Okay here we go. Only one scoop of protein powder in the smoothie today, so I should manage to stave off a nap. No guarantees though, my Barcalounger is pretty comfortable.
One thing to look out for: first announcer to declare the brilliance behind the lousy changes because so many forgettable short knockers like Tim Clark are in contention.
1:02 - Whoa have we got a great start here! Get Fred Ridley in the press center now. Tiger is shown checking up on 13 tee and we don't need the first base umpire to tell us that, Ladies and Gentleman, was very close to a stroke/whiff. I understand the Rules say the player simply has to hold up before reaching the ball but that one was close. Rules junkies weigh in please. *[A reader reports that if he altered the path of the club to avoid hitting it, not a stroke.]
1:09 - Phil hit a monster lob on 7 from the fringe to avoid the back bunker. That took courage. So did wearing that lime green shirt. He looks like Shrek.
1:17 - Gee, I thought these Phil and Amy Exxon-Mobil ads were going to be a one year deal. You can only tug at my heart strings so much.
1:20 - Five way tie at the top: Clark, Stenson, Wetterich, Johnson and Rose. Couldn't script it any worse than that.
1:22 - We have a possible winner!!! Peter Kostis (who else?) chimed in with the first short hitter reference. "I'm intrigued. With all the talk of the power hitters playing here...we've got Zack Johnson, Tim Clark, Jerry Kelly, Vaughn Taylor, not long hitters, all on the leaderboard." I don't think the CBS execs in New York are too intrigued.
1:28 - Ogilvy makes tap-in (!) for birdie on 9, pulls to within 2 after a 33. His gold shoes look like a pair from Liberace's estate sale.
1:30 - Zack Johnson lays up, birdies 13 to go to -3. You can almost feel the pandemonium if he could hold on to win. Almost.
1:43 - Tim Clark comes up short on his 18th hole approach, and just think it's only taken him 5 hours and 15 minutes to get here.
1:48 - Shrek makes a nice two-putt for par on 9, out in 38 and hovering near the cut line.
1:55 - Vaughn Taylor moves to -2, making him low native. Power lips a chip on 16 that would have made him -3.
2:07 - Newsflash from the city! I think the Butler Cabin fireplace mantle has been scraped clean of some of the build-up that was noted on this blog yesterday. Nice to know someone's reading! Hey, if you want to get rid of the rest of that build up by Sunday, might I suggest you follow this link.
2:12 - Ian Baker Finch calls it The Hogan Bridge. Not Bobby Clampett's tacky Disneyesque "Hogan's Bridge."
2:16 - Gentle Ben bogies the last three but still looks good for the weekend, adding to the list of former champions playing surprisingly well (Lyle, Watson, Zoeller).
2:22 - Shrek's playing pinball wizard left of 11. Hey, but at least they've cleaned up those piles for removal. Now they're just disposing Phil over there. Meanwhile now he wants a ruling. Where's Will Nicholson when you need him. Where's an ice storm when you need it? Oh and if that's not bad enough, the wind is howling at Amen Corner.
2:34 - Shrek salvages bogey on 11 with a stellar up and down from short of the green. Taking him to +7.
2:47 - Oh the ad wizards for IBM have come up with an ad featuring to men lugging a massive portrait of Bobby Jones across the third fairway. So glad the club agreed to that. Classy.
3:02 - Stuart Appleby makes his 7th birdie of the day. Thankfully Peter Oosterhuis was there to announce it. One of the non-players would have inevitably told us that see, birdies are out there.
3:06 - Shrek makes birdie on 13 to go to +6. Watson triples 18 and misses cut. I feel like I'm watching a funeral.
3:14 - David Feherty says Augusta is playing "like Turnberry with trees." Augusta censors research Turnberry to determine if that's a compliment.
3:29 - I'm back, brief nap. Just saw Shrek lay up on 15, even as he's on the cut line and lays up into the second cut. Wow. Nice to see the life totally taken out of 15. All risk no reward. Made birdie though.
3:33 - Mrs. Doubtfire, in a blur of earth tones, goes out with a fitting bogey at the last to miss the weekend by 1.
3:42 - Rose taps in for par on 14 and his trousers are flapping in the wind. Wow it could be a long ugly weekend. Ogilvy has just 94 yards to the hole on 17. 350sih uphill drive.
3:49 - Ogilvy drains birdie on 17 to get to even. Glad that one hit the hole. And by the way, did I mention the wind is blowing? Looks like the SubAir system will be getting the weekend off.
4:04 - Golf Digest's Pete McDaniel has posted the toughest critique yet of the Augusta National regime. I'd say he's the first to declare that we have seen the Hootie changes under firm conditions, and it's not pretty. Of course, some of us didn't need to see it play firm to know it stunk, but good to see such a strong critique from a calm, respected voice.
4:08 - Freddie two putts 18, with 5 finishing pars in that nasty wind, to make the cut at +8 keeping the remarkable 23-year streak going despite having played only 2 PGA Tour rounds this year.
4:19 - Sergio's group finishes in 5:26, but they, thankfully the sun was out. Sporting a multi-colored hat, Sergio would blend in nicely at Hot Dog On-A-Stick.
4:28 - Shrek holes out 5:25 after he started, finishes with an impressive 73 in touch conditions. Hopefully he'll dress better tomorrow.
4:33 - While waiting for Justin Rose to finish, we're seeing Tiger's highlights. Good to see him in position A on 15 fairway to go for the green and he's in the second cut!
4:40 - Jim Nantz reports that 60 players will be making the cut at +8 or better, with Clarke and Wetterich in the final pairing. And it's been since 1990 that the winner did not come out of the final Sunday pairing.