Masters Thursday Live Blog

masterslogo.gif1:00 - The King stripes it and we're underway. Oh yeah, and nice reminder from Bill Macatee that when Billy Payne asked, Arnold said yes after years of thinking about. Take that Hootie!

1:06 - Phil is approaching 18 from well behind the bunkers. Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo just reviewed the brutal conditions and setup. They sound SO excited! Wow, almost like they're hosting coverage for a funeral. Says a lot though. 

1:14 - The Mickelson-Ramsay-Scott pairing is wrapping up on 18. They teed off at 7:56 PST, so nice 5:20 round! 

1:15 - Brett Wetterich makes birdie on 13..fifteen minutes into the telecast, we have our first birdie! Singh rolls in another. We're up to two!

1:26 - Tiger's in with a 37 and it only took 2:34! 

1:31 - Justin Rose is in at 69, just in time for all of the English writers to have already filed their stories. Apparently he only had 20 putts, hit 5 greens, at least according to the BBC. Of course the USA crew didn't have that.

1:44 - USA stat: No birdies for Woods-Casey-Badds pairing through 10 and Faldo notes, 'it's not looking good through 11 either!"

1:52 - First interview in Butler Cabin, this with Justin Rose. Uh, not to be too picky, but are the fires in the fireplaces getting a little out of had down there? Did Hootie burn all of his papers down there at once in a towering inferno of frustration? The entire top center is blackened! Nice look. 

2:00 - Reader David notes that the low former champion at 5 EST?  Craig Stadler at -1. Fuzzy Zoeller is even. No, this is not 1987.

2:05 - A birdie for Badds on No. 11! Our third of the telecast...the tepid applause from the crowd is keeping me awake. Barely. Oh, birdie No. 4 from (Not Vijay) Singh on 15. A tap in. Rivetting! 

2:28 - Whoa, just nodded off here. I'm back! Tiger 247 yards into 13 and laying up? Maybe I should go back to sleep. Has he ever laid up on 13!?

2:33 - Okay I love Finchy, but Vijay smelling the flowers as he walks back to 13 tee? Who does he think he's talking about, Walter Hagen?

2:37: Oosty notes that 17 used to be 60 yards wide as we see David Howell in the silly grove down the right, which used to be the optimum angle of attack for today's back left hole location. Ah options and width and strategy, so antiquated! 

2:42 - Tiger makes his first birdie of the day! Took almost 4 hours. 

2:52 - Tiger gives us an idea how soft the fairways are after heaving his club on the 14th hole approach follow through. Stuck it! Meanwhile Stevie looks like he dropped the bag. Clubs are strewn. Rough day for the jovial looper.  

2:56 - Uh, scribblers who are on the grounds. Is that a giant oil streak mark on 13 green!? Or just my TV? 

3:12 - Tiger is leaning on his bag on 15 waiting...looks like he's having a blast! Can't imagine why he's cranky. Only 4:20 to this point!

3:17 - Tiger has fairway metal in and pulls off a brilliant shot. Makes birdie at 3:22, joins page one of the leaderboard. It's over. 

3:46 - Yes, that little has been happening. Tiger drove it perfectly down the right side on 17 for today's back left hole location, just as Jones and MacKenzie intended. Which would explain why he's in the middle of a pine grove!

3:47 - David Toms putting on 15. Grandstand almost empty. The patrons are lining up for dinner at the Olive Garden, hoping to get seated by 10. Oh how jealous the golf writers on deadline must be.

3:52 - Macatee says if form holds, this will be only the fifth round in last forty years to produce an average over 76. Fred Ridley must be proud. 

4:04 - USA is staying on until the end of play, serving all of the patrons who have gone home.  

4:12 - Tiger bogies 18 after a wicked snap hook recovery from the right trees ends up in the front bunker. He's still going to win. 

4:17 - Tiger: "I threw away a good round of golf today." 73 isn't that bad big guy, especially with the names in front of you. And it only took 5:20!

4:39: David Toms holes out on 18 for par and a fine opening 70. Even better, just 5:28 after he started! 

4:42 - Mercifully day one is over and Bill Mac just reminded us that the rebroadcast airs at 8 EST...wait, that's just 18 minutes away. So much for the Law and Order that was sandwiched in between the two!