Tiger Woods & the rest of the Masters 'victims': Stop the Phil Jackson lobbying and make some birdies!
When players compare scoring conditions at Augusta National to the U.S. Open, it isn’t a compliment.
But that’s all we seem to be hearing after Day 1 of the Masters.
“It felt like a U.S. Open out there,” Woods told ESPN, who scored an eagle but no birdies in an even par round. More analysts agreed.
“We’re not hearing the ‘roar’,” said Woods and plenty others, referring to the back nine which is accustomed to yielding a slew of birdies and eagles. There were only three eagles Thursday, including one from Woods.
These guys know it’s a major, right? I don’t think anyone wants to see a barrage of 66’s out there like it’s a Buick Open.
This is the second Mastersin a row that players are using this back-handed comparison to the U.S. Open.
While last year’s first round was influenced by cold, vicious winds, it’s not a convincing argument this time around. I have to believe the players are trying to take a page out of L.A. Lakers coach Phil Jackson’s playbook, especially when he used to coach Shaq, whining about lopsided officiating between games in hopes of getting an edge the next night out.
I think the players are hoping the course officials overhear the complaints so they go easy on the pins Friday and even splash a little extra water on the greens.
It’s Major-tough out there and no worse. About 1/3 of the field scored at even or better (a field that isn’t exactly strong with names like Fuzzy Zoeller and Larry Mize still competing). Gary Player brought up the rear with a respectable 83.
Also, consider the Thursday stroke average was about two shots lower this year than last year’s Masters opening round 76.2.
I’ve heard enough about how impossible the course is and how no one can go low. Did anyone see how easy 16’s pin was today? Any knucklehead could drop an iron into the center of the green and watch the ball roll down the slope to ten feet (or in Ian Poulter’s case, dunk it) Every player who put it in the drink (that means you, K.J. Choi, you’re makin’ me look bad!) should be ashamed!
I wouldn’t bet on easier pins tomorrow. I think course officials like the numbers right where they are…
And just like the U.S. Open, players predicting a ridiculously high winning score. “3-under,” predicted former champ Mark O’Meara. Kind of sounds like the “10-over” predictions we heard from the likes of Rory Sabbatini and Geoff Ogilvy at Oakmont last year.
I am now introducing a new and simple mathematical formula that will predict the final score of the winner. Take whatever grim number the players are predicting and drop five shots. In this case, we’ll use O’Meara as the whistle-blower. Given his “3-under” prediction, I am calling a very reasonable 8-under wins the Masters in 2008.
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