Connell Barrett, editor-at-large for Golf Magazine, covered the afternoon and evening.7:30PM Well, Golf.commies, I enjoyed slaving over a hot laptop for you — yeah, even you, guy who called me Raggedy Andy. (Redheads have feelings too, ya'know.) I'll see you all tomorrow for Moving Day at the Masters! 7:20PM So sayeth Golf.com's David Dusek. "We're getting round 2 in just in time. There's a tornado watch in Augusta." Could be a false-alarm. Nantz has been droning on and on and… 7:17PM Mickelson drops a lengthy putt on 18. Birdie! He finishes at 3-under, thanks to a back-nine 32, leapfrogging nine guys at 2-under. Phil, welcome to the top 10. 7:14PM Rhetorical question: Why does Furyk always look like he just came back from the dentist? 7:11PM Looks like Phil will end up at 2-under, 7 strokes back; he has a lengthy birdie putt on 18. I'm excited to watch Kim tomorrow, but also Mickelson. From that far back, Lefty will be gunning for a lot of pins. 7:05PM "Kim lit it up today," chimes in Chuck. "Do you think he can continue this tomorrow, or will he play like he did yesterday?" Yes. Because he thinks he can. He's so cocksure and confident. I can't wait to find out. For Kim to make a Masters record 11 (!) birdies in raw conditions today just drops my jaw. I used to think that no one approached Tiger for pure, pound-per-pound talent. Kim is right there with him. 6:53PM The natives are restless about the Harrington Rules flap. "It's pure B.S." one reader posts. Another chimed in from Ohio, "Just when you think golf is the greatest game, something like that happens. So many rules are bogus. Just because Paddy was standing over his putt and the wind blew, he's busted. What a joke. It makes no sense." 6:46PM Misc. updates! Ogilvy failed to convert his birdie putt on 18. He finishes at 3-under, 6 behind the leaders. Meanwhile, Mickelson made a low-stress par on 16. Moments later on the same hole, Sergio's tee shot hit the pin, rolling just off the collar. 6:38PM In his beneath-the-radar, unassuming way, Ogilvy is only 6 back, at 3-under for the week. He has about 12 feet for birdie on 18, to draw one closer. Says renowned golf teacher A.J. Bonar, a contributor to Golf Magazine, "Ogilvy just hangs around and hangs around and grinds. Before you know it, he's there with a shot to win this thing. Because he doesn't make big mistakes. He's very opportunistic at majors." As Mickelson knows all too well. 6:31PM Phil's back-nine is looking better and better. He drained a 6 footer for birdie on 15, to move to 2-under, 7 behind the leaders. Cut? Who's sweating the cut? Not Lefty. 6:21PM On 18, Norman tapped in to finish at +3 for the week. He'll miss the cut in what may be his final Masters. He has only untold millions, private jets and vast tracts of real estate to console himself. 6:18PM It's official. One-stroke penalty. Harrington has, according to the Rules, caused his ball to move by being in his address position when the gust of wind moved the ball. His 4-foot birdie putt became a 4-foot par putt. The ball was replaced to its original position, and Harrington, to his credit, made that putt. He remains at 3-under. 6:16PM It's getting eeenteresting. The discussion continues. Paddy looks concerned. "I believe it may be a penalty," Feherty said. Wow, you can cut the tension with Charles Howell III. 6:15PM Harrington is still talking with an official. Will he face a 1-stroke penalty? 6:11PM Unfolding drama. Harrington was preparing to putt on 15 when a gust of wind moved his ball. Paddy has called for an official. It doesn't appear that he had taken his address, meaning there will likely be no penalty. To be continued. 6:08PM Another thought on Player. He's a Hall of Famer. Yet he's underrated, winning nine majors in an era when Jack, Arnie, Watson and Trevino were gobbling them up. Els, Phil, Sergio… they won't get within driving distance of nine majors. 6:04PM El Nino salvaged a par on 13, with a nifty up-and-down, including a cool spinny pitch to the green. 6:03PM Mickelson burned the right edge on 14, for par. 6:02PM Phil stuck an iron on 14 to about 15 feet. He'll have a good look at birdie, to go to 2-under. Call him arrogant. Or, call him the next Arnie. But he's never dull. 5:56PM From 161 yards, Sergio Garcia dumped his 9-iron approach on 13 into the creek. A woeful swing. I don't wish anyone ill; I love Sergio's candor and cockiness. But it fills me with double-bogey goodness to know that even globe-trotting millionaire Tour pros can, on occasion, hack it up like me. 5:54PM Update: In the clubhouse, Tiger asked for a doggie bag and the check. 5:51PM Gary Player took his last walk up the hill to the 18th green. He bowed, knelt and acknowledged with a wave and smile the swelling applause from the fans surrounding the green. A touching moment. Farewell to the Black Knight at Augusta. 5:47PM Kenny asks, "Connell, how many monitors are you watching?" Kenny, I'm surrounded by 17 state-of-the-art touchscreen plasma monitors, worth a total of $13 million. It looks like the set of Minority Report. 5:43PM Norman has a 5-footer for par on 16. At 2-over, the Shark needs to birdie one of the last two holes for a chance to play the weekend. 5:40PM Hey, Phil-philes, Mickelson is seing red (figures). After busting a monster power fade off the tee on the par-5 13th, Lefty knocked an iron from about 165 yards to mere inches. His best swing of the week. It's a tap in eagle for Phil, which will move him to 1-under. 5:30PM Angel, on high! Cabrera has birdied his last two holes, 13 and 14. At 8-under, he's 1 behind the leaders. Also, Harrington just dropped an eagle putt all the way from County Cork to reach 3-under for the event. 5:27PM You take the bogeys with the birdies, when it comes to Masters TV coverage. Sure, Thursday and Friday coverage starts way late, at 4pm. But we get 56 minutes of action — only 4 minutes of commercials. I would rather watch 3.5 hours of concentrated action than 7 hours riddled with commercials. (I'm talking to you, NBC!) 5:22PM Several posters have asked why the TV coverage starts so late, at 4pm. The answer is: Because Augusta says so. The club higherups prefer to limit the amount of exposure the course receives. They always have, and Augusta is about tradition, if nothing else. And neither CBS nor ESPN would dare challenge them on the issue, in my view. They fear losing the rights to cover such a coveted event. 5:15PM A poster asks, "Was Tiger limping on 18?" It didn't look like it to me. His stride has looked balanced and purposeful all week. The only potential injury Tiger has to worry about, far as I can tell, is if he punches a wall in the clubhouse following his bogey on the last.
5:12PM My favorite quote of the week came from the ever humble Greg Norman, who said that if he had had today's equipment back in his prime, he'd be hitting it about 350 off the tee.
5:07PM Oh yes! Lefty hit a sweet approach to 11 green, stopping his second shot a few feet short of the green. He'll have a fairly simple chip uphill to save par. 5:04PM "Oh NO!" Phil cried after pulling driver on 11 and pushing is tee ball toward the pines on the left. While he appeared to have a nice lie, his bogey chances just sky-rocketed. A bogey puts him below the cut line, at +2. 5:02PM Mickelson pars 10 and makes his way to Amen Corner. Phil is flirting with the cut; he's at +1 for the event. If play ended now, everyone at +2 or worse would head home. 4:57PM Sorry, Shark fans. Norman made a double on 13, and is now, as Peter Kostis just reminded us, right on the cut line. 4:53PM A question to the panel (that's you, posters). What's the deal with Sergio? He has only two Masters top 10s in 10 attempts. His game is custom-built to win here. Granted, he shakes like a chihuahua over meaningful putts, but shouldn't he be in the mix every year? 4:51PM Updates: Cabrera tapped in for par on 12, to remain 6-under. Tiger just ordered a Cobb Salad. 4:45PM A Golf.com blog poster named Harlan echoes many of you when he writes: "Do the contributors who are writing this blog understand there are other players besides Tiger? Four out of every 5 posts are about a guy who isn't even in the top 10."
Good point, Harlan. Oh, update: Tiger has just entered the locker room and is drinking an iced tea. More to come. 4:43PM Susan Lucci — err, I mean Norman — holed his shot from the front bunker, birdie. Never a dull moment with the Shark. 4:30PM Greg Norman, +2 on his round today and E for the event, just found the sand on the par-3 12th. The Shark's shirt was whipping in the breeze yet the flag wasn't moving a titch. What a nasty little hole. 4:25PM How much are you loving all those CBS Masters intros/voiceovers? Yeah, didn't think so. "How many intros from Butler Cabin do we need?" wonders Sports Illustrated Senior Editor Dick Friedman. "Let's get to the course." Agreed. If I wanted to be annoyed by Harry Connick Jr., I'd watch "Little Man Tate." 4:22PM We have a new record! Anthony Kim posted a 65 today, with 11 birdies, setting a new mark for birds in one round at the Masters. In his second round ever here. He stands at -4 for the tourney. 4:20PM Mickelson made par on the par-5 8th, a disappointment for him. His wheels are spinning. If he's going to threaten to win his third Masters, he has to make a fistful of birdies on the back nine today. 4:15PM Said Tiger after his round: "Lot of wasted opportunities today. I didn't get a whole lot out of my round today." He wasn't grinning in frustration like he sometimes does after poor rounds. He had a cold look in his eye that suggests he'll take his anger out on the course tomorrow. Saturday is his day at Augusta. He's averaged a 66 on Saturdays in the four years he's won here. I think he's back in the 60s tomorrow. 4:11PM Tiger's par putt on 18 lipped off the left side. Bogey. He stalked off the green, head down. He falls to -2 for the tourney. 4:06PM Tiger hit his bunker shot to 6 feet on 18. He had to throw the ball toward the center of the green and let it tricke toward the pin. He does not look like a happy man. He has 6 feet for par. 4:04PM Tiger just cold blocked a short iron into the right greenside bunker on 18. He has a tricky bunker shot to get up and down for par. 4:03PM Here's a note from Golf Magazine Senior Writer Cameron Morfit, on 2004 British Open winner and hockey fan Todd Hamilton, who's rediscovered his game this week. Turns out, some nice guys finish first:
"He's a huge Dallas Stars fan, and the Claret jug to him was a bit like the Stanley Cup. He brought it with him pretty much wherever he went for the first couple months after the Open, and I got my picture taken with it. He had a replica made for his caddie at the time, Ron 'Bambi' Levin, who was thrilled to receive it and still considers Hamilton a friend. Levin now works for Fredrik Jacobson. I got a text from 'Bambi' this morning: 'How about Hammy!' " 3:56PM Tiger carded a par on 17. If he birdies 18, which seems to be in vogue among the leaders today, he'll sneak into the top 6, at -4. 3:51PM Few know how bad Kenny Perry's eyesight is, which makes his performance this week even more amazing. He's had complications after laser surgery on his eyes. He's been known to hit a shot dead on-line, then turn to his caddie and say, "Where'd it go?" His looper is part caddie, part seeing-eye dog. 3:50PM From my mouth to Kenny's ears. He birdied 18 to join Campbell atop the leaderboard, at -9. 3:45PM Kenny Perry made par on 17, which means the projected cut is safe for now. Best he could do (barring a miracle) is make birdie to tie Campbell. It's Cabrera, -2 for the day and -6 for the event, who has the best shot at surpassing the leader. With his length, I think he's more dangerous on this course than, say, Furyk is. 3:39PM Tiger brushed in his 3-footer on 16, for par. No sweat. 3:36PM Danger! Danger, Phil Mickelson! He's currently at +1 for the event, through 6 holes today. It's early, but Lefty has little room for error, with the current cut eliminating everyone at +2 or worse. 3:30PM Tiger left his loooong birdie putt about 3 feet short on 16. 3:24PM Tiger's tee shot on the par-3 16th landed in the front center of the green, strained to climb the ridge, but trickled back toward the pond. With today's front-right pin placement, he has a birdie putt of about 40-50 feet. Which reminds me of something Hogan once said (I'm paraphrasing). "At Augusta, one inch can mean the difference between a 5 foot putt and a 50-foot putt." Which Tiger now has. 3:20PM Correction. As a few observant posters have gently (and not-so-gently) informed me, Tiger shot 70 in the first round in three of his four Masters wins. Not in all four of them. He shot 74 in 2005. I, of course, was testing all of you. Well played. (Note to self: Fire my fact-checkers…) Also, Tiger just made birdie on 15. 3:18PM Tiger hit it to the back fringe of the par-5 15th in two shots, and chipped it to about 18 inches. Woods should make birdie, to go -3 for the event. 3:13PM Feherty once told me, "You have to want the responsibilty of being a major winner, and a lot of guys don't want it. God knows I didn't. It scared me. Some guys aren't comfortable on the biggest stage. Other guys, like Tiger, are only comfortable on the big stage." He was speaking generally, not about Scott, but it makes me wonder if this Aussie will ever rule. 3:10PM Adam Scott just tapped in for birdie on 15, to go to +1 for the Masters. Quick, how many majors has Scott threatened to win? Zero, that's how many. What gives? Is he overrated? Does he lack the guts? He has more talent in his big toe than many pros. So why hasn't he stepped up in the big events? 3:07PM I believe Tiger, who shot 70 yesterday, has shot 70 in all four of his previous Masters wins. Hmmmm…. 3:01PM Tiger just knocked his drive down the right hand side of the fairway on 15. The par-5 is his last best chance for birdie or better. Still, the wind has died down — gusts were approaching 30 mph earlier — so we'll see if the World No. 1 can get under par for the day in his final four holes. 2:59PM It's time to start watching the cut, currently at +2, and likely to remain there. 2:53PM Rory is making noise. The 19 year old, ranked 17th in the world, just dropped an 8-footer for eagle on 13, to push it to -4 for the tournament. He's now tied for 6th. 2:47PM I'll be with you the rest of the way, watching the live action online, as well as when the TV coverage kicks off at 11:37pm (give or take). Comments? Questions? Epithets? Post away, blog readers! 2:44PM Thanks, Mike Walker Jr. Excellent work. Unlike Tiger Woods, who just missed a 12-footer for birdie on 13. Tiger is even on the day, at -2 for the tournament. Currently tied for 12th. Michael Walker Jr., senior editor for Golf Magazine, covered the morning and early afternoon. 2:33 p.m. Tiger hits 3-wood on 13 and is right in the middle of the fairway. Meanwhile, McIlroy is 2-under through 11 and quietly putting himself back in the picture. Tour pros are generally not effusive with praise so when a guy like Tiger says that Rory could be No. 1, that's worth paying attention too. I recently asked Adam Scott about some of the younger players on Tour and he said they were all really good players and so on. Then I asked about McIlroy. "I'm excited to watch him play," Scott said. 2:21 p.m. Chad Campbell just bogeyed No. 17 and is now 8-under and the clouds are looking a little heavy. AK went bogey-double on 9 and 10. Considering Danny Lee's 9, the kids are really flaming out on 10. 2:11 p.m. Phil Mickelson made par on the first hole and Tiger flew the green on 12 but saved par with a bump-and-run to tap-in distance. There's really no ceiling or floor for Phil. Every day is Anything Can Happen Day. 2:08 p.m. If Tiger wins this thing, remember the 11th hole on Friday. His third shot landed about 10 feet from the pin, and he drained the putt for par. Par saves like this are why Woods is better at this than anyone. 2:04 p.m. Tiger's tee shot on 11 found the trees again. No heroic save this time. His second shot clipped the tree, and he is hitting his third shot from the fairway. 1:58 p.m. Padraig Harrington has bogeyed No. 1 (2-under) and Kenny Perry birdied No. 12 to get to 7-under. That was first birdie on the par-3 12th, where swirling winds make club selection like a chess move on even calm days. 1:55 p.m. Somebody needs to tell U.S. Amateur champ Danny Lee about Kobe Bryant's air balls in the 1997 NBA playoffs. Because Lee just got a 9 (!) on the par-4 10th.
I can't remember anyone confessing to as much nervousness before a golf tournament as Lee has at this year's Masters. Here's what he said Tuesday:
"I'm having really bad nerves at the moment, seriously. All of the crowds yesterday, I was nervous, really shaking my clubs, and wasn't swinging properly. I've never seen that many crowds out there, and, you know, that many greatest ‑‑ one of the greatest players playing in this tournament." 1:48 p.m. Padraig Harrington is on the golf course and going for the third leg of the Paddy Slam. Question: If everyone says you're under the radar, can you really be under the radar? 1:42 p.m. Leader Chad Campbell went bogey-bogey-par through Amen Corner and then made par on No. 14 to stay at 9-under. It's funny how golf is such a guy's game and then you get to Amen Corner and all you can say is, "Wow, the flowers are so pretty on 13." But they really are. 1:34 p.m. Golf.com's Ryan Reiterman checks in with a report on Amen Corner: "On the famously difficult par-3 No. 12, the wind is swirling and guys are having a tough time selecting clubs. Paul Casey just flew the green. The group of Rocco Mediate, Fred Couples and Jack Newman all dunked their shots into the water." 1:32 p.m. Tiger bogey 9 and goes back to 2-under.
Hunter H. asks, "Do you think upcoming weather will ruin Paddy's chances of 3 in a row?" Paddy's chances look good, no matter what happens this afternoon. I think he's the one guy in the field who has a chance if he's facing Tiger down the stretch in a major. The weather was unreal at Birkdale last year; wind, rain, temps in the 50s. Sandy Lyle pulled out because he couldn't feel his fingers. Padraig got the very worst of it and never missed a beat. Brady Riggs adds: "Paddy's elevated his game the way only Tiger and Phil have. He doesn't care about wining regular tournaments anymore–they're just preparation now. He only cares about winning majors." 1:24 p.m. Anthony Kim is cruising. He's now 5-under today with six birdies and one bogey through 8, and is now 2-under for the tournament. The live blog's official golf guru Brady Riggs says the best players are just trying to position themselves for the back nine on Sunday.
"Unless the weather's extreme, the wining number always seems to be 8-under or 9-under," Riggs says. "That's the number to think about."
AK must have got the memo. 1:14 p.m. Gary Player made par on No. 1 in his last round at the Masters. His wife noted that Player's 52 Masters appearances means he's spent a whole year of his life on this course. I watched Players' practice round with 17-year-old Danny Lee and CBS Sports' Ian Baker-Finch on Wednesday. You could tell that Player knew Augusta National in his bones. He was showing Lee how to read the green at No. 4 and where to land it on No. 5 — "always in the middle." Really cool stuff. 1:08 p.m. Tiger Woods birdies the par-5 8th. Now 1-under for day, 3-under for tournament. 1:04 p.m. Rory Sabbatini got off to a blazing birdie-eagle start and is now 2-under for the tournament. If he gets hot, look out. 1:02 p.m. Along with Chad Campbell, 2004 British Open winner Todd Hamilton is making this the "Remember me?" Masters. Hamilton is now 6-under in the clubhouse after posting a 70 and he's safely in the Top 10. Campbell's picture belonged on a milk carton, but Hamilton could be an episode of Cold Case. If the first two days of the Masters are like the first two days of the NCAA tournament, Hamilton is like George Mason. Every round he stays in the hunt will be more improbable. 12:52 p.m. Sports Illustrated golf boss Jim Herre might have figured out Condi Rice's mysterious appearance at Augusta National this week: "I'm intrigued by her appearance at ANGC and rumored interest in PGA Tour. Mike, how about Condi as the first woman member at ANGC? Or am I delusional?" Jim, I don't know if she's conservative enough.
In course news, Chad Campbell just bogeyed 12 after a bogey on 11, he's now 9-under. 12:47 p.m. Here's our first on-course report from Golf.com's David Dusek: "The wind is really starting to pick up, and the greens are starting to get firm, but not crazy at this point. Balls are running in the fairways, but that’s normal here unless everything is wet. Even par or a few under today is going to be a good score … Which tells you how well Cambell is playing, but that bogey on 11 may be the start of something. Statistically, the course is playing to a stroke average of 74.2, which is about two strokes tougher than yesterday … But obviously no one has played 16-18 yet today.The toughest hole on the course so far has been 12 (3.857 stroke average), followed by 11 (4.583) and 14 (4.533)." Thanks, Dave. 12:44 p.m. Tiger Woods followed his birdie on No. 6 with a bogey on the par-4 seventh and is now 2-under for the tournament and out of the top 10. Reader Steve asks, "Are you sitting in a Press tent? Walking the course with Wi-FI or getting feeds" In keeping with Masters tradition, only the Golf.com Chairman can discuss live blog policy. I can say that I'm in Augusta and not far from the course. 12:37 p.m. Reader Tom asks, "Death is not an option … do you think Tiger would rather have 7 green jackets or 5 US Open wins at the end of his career? Assuming he continues to win."
I don't want to duck the question but I honestly believe all Tiger wants is to beat Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors and be the definitive "greatest golfer who ever lived." If he gets there by only winning PGA Championships from here on out, I think he's OK with that. That said, I think he likes winning majors here, at St. Andrews and in California the most.
12:31 p.m. Tiger gets his first birdie of the day on No. 6. Now 3-under. I was wrong about the TV coverage; it needs to start now! 12:22 p.m. A quick look at the other guys on the leaderboard (all scores are for the tournament). Todd Hamilton is 6-under through 15 after three consecutive birdies on holes 8-10. Kenny Perry is 6-under through 7. Graeme McDowell is 5-under through 13. Hunter Mahan is righting himself after a bogey at 2 and a double at 3 and is now is 4-under through 9. Jose Maria Olazabal is now 3-under with birdies on 2 and 5. Plus, a clarification on the cut line from rader Robert: "Technically, the cut is top 44 and ties, plus those within 10 of the lead. So, if you're in the top 44, even if you're > 10 behind, you're in." 12:21 p.m. Northern Ireland phenom Rory McIlroy birdies Nos. 3 and 4 to get to 2-under. Does he remind you of anybody? Dubai Desert Classic Winner Bushwood C.C. Caddie Tournament Winner 12:12 p.m. Campbell birdies 10 to go 11-under while Woods saves par on 5 to stay 2-under. 12:00 p.m. The cut is 10 strokes from the leader, so high-flying Chad Campbell (3-under through 9, 10-under total) is putting a lot of pressure on the field. At 1-over, Phil Mickelson has his work cut out for him. Friend of the blog and SoCal golf guru Brady Riggs saysPhil's round Thursday doesn't bode well for today
"He's not controlling his second shots so it's going to be harder for him to score," Riggs said. "And he still can't handle Tiger. He's just not in Tiger's league, it's not even close. 11:56 a.m. Tiger Woods has notched pars on No. 3 and No. 4. Still 2-under. He's in the deep fairway bunker on 5 and he'll be very happy to make a par from there. 11:51 a.m. Reader Richie Rich writes, "NO TV COVERAGE LIVE ON THURS AND FRIDAY IS BS, GIMME A BREAK" I hear you, Richie. But at the same time, the limited coverage does make you appreciate the tournament more. For example, I love golf but I can't watch all of NBC Sports' dawn-to-dusk U.S. Open coverage. On the other hand, I watch every minute of the Masters. Sometimes less is more.
Now back to Golf.com's 24/7 Total Masters Coverage! 11:41 a.m. You want more Chad Campbell? You got it. He's now 3-under through 8 and 10-under for the tournament. If it's true that bad weather will come in later today, Campell's score could start to look unreachable for afternoon guys like Phil Mickelson (1-under).
The Golf Channel just showed Phil on the driving range. He skipped the white belt and is wearing an understated brown shirt and beige slacks. I get asked about Phil's new Euro look all the time and I agree with Sports Illustrated's MIchael Bamberger: When he's winning, he looks great. 11:38 a.m. Kenny Perry is now 2-under through 4 and 6-under for the tournament. The 48-year-old late bloomer has been one of my favorites since I heard about his fitness regime.I don't work out," Perry said earlier this year. "I don't really watch what I eat. I just play a lot of golf."
That's a workout schedule I could keep. 11:26 a.m. Reader Ned Johnson asks, "Am I the only one hoping the shark wins? When I was just a little ten year old boy some twelve years ago, I would only wear Tiger brand clothing when I golfed. Or I told my Dad I wouldn't play. I have always loved Greg Norman." No, Ned, I followed Norman a few holes on Thursday along with his still foxy wife Chris Evert who watches every shot, and the galleries are totally behind the Shark. He's 2-under, but to think he can win is a stretch. Last year's Open Championship at Birkdale with no Tiger and bad weather as an equalizer was his real shot at a fairy-tale finish. Best-case scenario at this Masters is probably a Top 10 finish or a Top 16 finish and invite back to next year's event. Not bad for a 54-year-old part-time player. By the way, you sound like you were kind of a brat at age 10. Glad you've matured. 11:24 a.m. Tiger made par on the par-5 second which is like a bogey for him. Everybody's been making birdies on 2 today. Woods is even for the day, 2-under for the tournament. 11:22 a.m. Masters.org is projecting the cut at plus-1. Notable on the wrong side of the line: Anthony Kim (2-over), Ernie Els (3-over), Retief Goosen (3-over) and U.S. Amateur champ Danny Lee (3-over).
Gary Player said this week that Lee "has the best swing in golf." [Editors' note: Didn't Gary say that last year about Trevor Immelman?] Hey, back off! This is Gary's day. 11:14 a.m. Tiger Woods is even through one, 2-under for the tournament. 11:11 a.m. Reader J M says, "I thought O'Hair was a West Texas native, not Philly…? With him and Campbell, this area is well represented.: O'Hair is from Texas but has lived in the Philadelphia area for awhile. I guess we need to ask Sean "Eagles or Cowboys?" to settle this one. 11:07 a.m. Reader and lonely member of the Todd Hamilton fan club David Umphress says, "Tomorrows headlines…."Tod Hamilton heats up and singes the competition for second round lead." Hamilton's even through 11 and 4-under for the tournament. 11:06 a.m. The Golf Channel reports on increasingly windy conditions at the course. Keep in mind though that's it still fairly mild here. A little wind is part of the game, it's not like they're playing though Hurricane Andrew. 10:57 a.m. Not to get all political on you, but walking around Augusta National you can understand the appeal of a totalitarian country. Sure, there are a lot of rules, but I don’t like people talking on their cell phones at a golf tournament, or snapping pictures all the time, or seeing grown men ask for autographs, or yell “Get in the hole!” Of course, I’d feel differently about it if they didn’t have cheap beer.
Tiger Woods first-hole update coming soon. I'm going out on a limb and predicting par. 10:49 a.m. Hunter Mahan’s falling off the rails with a bogey on No. 2 and a double on No. 3. He did birdie four holes on the back nine Thursday after a double on 11 though. 10:46 a.m. Anybody else excited to see Jim Furyk 6-under) near the top of the leaderboard? I spoke to him last year and his runner-up finish at the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont was still eating at him. "Being from Pennsylvania, I really wanted that one," Furyk said. He tees off at 1:52 p.m. 10:37 a.m. Less than 10 minutes until Tiger Woods tees off. Friend of the blog and SoCal golf pro Brady Riggs says that all Woods wants is to get in position for the back nine on Sunday and so far he's right there. "People should pay attention to how he just dissects a golf course," Riggs says. "If he plays mediocre, he contents, if he plays good he wins, if he plays great he wins by a lot." 10:17 a.m. Ryder Cup stud Hunter Mahan birdied No. 1 (!) to get to 7-under. Golf Magazine’s Cameron Morfit says Mahan could be following Zach Johnson’s recipe for success in 2007, take your confidence from making the Ryder Cup team and use that momentum to play well at the Masters. At a press conference Thursday, Mahan talked about how he's always mistaken for fellow Texan Justin Leonard. "Oh yea, all the time," Mahan said of his doppleganger. "There's a great picture of me and [Leonard], and I'm like a foot shorter than he is, at the Byron, and it's great to be mistaken for him. It's pretty funny. "
Mahan also said he saw the famously media-unfriendly Leonard as a great model as the assembled reporters shuttered. 10:06 a.m. The Golf Channel interviewed Chad Campbell before his round. “I slept pretty good,” Campbell said. “I’ve had this cold the last couple weeks and lirjtljfvssdhlfuhiurllisaaaaaaaSorry, dozed off there for a minute. Campbell just birdied No. 2 to go to 8-under. 9:52 a.m. Freddie Couple and Rocco Mediate are playing together and both are 1-under through No. 3 and even for the tournament. I tried Freddie's new wine at a media dinner. It was good but the marketing was understated–Freddie's name wasn't even on the bottle. We thought a better seller would be Boom-Boom's 30-proof.
BTW, if Freddie or Rocco got into contention, this place will go wild. The fans absolutely love this guys. They're the Anti-Vijay. 9:38 a.m. Leader Chad Campbell (6-under) is even through one. Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs says the reason you see Campbell, Hunter Mahan (5-under) and Jim Furyk (5-under) on top of the leaderboard is that they’re great iron players. “Augusta National is a second shot golf course,” Riggs said. ‘”The guys who can hit their approaches to the correct side of the hole are going to win.” 9:31 a.m. Sean O'Hair (4-under) is on the course and even through 1. The 26-year-old Philly guy has had some high-profile losses (the 2007 Players and Bay Hill a couple weeks ago), but he'll win a big one someday–though probably not this weekend. 9:29 a.m. Reader Jim says Tiger breached golf etiqutte with his spitting on No. 18 on Thursday. "Anyone notice Tiger spitting on the green on 18? They need to cut that out. This is not baseball this is golf. Golf has etiquette!" Sports Illustrated's Farrell Evens got this right: It's not Tiger spitting that's troubling, the problem is he's not any good at it: Tiger is not a good practitioner of the art of spitting. The saliva must come out of the mouth in a tight rope. Tiger’s tends to come out like a water hose meant to wet the widest space possible. Also, he’s just not a spitting type of guy. What do I mean? He’s a golfer from Southern California, not Salinas or Sacramento or Selma or San Antonio. Boo Weekley is good at it because he knows the context of spitting. He knows the history and has seen good men, hardworking men, perform one of the working man’s greatest crafts. Agree with Jim or Farrell or got your own take? Post it in the comments below. 9:17 a.m. Forget Chad Campbell’s run at 62 on Thursday. I thought the most amazing news was Kelly Tilghman’s Golf Channel report that Condi Rice is at the Masters and could be in line for a high-ranking job with the PGA Tour. Which would be tougher: getting North Korea’s Kim Jong Il to give up the nukes or getting Tiger to play in more than 15 events? Probably a toss-up.9:02 am. John Merrick might now be the second most famous John Merrick after birdies on Nos. 2 and 4 to move into second place at 6-under. The 27-year-old Californian qualified for the Masters by finishing in the Top 8 at the U.S. Open. He lists his parents as his heroes and won the 2001 Southern California Golf Association Amateur at age 19, the youngest winner of the event since Tiger Woods. (Man, I love the Masters Players Guide.) John also likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. 8:55 a.m. Golf.com weatherman Alan Bastable predicts severe weather and higher scores this afternoon: After a near-perfect day yesterday at Augusta National, rain and high winds are expected to move in later this afternoon, which could make scoring conditions considerably more difficult in the second round. According to the official Masters weather report: “Some of these storms could be severe, with small hail, strong winds, and heavy rainfall.” Guys who could be affected: Phil Mickelson (1-over), Jim Furyk (6-under) at 1:52 p.m. Mike Weir (4-under) at 1:30 p.m. Greg Norman (2-under) at 1:08 p.m. We can't include 3-under Padraig Harrington, who's playing with Weir, in this group. After winning Open Championships in nasty weather Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie, and his PGA Championship in chilly Oakland Hills, this might be an advantage for Paddy. 8:47 a.m. Larry Mize recovered from his double-bogey start to post birdies on Nos. 2 and 3 to get back to even today and 5-under for the tournament. Somewhere near Greg Norman a dog is barking. 8:45 a.m. I saw John Daly selling hats and shirts and mugging for fans’ photos on Washington Road a couple times this week. He looks a lot fitter than at his pre-suspension Tour events. Has Long John started working out? No, according to the Associated Press, which reports the svelte Daly did it the Al Roker way.After his weight, always a struggle for the 5-foot-11 Daly, ballooned to 280 pounds, he underwent Lap-Band surgery in February. A silicone band was placed around the upper portion of his stomach, shrinking its size and limiting how much he can eat. He's lost 42 pounds so far, and has gone from wearing XXXL shirts to extra large.He's on a high-protein diet, and what he does eat has to be chewed and chewed and chewed so it will be soft enough to swallow. Alcohol? Daly said he'll have the occasional sip of a drink or a beer, but that's it."It takes me about an hour to drink one beer, just sipping on it," he said. "I drink a little bit, but not much."I’m not sure what time Daly is going out on Washington Road today, but it won’t be early. 8:34 a.m. ESPN's TV coverage won’t start until 4 p.m. but we’ll do our best here to keep you up to date with all the action and scores. Upcoming tee times to watch (scores from Thursday):Larry Mize (5-under) is on the course.Todd Hamilton (4-under) is on the course and even through 1.Graeme McDowell and Aaron Baddeley (both 3-under): 8:33 a.m.Sean O’Hair (4-under): 9:06 a.m.Andres Romero (3-under): 9:17 a.m.And the tee times you really want to know:Tiger Woods (2-under): 10:45 a.m.Phil Mickelson (1-over): 1:52 p.m.Greg Norman (2-under): 1:08 p.m.Padraig Harrington (3-under): 1:41 p.m.Gary Player (6-over in his final Masters): 12:46 p.m. 8:15 a.m. And we’re off. Larry Mize, tied for third Thursday at 5-under, has double-bogeyed the first hole. Mize, 50, chipped in for birdie in the second playoff hole to beat Greg Norman in the 1987 Masters, one of Norman’s famed Masters heartbreaks. As a teenager Mize worked on the Masters scoreboard, just more proof that course knowledge at Augusta National is the ultimate advantage (and why golf’s Generation Next struggled so much Thursday).Mize playing well is one of Thuersday’s great story, but Norman, not in bad position at 2-under, didn’t sound like he wanted to rehash 1987 again at his post-round press conference.Q. Larry Mize is high on the leaderboard.GREG NORMAN: I haven't even noticed the leaderboard to tell you the truth.Q. He's 5‑under.GREG NORMAN: Good for Larry. Well, that's great. It's great to see that, and I think you're going to see a lot of good scores coming out of this golf course today. I would not be at all surprised if you see a 6‑ or 7‑under or a 5‑, 6‑, 7‑under leading the golf tournament at the end of the day.Q. Can a 54‑year‑old man win this golf tournament?GREG NORMAN: We'll have to wait and see. 8:00 a.m.Welcome to Day 2 of the Golf.com Masters Live Blog, where we’re just trying to shoot a number and get in position for the back nine on Sunday. Four questions for today: How did leader Chad “Have you seen me lately?” Campbell (7-under) even qualify for the Masters? What does three-time major winner Padraig Harrington (3-under) have to do to get on television? Will Phil Mickelson make the cut? Is birdie-friendly Augusta National the new Bob Hope Classic?
Answers: Chad was 24th on the Top 30 U.S. Money List, an automatic Masters qualification. Face down Tiger in a major. The enigmatic Mickelson could climb the leaderboard or be flying home tonight—there’s no way to know. Expect tougher pin positions and green speeds (no more "juicy greens," as Miguel Angel Jiminez said Thursday), but if the weather holds, guys will be able to post scores.