Arnold Palmer tees off at 7:40 am EST and you can watch it live on Masters.org, or see it Saturday and Sunday on CBS. Amen Corner live starts at 2 EST and one can only hope we'll get to hear Mike Hulbert and Phil Blackmar again. I'll be praying tonight, actually.
The online bonus hour starts at 3 EST and of course USA comes on at 4 EST. I'll be doing a live blog each day coinciding with USA and CBS coverage, because I know Peter Kostis would want that.
Whoa Nellie, how about that weather forecast? Especially those weekend low temps. Can you say frost delay? Can you say Monday fin...oh I won't go there, sorry. Wonder if those SubAir systems can heat up the greens? Just hook up a replay of The Worst of Bobby Clampett and pipe it into the SubAir. Should do the trick.
Bob Carney reports on the nice ceremony for writers who've seen their share of Masters. I only caught part of it on Masters Live, but Art Spander gave an incredibly nice and succinct speech. Yes, I know, first time ever Art Spander and succinct were ever mentioned in the same sentence! We love ya Art, hope you cover another 40 Masters.
Cameron Morfit lists things to look for and this caught my eye:
Still, despite the dry weather, Augusta National is playing to all of its 7,445 yards.
"There's a lot more grass on the fairways this year, and I think they've been watering them," said Scott Gneiser, who caddies for David Toms. "We hit a drive on 5 right up the gut and splat! We saw water fly up from the tee."
The 2006 U.S. Open champion, Geoff Ogilvy, said: "I think they're watering them because it hasn't rained that much."
Jerry Kelly agreed. "Are they ever," he said. "I'm getting one, two yards of roll on my driver, and it's kind of killing me."
Alas, the greens are not being watered, so short hitters have little or no chance of holding them with long-iron and fairway-wood approach shots.
How did Jerry Kelly qualify?
Anyway, the SI/Golf Mag guys issue their picks.
I finally got around to reading Bill Fields' piece on Ben Hogan's last hurrah in 1967 and it's one you won't want to miss.
Derek Lawrenson talks to Nick Faldo about the differences between stroke and match play and why he likes Henrik Stenson so much. His stroke/match talk:
"I don't think people really understand how different they are," he began. "Match-play is so much easier to cope with mentally. All you have to focus on is the hole you're playing at the time, and complete it in fewer strokes than the man standing opposite you. If it doesn't happen you move on to the next hole, and that's it.
"At the end you've either won your match or lost it and then you wake up the next day and start again.
"Strokeplay is relentless by comparison. Say you're out early on the first day and shoot 66 to lead the Masters. You've now got 24 hours to sleep on that, deal with all the emotion, and then you've got to make sure your heartbeat's right the following afternoon.
"That's just the start. You've got the day after that and then the fun really starts on the final day. Mess up a hole and you watch a dozen guys whizz past you on the leaderboard. Now you've got that error screwing you up as well, threatening to haunt you and lose you the tournament.
"If 18-hole matchplay is a jigsaw puzzle containing 100 pieces, the majors have about 1,000."
Colin Montgomerie picks everyone but himself.
Bruce Selcraig profiles David Feherty.
Finally, Ken Brown looks at Seve, who is teeing it up this week after a long absence in Augusta before hitting the Valiant Competitors Tour.