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#WNSTSweet16 Masters Moments of the last 30 years

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#WNSTSweet16 Masters Moments of the last 30 years

Posted on 08 April 2014 by Drew Forrester

The greatest golfing event in the world deserves its own list.

I’d like to think this one is right up my alley, particularly since I literally recorded every final round of the Masters (on those things called “VHS tapes) from 1986 through 2003.

I can tell you what Ashworth shirt Fred Couples was wearing when he won in 1992.  I remember what major league baseball team logo he wore on his sleeve in the Friday round of the ’92 Masters.  Do you?  How about 1998 when O’Meara won?  What was the name of the guy who had his first major title sewed up until O’Meara went birdie-birdie to steal the title?  When Angel Cabrera won in 2009, he edged Kenny Perry and some other guy you probably don’t remember in a playoff.

I remember all three of those things:  for the record, it was, in order, Florida Marlins, David Duval and Chad Campbell.

I can also tell you the sixteen most memorable Masters “moments” of the last 30 years, which you are about to read here.  Please note, before we start, you will NOT see anyone “winning” as a moment.  You might see someone making a winning putt as a “moment”, but you aren’t going to see Vijay Singh winning the 2000 Masters as a memorable “moment”.  Reason?  It wasn’t.

So, here, without further adieu, the Sweet 16 Masters Moments of the last 30 years.

(Please see next page)

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Snedeker, Cabrera lead talented Masters leaderboard with 18 holes to play

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Snedeker, Cabrera lead talented Masters leaderboard with 18 holes to play

Posted on 14 April 2013 by Drew Forrester

A host of players seeking their place in championship golf will battle it out today at Augusta, while a couple of former champions will once again try to prove that experience, above everything else, counts most at the Masters.

Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker will play in the final group on Sunday, both sitting at -7 for the tournament.  Cabrera already owns one green jacket – and a U.S. Open title – and is a perennial contender here with his bombing drives and soft touch around the greens.  Snedeker is enjoying a terrific two year run that has garnered lots of “best American player” discussion.

Either of those men could win on Sunday and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.  In fact, if I had a dollar to wager this morning and could get decent enough odds, I’d take Snedeker to win the tournament.  He’s ready.

Oddly enough, an Australian has never won the Masters.  Today, three Aussies have a shot at winning the title.  Adam Scott (-6), Marc Leishman (-5) and Jason Day (-5) are all one great round away from capturing their first major championship.  Of the three, Scott seems the most likely to break through.  He’s played well at Augusta over the last two years, had a chance to win in 2011 before Charl Schwartzel’s back nine birdie barrage, and coughed up the British Open last July when the trophy was sitting there waiting for him.  If any player in the top 10 “deserves” to win his first major title, it’s Scott.  Day and Leishman are both still in the hunt, but neither has the pedigree of Adam Scott.

Matt Kuchar put together a solid third round of 69 and is just three back at 4-under par.  Like Snedeker, all that’s missing from Kuchar’s resume is a major title and this could be the year he gets it.  A Sunday round of 66 or 67 could be enough for the likeable Georgia Tech grad.

Tiger Woods told reporters after Saturday’s round of 70 “I’m still in the ballgame” and, at 3-under par, he certainly is.  Woods is still in the tournament thanks to a friendly ruling on Sunday morning, and if he goes on to somehow win the event today, he’ll have to battle years of asterisk-discussion when folks bring up the 2013 Masters.  His Saturday play was decent enough, with three nice par-saves down the stretch helping him put together his second sub-par round of the event.  Tiger’s back-nine play was encouraging on Saturday, as he shot 34 on the inward nine, something he hasn’t done often over the last few years.  For TW to win major #15 on Sunday, he’ll need at least 66 on his card at day’s end.

Tim Clark is also at -3 and lurking, although there’s nothing in his biography that indicates he’ll produce a second consecutive round of 67 and move into contention on Sunday.  He’s a nice player and all, but suggesting he can work his way through the pack on Sunday and win a major title is just a tad too ambitious.

It sets up for a great Sunday of Masters theater.  You have the on-going Woods controversy, a couple of Americans in Snedeker and Kuchar, and three Australians looking to end a country’s frustration with the greatest golf tournament in the world.

 

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Day leads at Augusta after 36 holes; Woods falters on back nine

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Day leads at Augusta after 36 holes; Woods falters on back nine

Posted on 13 April 2013 by Drew Forrester

They’re halfway home at Augusta National and it’s anyone’s ballgame.

Just the way it should be.

On a day when the weather changed as often as the leaderboard, those who went out early struggled in a morning drizzle that led to slow greens, while players who drew the afternoon tee-time had to battle freshening winds that made both back-nine par 5′s tough to reach in two.  No one, thankfully, gained much of an advantage based on when they played.

Through 36 holes, Jason Day (-6) is the leader, with 53-year old Fred Couples and first-round leader Marc Leishman both one back at 5-under par.  Nineteen others are at 2-under par or better, including Angel Cabrera (-4), Tiger Woods (-3) and Rory McIlroy (-2).

Woods was tied for the lead at one point, but once again failed to play the back-nine well and made bogey at fifteen and eighteen to offset a front nine 33.  In fairness, Tiger’s round of 71 could have been worse.  He made three par-saving putts on the back nine – at 12, 14 and 16 – and had to coax home a 4-footer at the 15th to save bogey after his 3rd shot collided with the flag stick and caromed into the water in front of the green.  Tiger’s 71 could have easily been 74 had it not been for a solid putting round that was only blemished by a missed 8-footer at 18 that led to a closing bogey-5.

Couples continues to be the most interesting story at Augusta.  The 1992 winner is seemingly always on the weekend leaderboard and Friday’s round of 71 puts him in the final group on Saturday afternoon with Day.  The other important note for Couples: he drew the late-Thursday/early-Friday tee-time, which means he’ll have nearly 24 hours of rest prior to teeing it up on Saturday.  That’s huge for any player, but particularly a 53-year old with a balky back.  Don’t be surprised if Couples is still in the hunt with 18 holes to go.

This could turn out to be Day’s coronation as a world-class player.  He was in the hunt for a green jacket in 2011 until Charl Schwartzel went nuts on the final four holes.  Day was also the runner-up at the Rory McIlroy Invitational, otherwise known as the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional.  He’s one of the Tour’s most talented players when his putter behaves, which it did with great obedience on Friday when he made made four birdies on the inward nine.

Angel Cabrera and Schwartzel are both on the leaderboard and history is on their side, if nothing else.  Both have the experience to win at Augusta and Cabrera, in particular, has a great track record at the Masters.

The traditional saying of “The Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday” doesn’t do justice to the fact that Saturday is always “moving day” in golf.  Take a look at the leaderboard at 2pm today.   Then take a look again at 6pm or so.  It’s likely to tell a different story.

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