It's a tightly bunched field heading through the first turn of the 2008 Masters. Tied with 68s are Brit Justin Rose and South African Trevor Immelman. Rose is leading the tournament after the 1st round for the third consecutive year. Brian Bateman, Brandt Snedecker, and Lee Westwood are in hot pursuit with 69s. Westwood, it was reported, has fired his entire coaching conglomerate. Seems to have helped. The five way traffic jam of Stephen Ames, Ian Poulter, Robert Karlsson, Jim Furyk, and defending champion Zach Johnson all carded -2, 70s. Poulter snatched the highlight reel with an ace on the 16th hole.
Of note...51 year old Mark O'Meara is three back with a 71. Phil Mickelson is locked with O'Meara. Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods penciled even par 72s. Average golfer's pick, Geoff Ogilvy was at +3, 75. If he doesn't get it in gear tomorrow I may have to fly down there and talk to him by hand. Fred Couples and Sergio Garcia fired disappointing 76s. I'm really pulling for Freddy. My usual sentimental pick, Woody Austin, let me down with a +7, 79. Perhaps the cream cheese and pimento sandwiches didn't sit too well with the Woodman.
Finally, the low amateur was Michael Thompson with a 73. He's right in the thick of things. Tomorrow settles the field though. Proof that this is a weak field is Gary Player's 83, taking up a spot for a young up and comer, or a resurgent veteran under the age of 70. Selfish move Gary. He's always been a shameless self-promoter.
In the switching paddles in mid stream category....Ernie Els jettisoned David Leadbetter after eighteen years in favor of Butch, "Where's the microphone", Harmon. Harmon gets results, but just started with Ernie recently. Tough to make changes just before a major. Ernie was quoted as saying he hopes to tighten up his swing. It didn't effect him too badly today, Ernie posted a +1, 73.
Tomorrow tells a lot of story in the Masters. It's too early to speculate.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Posted by Average Golfer at 8:19 PM