with an official on 8 but in reality he was asking for a new driver since the head on his came loose. Then he questioned his club selection on 10. He hit 3wd and had 235 left. He loved Tiger’s decision. Lanny failed to mention that the hole turns right to left and DiMarco plays the ball the other direction and he had a driver in his bag that clearly wasn’t his first choice. Result of the hole, DiMarco Par, Tiger Bogey. Then on 15 DiMarco did not go for the green from 219. He had a hanging lie and wasn’t comfortable with the shot. Plus he had hit everything close all day, so he laid up and still made birdie to halve the hole with Tiger. DiMarco played his game, he hit fairway after fairway and green after green. The result was a 68 on Sunday at Augusta while playing with Tiger. That’s something that no one else has done. I commend DiMarco for playing his game and for playing it so well. That is 2 straight playoff loses in Majors for him. He is now Top 10 in the world and clearly a favorite to be in the mix at the US Open.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I demand that you rename your blog to "Putts from the 2nd Cut."

-Hootie J.

3:02 PM  

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