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    Kindle Edition

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Writing And Videos

Pits which day after day in practice rounds are passed unnoticed, suddenly assume terrible aspects on tournament days, but generally it is the fear of the hazards which in reality is more terrifying than the hazards themselves. A.W. TILLINGHAST



Finchem Endorses Olympic Golf Movement...

...and does it in a blog post!

I’ve just returned from Augusta National and The Masters. I always enjoy Masters Week very much, not only for the great golf we see, but also because everyone involved with golf attends. It gives me an opportunity to discuss issues and ideas with everyone from around the world.

And see Tom Fazio in a seersucker jacket. Sorry, continue...

One of the matters that we have talked about over the last several years and which came up again last week is whether golf should be an Olympic sport. In 1993, we actually announced that golf would be in the 1996 games in Atlanta. However, this never materialized for various reasons.

Let's not go there.

Since then we have continued to examine the various issues presented by golf being an Olympic sport.  While there remain questions to be answered and issues to be resolved, I believe the time is now right to move forward. The LPGA and the European Tour have previously indicated their support for Olympic golf. Also, the R&A, the USGA and the PGA of America are evaluating the possibility of Olympic golf.

And David Fay and Peter Dawson have been dreaming of their next jobs.

Finchem goes on to explain how he's been inspired by a study that says golf in the Olympics will grow the game and bring peace to the Middle East.

Here's why it will be interesting to watch this unfold: the entire thing will be geared to what NBC and Dick Ebersol want.

Now, Dick could either be shallow and obsess about getting Tiger Woods to play, then settle on some dull, simple-for-TV format like 72 holes of individual stroke play. 

Or, Dick could be bold, forget trying to please Tiger and say, we need a compelling team format that brings out passion and patriotism. Something that will prove golf is Olympic-worthy. Something that stands alone from all others in golf, but also exciting for the world's best to be part of something unique.

Say, three-man teams in a Dunhill Cup style stroke/match play event? Suggestions?


Phil's Crowne Plaza Ads

The Feherty appearance is the highlight...


"Whatever happened to subtlety?"

Richard Sandomir in the New York Times isn't a fan of the Masters theme music (I love it!). He also offers several telecast notes, including this about the maudlin father-son themed opening.

...the script was fattened with phrases — “imbued with a towering source of inspiration,” “simply the circle of life at Augusta” and “walking in the green jacket footsteps of his hero” — that made my blood sugar spike. Whatever happened to subtlety?

Nantz ended the 2-minute-50-second piece by saying, “Bobby Jones built the foundation, a journey borne at the heart, from a father to a son, always by their side.” (It’s TV English, not Webster’s.) The final four words sounded like a subliminal nod to his new memoir, “Always By My Side: A Father’s Grace and A Sports Journey Unlike Any Other,” about his relationship with his father, who has Alzheimer’s disease.


Immelman On Letterman

Two out of ten decent jokes seems to be about the batting average for these Letterman top ten lists...



“Those trees were not there. He could not make the shot today."

Larry Dorman probably hasn't helped the healing process between ANGC and the New York Times with this assessment of the course changes and their impact on play.

There can be no doubt that the 1-inch fuzz on the face of Augusta has reduced the ability of long hitters to bomb drives into spots on the edges of holes that used to set up better angles into greens. The freedom that came from not worrying about the penalty the second cut exacted — reducing the spin on iron shots, thus reducing control — is gone.

I wonder if the club understands how important that sense of freedom was in making the players more aggressive and therefore, more likely to play freely? (And with that comes not only better play, but also big numbers when they get greedy.)

And the addition of trees to the left of the 17th hole has taken away the opening that led to the greatest charge in the past 25 years at Augusta. It has cut off the opening Nicklaus found during the final round in 1986, when he punched his ball onto the green and made the final birdie in his closing 65 to win his sixth and final green jacket.

Visiting the spot last Wednesday from which his father had made his great escape, Jack Nicklaus II pointed to some new pines and said: “Those trees were not there. He could not make the shot today. There’s no way.”

Come on, a Tom Kite win that year would have been just as memorable! 


Second Masters Question: What's The State Of The Masters "Brand"

masterslogo.gifI heard from a few folks today and all were bemoaning another less-than-fulfilling Masters. The callers ranged from a golf course superintendent to a guy manning a phone bank in Canada who had to tell me how dull it was after I revealed I was a golf writer.

However, the most surprising was a Southerner who has attended many Masters and respects Billy Payne.

This avid golfer excitedly attended Thursday for the first time in a few years. He and his buds arrived at noon and said they got bored and gone by 4 o'clock.

His main gripe was that a certain tension and sense of looming possibilities was gone. The sound of excitement has disappeared and the atmosphere altered beyond recognition. I asked why people were leaving in droves in the late afternoon (at least to us TV viewers), even with so many great names still on the course.

Boredom, was his reply. And then he said the words that you know make me wince for a number of reasons: "The Masters brand has been tainted."

Now you know how I feel about branding, and we can argue about the course changes.

So leave your architectural views behind for a moment, consider the last few Masters and what your friends are saying and tell us, has the "brand" has been tainted?


Stevie Reprimanded For Going Hatless

Thanks to reader Mark for this Reuters story about Steve Williams and his mysterious decision to remove his Masters green cap during part of Saturday's third round.

According to several caddie sources, Williams went several holes hatless before he was approached by a tournament official on the course and instructed to put his cap back on yesterday.

Williams complied and had the green cap, part of the official caddie uniform at the Masters, on his head during today's final round at Augusta National as Woods finished second, three shots behind Trevor Immelman.

"If I've got to wear the cap, everybody's got to wear the cap," said one caddie, speaking anonymously.

"Every caddie has heard about what he did and nobody approves of it. Some of these people forget they're just a caddie.

"It should be an honour to come to the Masters. If you don't want to wear a hat, don't come. Believe it or not, the tournament will still go on without you."

It's not the first time Williams has failed to follow a tournament's dress code.
No, really? Our Stevie?
Two years ago at the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan, where caddies also have to wear Masters-style white overalls, Williams peeled them down to his waist.

Williams caddied that way for several rounds until Mark Steinberg, Woods' manager, told him that it was disrespectful to the tournament.



"There's more scoring in soccer."

img10779302.jpgSteve Elling joins the chorus calling for Augusta National to turn back the clock. Several fine points:

It's irrelevant what the television ratings will say, because history has proven people will watch the Masters no matter the conditions or leaderboard. But has there ever been a more dreadful two-year period in modern history with regard to excitement and goosebumps?

Short answer: No.


We watch the Masters for birdies and crazy rallies, like those managed over the past quarter-century by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson. Masters memories were not intended to be nightmarish, even for the winner.

And this quote, which I didn't see anywhere else from the former USGA President:

 "We've got them all in the honey holes," said Fred Ridley, chief of the ANGC competition committee, shortly before the leaders teed off Sunday.

Yeah, but the course itself was still a bear. Ridley, it has been sarcastically noted elsewhere, was once the president of the USGA, where extreme course set-ups that cross the line have become the stuff of legend over the years. But in fairness, the changes to Augusta pre-date Ridley's arrival.

But let's never forget just how closely tied the USGA and Augusta National have been in recent years. If it weren't Ridley, it'd be someone else protecting par.

As a final plea to the club for a return to moderation, consider the performance of arguably the greatest player in the history of the game over his past three-plus seasons at Augusta. Over his most recent 13 rounds, Woods has posted exactly one round in the 60s and broken par a total of five times.

Funny that the club has initiated a program last week to allow kids into the tournament for free. Had I watched Sunday's play as a teenager, I would have bought a soccer ball the very next day.

After all, there's more scoring in soccer.

Could Billy Payne's global initiative actually be opening the door for unprecedented criticism of the course? We'll see... 


Sunday Masters Overnight Rating Down Slightly

From AP, courtesy of

Sunday's coverage on CBS drew an overnight rating of 8.9 and an 18 share. That's down two percent from a 9.1/21 in 2007.

Of course, they ran 40 minutes into 60 Minutes and gave it a strong number, so the tournament accomplished its most important task.


First Masters Question: Did The Weather Really Deprive Us Of Excitement?

I thought CBS's Peter Kostis offered excellent commentary from his outpost on No. 13 and ably handled the awkward situation of having his prized pupil in contention (and then having to interview him...).

However, I'm curious what everyone thinks of this column remark:

For the second year in a row, the weather denied us a back-nine shootout, something we haven't seen since Tiger's win in 2005 over Chris DiMarco. The wind on Sunday forced players to be defensive or risk making big numbers. If the conditions had stayed as soft as they were Saturday, there would have been a lot more roars.

I'm wondering if the wind was really the reason we didn't get a shootout.

The ebb and flow of the week felt more to me like a U.S. Open, where the course has beaten the players down to a point where by Sunday they were so used to being on the defensive that even had weather cooperated,  sharp, aggressive play would have been scarce.

Also, isn't there something amiss when, despite being set up in such a forgiving a way (all tees forward, reasonable hole locations), it is still so unyielding in some wind?


"The only glimpse of nerves came on the 17th"

In writing about Trevor Immelman's win, the New York Times' William Rhoden says:

The only glimpse of nerves came on the 17th, where his tee shot landed in the bunker. Immelman clasped his hands behind his head and grimaced.

Now, as I recall it, Immelman hit it in the water on the previous hole. And on 17, that would have been his second shot that landed in the bunker, as there are no fairway bunkers. Other than that, it was a great observation. 


Dateline Augusta: April 14, 2008

masterslogo.gifThe final installment of the Dateline Augusta blog is up with the final round stories. You can also view the posts from the entire week here.



"His aura is also propagated by the American media, for whom the word sycophantic barely scratches the surface."

Martin Johnson on Tiger's relationship with the U.S. media...tough, but funny!
His aura is also propagated by the American media, for whom the word sycophantic barely scratches the surface. When a fellow golfer (Phil Mickelson, Rory Sabbatini, Fuzzy Zoeller, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia) says something Woods doesn't much care for, they are all sentenced to a spell of 'purdah' on the back of Woods' intolerance of any kind of inference that he might be mortal.

He is never criticised for this by the American press, some of whom are handpicked for having their own egos massaged by the man himself. Those reporters who are onside with Woods are rewarded by being addressed by name at a press conference. To those that are not, he finds a way of conveying that the question is being asked by someone a couple of clubs short of a full set.

There Is A Tape!

You may recall that when Ian Stafford reported Paul Azinger's comments on Nick Faldo, I hoped there would be an audio tape. Seems that the The Mail On Sunday has one and posts it online.  

An unbylined Independent item sums up what's on the tape:

So The Mail On Sunday did decide to put last week's already infamous interview with Paul Azinger on the internet yesterday and helped to clear up some of the confusion in the process. Azinger claimed the British journalist had taken him "out of context" in an interview. Azinger was quoted as using the term "prick" in connection with Nick Faldo, his opposing Ryder Cup captain in Kentucky in September, and told a fellow scribbler here on Wednesday that he would not be speaking to any other Fleet Street reporters "in a million fucking years" because of this blatant distortion of the truth. On The Mail on Sunday website Azinger can be clearly heard saying: "You know, if you're going to be a prick, and everybody hated you, why do you think because you're trying to be cute and funny on the air that they're all suddenly going to start to like you?" Now, whatever Azinger says, that is "in context". So it will be interesting how Faldo reacts now. Yesterday, he was too busy up in the CBS tower to respond to the new development, although Sam Torrance, the victorious 2002 captain, is under no illusion why Azinger chose to backtrack on his outburst. "Paul Azinger is a very bright person," said Torrance, who has been part of the BBC commentary team at the Masters. "The Americans have suffered a lot of losses and he's trying to stir up a hornets' nest to get things unsettled. He has said it knowing that there will be repercussions and it has backfired on him. It was rather silly, especially as you have the tape and it's there for all to hear. What Azinger said was unnecessary, uncalled for and is not what the Ryder Cup is about."

This should take you to the audio.


"Mr. Payne is a wonderful gentleman; he sees that, he's listening, he knows."

Anthony Cotton writes about the quiet at Augusta National, and quotes Mark O'Meara extensively:

"It's definitely different," said Mark O'Meara, the 1998 Masters champ.

"If you hear Tiger Woods say that, the No. 1 player in the world and one of the most powerful players in the world, then, yeah, something's changed.

"People want to hear roars. That's what I think is so great about the (British) Open Championship. They really don't mess with the course that much. The weather and conditions dictate what the scoring's going to be like."

"I'm 51 now and I've had my day in the sun, but I'd rather see it to where some of the holes like 7, and a couple of others, where maybe they back off a little bit. Where you can see a guy post a 31 on Sunday, or make a couple of eagles and birdies," O'Meara said. "I think Mr. Payne is a wonderful gentleman; he sees that, he's listening, he knows."

I interviewed O'Meara recently for Golf World and he really made the point about how much less the course is "running." Boy was that evident this week.

"I wouldn't be surprised if in the future they back off on some of the length and try to make it a little bit faster.

"Speed the course up and it's always going to play tougher — even if it's short, it doesn't matter. If it's firm and fast, I don't care what the length is, it's going to play difficult. I don't think it's going to be back to where it was when I won in '98, but I do think they're going to make the players think a little bit more."

"Late and ludicrous"

As I noted earlier today on the Live Blog (and no one believed me!), the U.S. Open will be finishing at 7 p.m. this year. From an unbylined Independent diary:

Any golf fans who have enjoyed watching the Masters unfold these last few days may be interested to hear the timings of the next major, the US Open in San Diego. In its determination to gain the highest television ratings possible in New York the USGA have opted for the ludicrous finishing time of 7pm. That means it will be 3am in Britain when the winner eventually taps in at Torrey Pines. And the golfing authorities wonder why fewer people are taking up the game.


2008 Final Round Thoughts

masterslogo.gifWell, we have a class act winner who finished it off beautifully even with one final knuckleball thrown his way on 18.

Most of you regular readers know what I think at this point about the changed golf course dynamics impacting the way the field plays, the time it takes and the hushed atmosphere in general.

We'll hash through that later on, but I'm curious mostly what your thoughts are of the week, Trevor Immelman, Tiger, Phil, the coverage, etc...


2008 Masters Sunday Live Blog

masterslogo.gifWe kick it off with another awesome re-broadcast, this time of Gary Player's 1978 win. So great to hear Jack Whitaker and Vin Scully. Though I really only paid slight attention because Bobby Clampett was telling us on Amen Corner Live that Bubba Watson is a former U.S. Amateur Public Champ (2000 for those of you unaware that he supposedly won) and that Colt Knost captured last year's U.S. Mid Am, not the Pub Links. The things you learn!

Alright, hello friends, here we go...all times Pacific because you better deal with it. I just found out the U.S. Open will be finishing at 7 p.m. Pacific time this year. Chew on that Great Britain!

11:30 - Immelman drives it right off No. 1 where the tee is WAY up. Blasts out of trees into left second cut.

11:35 - Wow, they took this father-son theme up about six notches on the schmaltze meter today, with shots of Tiger and Zach holding baby pictures and a photo of Immelman's dad next to a pine tree.  

11:37 - Snedeker and Immelman leave themselves long par putts on 1. Tiger meanwhile has 219 into No. 2 but leaves it in middle of the front right bunker. Yikes.

11:39 - Padraig birdies 2 and 3, gets to -4. Cink to -5. Immelman lips out for par and makes a 5-footer for bogey. He and Snedeker both bogey 1.  Imm -10, Snedeker -8, Flesch -8, Casey -7.

11:45 - Tiger's birdie putt not close after backing off, backs off par putt now. Faldo speculates it's bunker sandy flying out. Nantz says pollen factor. Cink meanwhile birdies to get to -6. 

11:48 - Tiger hitting driver on No. 3, appears Cink outdrove him.  Snedeker and Immelman make very confident swings off No. 2 tee and drive it down the center.

11:53 - "No doubt it'll be a riveting day" - Nantz, but no mention of roars today. The fireplace is not cleaned, but we've lost the little table with the roses between the left and right seats. It was a bit too feminine even for Butler Cabin.

11:57 - Immelman 253 to hole, 230 to front on 2, hits it in front bunker.

12:01 - CBS graphic on Tiger's larges 54 hole comebacks includes 1996 Open where he came back from 4 down. Uh, was even in existence in 1996? Sheesh. 

12:05 - Cink hits awesome shot about 12 feet left of No. 4 hole's tough location, Tiger in front bunker.

12:06 - Snedeker eagles 2. Roar! Co-leader with Immelman. Most of all, he looks like he's have a blast. Meanwhile Immelman's putt isn't close. Oosterhuis notes the gallery murmuring.

12:09 - Snedeker hits driver on No. 3 into last left bunker. Tiger misses par putt on No. 4. Feherty reads our minds: Tiger looks worn out by the lack of results from the week. Dipped his head before lining up the bogey putt. Feherty also says Snedeker's eagle putt on No. 2 "was going off the green." Not sure about that!

12:14 - Snedeker buried in fairway bunker! Immelman "woefully short" on his approach according to Baker Finch.

12:16 - Tiger with a one-handed stinger off of No. 5, Flesch short of the bunker on No. 4. Yikes. Tiger leaves approach to No. 5 in worst possible spot.

12:17 - Snedeker's third on 3 earns another "leave it" call from either he or his caddy. What does that mean?

12:18 - Feherty declares the course is going to win today after Casey leaves first shot in bunker on No. 4. Has long putt for bogey. 

12:23 - CBS has a phenomenal shot showing No. 5 green and the putt Tiger faces. He leaves it a half-inch short. Amazing putt! May be just what he needed.  Cink meanwhile makes 7 footer for bogey to drop to -5.

12:29 - Nantz reports that Jimenez in with a 68 today. 4 of 45 players on the course are under par. And looking at the leaderboard, I see no score lower this week than 68.  

12:32 - Steve Flesch plays out of Triple Crown CC?  He nearly makes birdie on 5.  Pars on the first five holes and looking solid.

12:33 - Tiger makes first birdie of the day after hitting it three feet on No. 6. He's five back of Immelman. 

12:37 - Tiger on No. 7 tee. Yet another tee where markers are on the front. So far every tee has been all the way up. 

12:40 - Nice remembrance of the late Gay Brewer going to commercial. 

12:42 - Immelman with awesome second shot at 5.  

12:45 - Tiger leaves approach short on 7 and Kostis says you can sum up his week in one word: frustration. Nantz chimes in, "you know Peter everyone in the field feels that, not exclusive to one player." Kostis later on says he feels Tiger himself hasn't dealt with frustration this week as well as he has in the past. Tiger's body language would definitely back up Kostis.

12:46 - Casey grounds club, ball moves on 6 putting for par. Takes bogey, drops to -4.

12:49 - Immelman birdies gets to -11.  

12:50 - From reader Chris, something I wholeheartedly agree with: "The brilliant computer animated graphics have been very under used.  They are one of the best additions to the CBS broadcast in years and I wish we were seeing more of them."

12:53 - Faldo and Lundquist state their surprise at seeing the hole cut on the front of No. 6 instead of traditional back right spot.

12:54 - Flesch hits it in newly planted trees left of 7, Kostis notes the trees take away options.  Clubhouse cheer heard.

1:02 - Snedeker misses 10 footer for par on 6, Immelman pars, lead is 3.

1:04 -12 players in red figures.  Kostis notes that the three shot lead actually complicates his strategy, Faldo concurs.

1:08 - Great reaction shot of Tiger's third into No. 8. He comes up well short, has 20 footer for birdie.

1:09 -  Immelman tight on No. 7, Kostis says he was lucky with the bounce.

1:17 - Snedeker bogies 7, Immelman yanks 2 foot birdie putt on No. 7, still has four shot lead. Make that three with Flesch making birdie on 8.

1:20 - Immelman in fairway bunker off No. 8 tee.  Hits poor third shot in for third. Brings three putt into play.

1:31 - CBS with the very cool shot shape graphic of Tiger teeing off 10. Nice they saved that for the weekend and deprived ESPN. 

1:33 - Flesch with a "fabulous" shot into 9 according to Faldo. Misses putt badly but he's lurking three back.

1:35 - "Such a difficult putt" Oosty says of Immelman's birdie putt on No. 8.  Hits it about 8 feet by, misses. CBS reminds us that 16 of last 17 winners have come from last pairing. Zach last year being the exception.

1:41 - Nantz after Immelman's drive rolls into second cut on 9: "That won't be a fairway hit but it's in good position." 

1:47 - Great stuff: Nantz says Immelman has every major since 1984 on tape and has studied them. Trevor leaves his second shot short on 9, a no-no. Nantz also reports that Player is "en route to the Middle East" and hopes to watch when he arrives. He also reads his voice mail message to Trevor: "Take your time. And keep your eyes on the ball an extra second on putts. There will be bad breaks. I know you're going to win."

1:50 - Tiger and Cink never threaten 10th hole and make bogies. Tiger from right of green, Cink from left.

1:54 - Immelman's closed putting stance is interesting, we see it up close as he makes the par putt at 9. Leaderboard after nine: Immelman -10, Flesch -8, Snedeker -6, Woods -4, Mickelson -3. Time for leaders to play front nine: 2 hours and 29 minutes.

2:03 - CBS graphic: This week Immelman is -2 on the front, -8 on the back as he starts the final nine. 

2:06 - Mickelson bogies 16, Lundquist tells us that none of the last 20 players on the course is under par for the day.

2:16 - That seemed like a new interview with Jack about teh 1986 Masters. It never gets old seeing those highlights, does it? 

2:17 - "Now that's a roar, a Tiger roar" -Baker Finch says as Tiger drains a long, long putt on 11 to move within 5.

2:18 - CBS graphic: Trevor at Amen Corner, -3 this week. 

2:20 - Tiger hits 7-iron over right pin on 12. On fringey/second cut area. Dry. 

2:24 - Tiger makes nice par putt on 12, Flesch pars 11 to remain two back. Immelman and Snedeker waiting in fairway as leaf blowers clean 11 green. Baker Finch notes that they add to the "shine effect" on the greens.

2:29 - Snedeker has 229 into 11.  Flesch dumps it in the middle of Rae's Creek, looks up at trees. But he said "Go" after making contact.

2:31 - Immelman on 11 fairway. 222 out. Backs off or called off. CBS: Immelman +2 on Par 3s,  -10 on Par 4s, -2 on Par 5s for week. 

2:33 - Flesch with a tremendous shot to 12 after taking a drop. Doesn't make the putt. Double.

2:34 - Real warm and fuzzy handshake there between Phil and Vijay on 18! Vijay hands Phil his card at back of green! 

2:35 - Tiger has little backswing on 13. Faldo very surprised Stevie isn't providing some possible lay up yardages. Kostis: not much to be gained and lots to lose by being aggressive. Tiger hits great lay up leaves 100 yards or so. 

2:38 - Baker Finch and Nick talking about Nick and his great memories on 11. Like there's nothing else to talk about right now. Snedeker bogey drops to -5.

2:40 - Tiger laughing as he backs off shot on 13. Kostis notes that wind was into him when he approached the shot, now down.  Tiger nearly holes shot, has 4 footer for birdie to get him to -6 and in second place.

2:42 - Trevor drains long putt for par on 11. Roar! "Great stuff" - Baker Finch, four shot lead.

2:45 - Tiger misses the birdie putt on 13 but Immelman has major problems on 12 as his tee shot takes horrible bounce and ends up in pine straw left. 

2:49 - Snedeker is standing awfully close to Immelman at 12 isn't he? Trevor leaves shot in fringe, but as Faldo says "understandably" with that stance above the ball.

2:51 - Snedeker drains a long one on 12 for birdie!! Gets him back to -6. Baker Finch estimates 35-40 feet. Immelman leaves par putt 4-5 feet short, drains that though. Lead is 3.

2:55 - Someone's cell phone is on and near a microphone!  

2:57 - Tiger with a poor approach on 14, leaves himself a long birdie putt from lower shelf. Leaves that 9 feet short and misses, drops to -4 and five back. Immelman hits solid drive on 13 after Snedeker drives it deep down the left side to the nice flat lie. Wow, bold! 

3:02 - Immelman lays up on 13, Kostis feels it takes bogey out of the equation.  Snedeker seems stumped about what to do or by wind? Only has 199. They are talking it through but Faldo talks over them! Repeats yesterdays shot and hits it in the creek. Ugh.

3:06 - Immelman sticks wedge on 13 and that is huge. "That was special" -Faldo, Kostis praises "courage" to lay up. Amen. 

3:10 - Flesch three putts 14. His first of the week. Drops to -5.  With Snedeker making bogey on 13, lead about to go to five.

3:15 - Immelman makes the 2 footer, lead is five. "Is it enough?" Kostis asks. 

3:19 - Wow, back to back commercial breaks. There's something you don't normally see at the Masters.

3:23 - Tiger stiffs it on 16 but appears to be out of reach barring a Tin Cup finish. Oh Verne points out the new viewing area on 16...again.

3:28 - Snedeker three putts. Flesch bogies 15. Tiger misses birdie putt on 16. Lead is 6.

3:33 - The wind appears to be getting worse and the temperature dropping. Immelman has his hands in his pockets as he walks off 15 tee.
3:39 - Immelman -10, Woods -4, Snedeker -4, Cink -4, Flesch -3

3:49 - Immelman clearly hits it in the water. Lundquist thinks he's in the sand. CBS has no shot of ripples?

3:54 - Tiger hits it close on 18. Birdie would get him to -5. He drains it. Looks at leaderboard, shakes his head.

3:56 - Immelman taps in for double. Drops to -8. Lead is 3 over Woods, 4 over Snedeker who bogies 16.

4:00 - "I just didn't make any putts all week." -Tiger Oh, and 60 Minutes is coming up for everyone except on the West Coast. In about an hour. Maybe.

4:05 - Immelman in front bunker, "anything long and left he could have a putter in his hand." - Oosty

4:10 - Hits excellent bunker shot, makes the putt! Good for you Trevor, three shot lead to 18.

4:12 - "A lot of sacrificing to get this prodigy to this point." -Nantz on the Immelman family.

4:14 - Great moment, Trevor exhales after hitting the tee shot on 18! Poor lad was so nervous he was unable to acknowledge the ovation on 18. Looks like he wanted to try but was just too focused on the tee shot.

4:19 - Oh my lord, he's in a deep divot! Ugh.

4:21 - Great shot, keeps it below. "Get lucky" is his call. He brings Snedeker over for the walk up 18. Class touch. He's not smilling, appears to be holding back tears.

4:24 - NIce standing-O for Snedeker. Shoots 77, finishes -4.

4:25 - Round now at 5 hours. The final putt...almost goes in. Big smile, waves, class act, waves his family out. Caddie already grabs the flag and hands it to his son. Somewhere in the Middle East Gary Player is bawling his brains out!

4:29 - Kerry Haigh double checking the scorecard on the computer.

4:36 - Green jacket ceremony starting. The mantle above the fireplace appears to have been cleaned! Billy: We have questions to be asked. Thankfully Nantz will be asking them.

4:38 - Gary Players advice mentioned. He certainly got the message on taking his time. Oh Jim asking about the family sacrifice. Trevor mentions his parents taking out extra mortgages to help pay for him to travel overseas.

4:40 - Trevor Immelman is the man at the 2008 Masters" - Nantz. Over and out.





Dateline Augusta: April 13, 2008


"Golf is going to have to do a lot of thinking in the future."

Reader Andruw pointed me to this AP story talking about how all the well-off patron offspring would be getting in this week to help grow the game. Not much of interest, though this quote from Gary Player is worth remembering:

"Golf rounds are going down. The average golf course is getting so long. All the clubs you go to are making their golf courses longer and longer, so all the costs are going up and up," Player said. "Golf is going to have to do a lot of thinking in the future. That’s why we need a lot of young people to be playing golf."