by Jeff Skinner
Adam Scott. The ’13 Masters champ did his best to defend his title. One errant shot on the par three twelft hole resulted in a double bogey, his only mistake of the day.
Louis Oosthuizen. It is either feast or famine for the South African. He has four missed cuts and one second at Augusta. He lost to Bubba in the ’12 playoff. He won’t miss the cut this year.
Bubba Watson. Bubba was the only player without a bogey on his card today, that’s amazing. And he even gave an interview in Butler Cabin afterwards without crying. That’s more amazing.
The weather at Augusta was great with the wind picking up a bit in the afternoon. The course played tough on day one with only four players under 70. With clear skies forecast for the rest of the week the green jackets can make this course as difficult as they want.
Hole # 12. It’s the first hole I think of when I think of Augusta and one of the most famous holes in golf. It is only a par 3 at 158 yards but it played like a bear today as the second most difficult hole on the course at 3.4. The par 4 11th was the most difficult at 4.47.
Fred Couples. The ’92 Masters champion never disappoints at Augusta. He is T12 with his one under 71 and forever in the hunt.
The Big Three. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player leading off The Masters was the highlight of the day. We will never see such a wonderful relationship like those men have again.
Phil Mickelson. He certainly didn’t play like a three time Masters champion today. He carded two sevens, not one but two. A triple on the seventh and a double on the fifteenth. He’ll need to go low on Friday to make the cut.
Penalty shots. Three players were assessed penalties today if you can believe that. Steven Bowditch added a stroke for his ball moving on the ninth hole during his practice swing. Brandt Snedeker did the same thing on the thirteenth. Luke Donald earned a two stroke penalty for grounding his club in a bunker on the ninth. Compliments to all three men for calling the penalties on themselves.
Marquee Group: Els, Mickelson & Rose. With ten majors between and three of the biggest names in the tournament we all expected more than we got from this trio. Phil and Justin were four over and Ernie led the group at three over. Ouch.
Jason Dufner. Duf had a tough day, especially on the thirteenth hole. He started out all right with an front nine of even par but lost it on the back with his trouble peaking at the thirteenth, he carded a quadruple bogey nine and finished with an 80. Yowser.
Hit & Miss
Miguel Angel Jimenez. Now I am never one to disparage the Coolest Guy in Golf and he even fulfilled my prediction that he would be on top of the leaderboard sometime during the tournament. And there he was shooting 32 on the front nine to tie The Masters record and take the lead. But he immediately gave it back at Amen Corner with a bogey on eleven and a double on twelve. More wine tonight Miguel and extra stretches in the morning please.