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2016 Masters Tournament – 1/2 Way Commentary

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Categories: Jordan SpiethMiscellaneousPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe Masters

Due to an emergency trip, I missed most of Thursday’s Masters Tournament coverage. I caught up with as much as I could via media and the internets. The highlight for Thursday was that Jordan Spieth, who everyone thought was “struggling,” jumped out to the lead with a fine 66. The lowlight was Ernie Else apparently 7-putting for a 10 on the first hole. One of the worst cases of the yips I’ve ever seen. Later they recounted the putts and it was “only” a six putt. Kept it under double digits.

The course, because of windy conditions, was playing tougher than normal.

I was so shredded from flying to Singapore and back in 4 days that I was not very functional Friday. Massive headache that morning. So I stayed home from work and had to relax. Fortunately there was a golf tournament on to keep me from being too bored.

Friday’s round was even more tough. The lowest score of the day was -1, so nobody broke 70. Haven’t seen that in a Masters in a long time. Rory McIlory was one of the ones who shot that low round, to get to -3. Spieth dropped two shots today, for a 74. That’s the first time he’s ever shot over par at Augusta. Amazing.

Some interesting events have happened so far. Today was the last round Tom Watson will every play competitively at Augusta. What a class act. Fun times following him and Rory around during a practice round a couple of years ago.

Jason Day quickly went to 2nd place and -5, but dropped some shots to end up +1. +1 seemed out of it for a while, but when Jordan came back to the field it made +1 within reach.

Phil Mickelson’s apparel script featured some strange looking old-school pants and no belt. He missed the cut. End of story. Blame the scripting.  EDIT: I’m told Phil was wearing a belt which was the same color as his pants. #fail

Everyone is Excited About the Saturday Spieth vs McIlory Showdown But…

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Categories: Jordan SpiethPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe Masters

Rory McIloryCan’t wait for Masters Saturday to start. The big showdown between Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlory is about to commence. They’re paired together and every fan and media member seems to be salivating like mad. But…

Often times when there’s a big matchup like this it ends up being a dud and some player from the pack overtakes them. If that happens who would it be? Windy conditions and fast greens would separate a player who has the experience and guts to weather tough and high intensity golf. My quick look at the leader board didn’t produce any obvious players within a couple of shots. However there are two players at +1 who could definitely shake it up, Angel Cabrera and Jason Day.

The forecast is for winds from 18-26 mph, and the wind will worsen as the day goes on.  The advantage is for the early players, not the final groups.

I loved Jordan Spieth’s comments when asked about playing with Rory. He said he’d rather play against someone less threatening. That’s fantastic.

Let’s go.

2016 Masters Tournament Saturday and Sunday Viewing Schedule

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Categories: Jordan SpiethPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe Masters

Saturday April 9, 2016

3-7 p.m. ET on CBS TV

Masters.com Live Streaming:
Featured Groups: 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
On the Range: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Amen Corner: 12-7 p.m.
Holes 15-16: 12:45-7 p.m.

Sunday April 10, 2016

2-7 p.m. ET on CBS TV

Masters.com Live Streaming:
Featured Groups: 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
On the Range: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Amen Corner: 12-7 p.m.
Holes 15-16: 12:45-7 p.m.

Breaking: Tiger Woods to Replace Arnold Palmer in Ceremonial Masters Opening Tee Shot

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, April 1st, 2016
Categories: GolfPGA TourPro GolfThe MastersTiger Woods

April 1 2016 – Tiger Woods announced today that he would be replacing Arnold Palmer in the traditional opening tee shot ceremony at the 2016 Masters Tournament. Palmer, 86, has been suffering from a lingering shoulder injury and earlier in March announced that he would not be able to participate in the opening tee shot.

Arnold Palmer Now Driving

Arnold Palmer Teeing Off In The Masters Opening Ceremony

Four-time Masters champion Woods, 40, has been battling injury as well and is recovering from another back surgery.

“I have concluded I’m not at a physical or mental state to compete in the Masters Tournament at this time. By taking part in the opening tee shot ceremony Thursday morning I will be able to participate and contribute to the event. I’m looking forward to seeing if I can out-drive Gary (Player).” ~Tiger Woods

Woods will join six time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus and three time champion Gary Player as part of the modified “Big Three.”

“I look forward to hearing the announcement, ‘fore please, Tiger Woods now driving.’  That said, I don’t plan on permanently relinquishing myself to a ceremonial starter and hope to return and compete for another green jacket in 2017.” ~Tiger Woods

The ceremonial tee shot takes place Thursday morning at 8:00am eastern time on the first tee of Augusta National Golf Club.

Masters Memories: Tom Watson and Rory McIlory

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Categories: PGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe Masters

Rory McIloryOnce you’ve been to the Masters Tournament, even the practice rounds, you have memories for a lifetime. Here’s one that I vividly remember.

A couple of years ago I was at a Masters practice round and had the opportunity to follow around a very interesting grouping, Rory McIlory and Tom Watson. It was fun to watch the interaction between the two. Watson was helping McIlory out with tips on the golf course, and likely on life. He’s just that way.

Since it was a practice round, the players would often hit a few shots or several putts from one location. Most players know most of the pin placements so on their approaches they might hit a couple of shots to where they imagine the pins will be. On the greens they’ll putt to those same imaginary places, like lower right on the par-5 2nd (can you say Louis Oosthuizen?).

On the par-4 9th I got a fantastic vantage point to watch Tom and Rory approach the green. See the picture in this post of Rory. For those who have not been to Augusta in person, you have no idea how much elevation change there is. The 9th green is incredibly slanted from back to front. So much so, I think I’d fall down if I tried to walk down it. Watch the players during the tournament hit their approaches. The second they hit it they might get mad because they know they put it in the wrong place and the slope of the green will cause the ball to go to a very bad position.

One such bad position would be a shot which goes long. Chipping from the back of the 9th green would be a nightmare. I’d bet wads of cash that an amateur golfer could not chip a ball onto the 9th from above the green, and keep his chip on the green. It’s THAT steep.

During their practice round McIlroy walked right up in front of me and dropped about 8-10 golf balls off the back of the green. I watched in absolute amazement as he clipped those balls so crisply that they would land on the back fringe and actually check, before slowly moving to a tightly dispersed spacing. Imagine chipping from a downslope onto a downslope on greens that are probably running a 14+ on the stimpmeter. I could have sat there with 50 balls and never hit one that perfectly. I’d probably be hitting gap wedge back up to the surface for my next shot.

Tom Watson took notice too. He stopped his chipping practice and just watched. Rory didn’t know Tom was watching.

When Rory moved to another place to practice some chips or putts, Tom grabbed his caddie and pointed him to the back of the 9th green, right where Rory had been hitting those little crisp chips. He threw down about 8-10 balls. Tom Watson is one of the best around the greens in the history of the game. He wanted to see if he could replicate what Rory had been doing.

He couldn’t.

I watched Tom hit ball after ball. Some ended up in the middle of the green and some off the front and down the hill. The dispersion was massive. None of the balls ended up at the top of the green like Rory’s. Tom looked at the green, the balls, Rory… he then shrugged his shoulders and moved on.

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