Masters Semi Live Blog — Saturday

7:15 pm

Best. Masters. Ever.

(not counting 1986, of course)

This is just incredible.  I can say no more.

I watched the masters.org live stream exclusively until Rory and Jordan were in the house.  The stream covered Rory and Kuch, and Jordan and Phil, and no one else.  It was amazing.  Zero commercials.  I was able to stream it on my TV and could not have spent a more enjoyable afternoon.  Obviously, it helped that Jordan played great.

You know how announcers like to say, “He’ll look back at that par save as being the springboard to…”?  Well, I have kind of a reverse comment about Rory.  He was making up a lot of ground, and then he birdied No. 12.  Look out!  Here comes Rory!  Smashed a drive on No. 13, Bubba-fashion over the trees.  A very short iron left into the par-5.  But he pulled it left, missing the green.  Chipped up and two-putted.  It looked like eagle or birdie were the only possibilities, and he walked off with par.  Seemed like the wind went out of his sail at that point.  He didn’t fall apart or anything, but he parred in (I think).

Kuch went +5, -5, front and back.  Mickelson played a “strategic” iron off the No. 3 tee after going birdie-birdie to start his round.  Hit it in a bunker, and then his short game fell apart.  Wound up with double bogey on the short par-4.  At that point it was, more or less, Game Over.

Anyway, is there anyone complaining about tomorrow’s final two groups?  Too bad Jordan got the bogey on No. 16, but that hole was a monster today.

3:10 pm

masters.org live stream showed a graphic for Rory comebacks.  Worth noting; the tourneys were not labeled by their sponsor names but rather “Charlotte” and “Akron” and the like.  Clearly, the boys at Augusta National read Lanny H Golf!

2:51 pm

The featured group coverage at masters.org is Rory-Kuch AND Jordan-Mickelson.  I believe I’ll be staying with this instead of CBS, at least for a while.  Rory looking very good, -2 on the day.  Jordan making pars.  Mickelson starts birdie-birdie-double.  Kuch not sharp, +1 on the day.

2:00 pm

Got preoccupied this morning, although I had Golf Channel or masters.org video on most of the time.  Time flew and now it’s time for Rory and Kuch to tee off!  And get this — they are one of the masters.org feature groups!  Here we go!

Rory safely on No. 1 green.  Barring a 3-putt, no worse than par!

Morning Line

I read many, many years ago where Jerry Garcia said the Grateful Dead sometimes left the stage feeling they’d given a poor performance only to be surprised by fans telling them it was one of their best.  A person’s enjoyment of such a thing can be subjective.

Maybe it’s a relief high from getting through the two storm systems earlier in the week.  Maybe it’s something else entirely, or some combination of things.  Or maybe it’s just a damn good Masters.  Whatever the case, I’m finding this Masters one of the most compelling.  Now, yes, I loved the past three years of Jordan doing so well, and I loved the first 54 holes of 2011, but this one has the classic feeling of “The Masters.”

Perhaps the weather and lingering winds sharpened the focus and concentration of not just the players, but that of the media covering the event.  Also, I can’t help but mention this Masters is helped by being Tiger-free.  I’m not talking about Tiger Woods, the player.  No, rather the media’s childish, cartoonish, LCD, obsessive coverage of him.  I will make my point with one comparison.  Had Tiger Woods come into Augusta ranked OWGR #1 riding a three-tournament win streak, fallen on his back and elbow, and withdrawn on the first tee, the media would have forgotten all about the tournament in their rush to pull out display skeletons to show “golf fans” where the back and elbow are located.  I need not further regale readers with stale, flippant comparisons; you get the point.  I’ll wrap with this: I did not hear DJ’s name mentioned more than once or twice during all of yesterday’s coverage.

The tourists are gone and the locals could not be happier.

  • Chamblee with a nice tidbit last night: Byron Nelson once hit seven flag sticks while winning a major.  Pretty wild.
  • Jordan Spieth — what a rebound yesterday.  He has some skills.  He finished 16th in the Byron Nelson at age 16, you might remember.
  • Rory McIlroy — What a rotten break.  I couldn’t follow the ball, but knew immediately:  CLACK!/instantaneous crowd groan.
  • More on the Within Four stat about winners after round one.  Does this idea remain true on day two and three?  If not,  it seems the entire premise would be invalidated.  The first case I researched was Charl Schwartzel: Yes, he was four shots back after the first day.  But he was six back after the second day.  Huh?  It’s critical to be within four shots after Thursday, but it’s okay to be six back after Friday?  Odd, to say the least.
  • On the other hand, in 2010, there was a three-way playoff between Cabrera, Campbell, and Perry.  All three were within four shots after Thursday.  (Cue Twilight Zone music.)  I must ask Justin Ray about this matter during next year’s tournament run-up.
  • The coverage has been great.  Shots galore, and spread out among many players.  It’s been a joy to watch.
  • As soon as I wrote yesterday about the relative scarcity of commercials, it seemed like they doubled in number.  Still, overall, ESPN kept them to a minimum, and the broadcast benefited from it.
  • Perceptions can be funny.  I still remember being broken-hearted when Tom Watson fell just short of winning the British Open at the ancient age of 59.  Fred Couples at 57 doesn’t seem old at all.  I guess it’s the eight years that have been added to my own age during the interim.
  • Don’t forget about Dan Jenkins and his tweets.

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10 Responses to Masters Semi Live Blog — Saturday

  1. JB says:

    Wonder if any media members will suggest this years winner should have an asterisk because DJ wasn’t in the tournament.

  2. ThreeWiggleExpert says:

    Rose/Garcia and Jordan/Rickie are the last two groups with a host of notables not too far back. Shaping up to be a great Sunday!

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, that’s insane, isn’t it? Rose is a great guy, but he already has a major. Plus, as I heard about 500 times today, he’s the Olympics gold medal winner. So, I’m not pulling for him. Jordan ia my first pick, Rickie my second, and Sergio a close third. (I don’t rank Rory because I feel he’s too far back.)

      • ThreeWiggleExpert says:

        Understandable, but I gotta go with the majorless Sergio to take it tomorrow (Rickie is my second majorless choice). Just too good a golfer(s) not to have a major!

      • lannyh says:

        Between those two, you figure Rickie has more years to get it done. I’m evil for pulling for Jordan, but I gotta be honest. I won’t say Sergio “deserves” a major, but his winning a major would bring the planet’s karma into balance or something, I do believe. And Rickie? I ALWAYS think of the Murrieta Driving Range and his grandfather when I think of Rickie. Just a tremendous story. “Fishing or golf this week, Rickie?”

      • JB says:

        I did find it kind of curious that the broadcast crew seemed to be touting his winning an Olympic gold medal most often over winning a Major. Especially when it’s not NBC providing the coverage.

      • lannyh says:

        I thought that same thing! At first I thought, “Sheesh, does NBC have no shame in their Olympics shilling?,” then realized it was good ole CBS (who, I think does a vastly superior job). It was odd.

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