Saturday, April 08, 2006

An Unknown, Tim Clark, Threatens To Steal Masters Trophy

The Masters Trophy is in jeopardy of being snatched right out from under the noses of some of the golfing elite by a relative unknown.

Who the heck is Tim Clark? I don't know much about him but I do know this, the guy can golf. He was throwing darts into the greens today before the horn sounded suspending play due to darkness. Rain had delayed play for 4 hours.

He left a short putt for birdie for tomorrow. If he makes it he'll be tied for first with Chad Campbell.

I hope he puts a real scare into the other "elite" golfers.

Golf Times

Ben Crenshaw Looks Too Thin But Is Sitting Fat Dumb And Happy At 1 Under

Now here's a guy I never would have picked to be 1 under. I would have picked Ray Floyd before him.

It's the putter. That's always been his strength and it's what's keeping him near the top. I think they said he had 24 putts in the first round. That's unbelievable.

The rain tomorrow will do him in though. It lengthens the already long course, not to his ad vantage and makes putting easier which takes away his one advantage.

Look for him to drop back today.

Golf Times

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gary Player Plays Well At Masters Tournament

Gary Player at the age of 70 was even after six holes. At the same time David Duval was 5 over. Player is a real competitor and he really showed something today. The course is playing as tough as it ever has and here's Gary at 70 no less holding his own at Augusta National.

Yes he did end the round at 7 over but that was still better than 12 other players.

I know it's close to impossible but I'd love to see him make the cut.

Talking about being competitive, Gary has played in 49 tournaments and Arnold Palmer has played in 50, the most by any player. Well, Gary has said that he plans on playing in 51.

Golf Times

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Masters Tournament Golf Prayer: Dear God Let Me get Through These Next Three Holes, Amen (Corner)

Yes it's Amen Corner. Made famous by a sports writer after Palmer won the 1958 tournament. Amen Corner are holes 11, 12 & 13.

All are brutal and if the wind is blowing, especially hole 11 with the added length this year, well you can almost forget playing those holes under or even at par.

Augusta National has a Masters website and one of the new features is a webcam where you can see all the action at Amen Corner during most of the rounds.

You can read more about it here.

The player who navigates these treachorous holes the best is the one who eventually slips into the green jacket.

Golf Times

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

At Least One Player Likes The Changes At Augusta National

Nicklaus and Palmer said they don't like the changes at Augusta but that's okay because according to the official website of The Masters Tournament, Charles Howell III likes them. Phew! Thank God for that, now that we know Charles likes the changes, lets all rejoice.

Apparently, the folks at Augusta don't care that two of the greats from the game have criticized the changes, they're forging ahead anyway. Why not, they have Charles Howell III on their side.

Below is an article by Art Stricklin on Howell and what he had to say about the course and the Tournament:

Of all the tournaments Charles Howell III has played in his young career, none means more to him than this week at the Masters.

The Augusta native is playing in his fifth Tournament, but said anytime he can tee it up at home; playing at Augusta National has special meaning.

"This golf course doesn't have the (same) feel to me as a U.S. Open or a British Open or a PGA," he said. "They are major championships, they are very important and they are played on great golf courses, but it's not the Masters."

Howell grew up next door at Augusta Country Club where his dad is a member and has played an estimated 150 rounds at Augusta National, more than any other PGA Tour professional under the age of 30. He first played Augusta National at age 10 and shot a 79 from the member's tees.

While he now lives in Orlando, Howell still spends ample time in his hometown and has given his hearty endorsement to the recent course changes.

"I think the changes are fantastic," said the Augusta native. "To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if in the years to come there are more changes to it. As much as people talk about how long the golf course is now, there are still longer ones out there.

"They could set this golf course up so hard that it would make you just cry, but on Saturday and Sunday, they allow for birdies and eagles and the occasional double-bogey for those trying to make those runs."

Howell has seen the gradual evolutional of the course over the years and said the Masters Tournament committee is simply reacting to changes in technology.

"If you're going to win the Masters, it's going to be a hard task," he said.

" It's a major. It's the Masters and that's the way Bobby Jones would have wanted it."

Toward that end, Howell also hopes the chance to one day, some day, win a Masters will come before his career ends.

"I want to win this thing more than anybody," he said. "That's part of the challenge."

His best finish, at Augusta has been a tie for 13th in 2004. When he missed the 36-hole cut last year, Howell chose to revamp his game, now working with Brian Mogg.

When Howell left Oklahoma State University in 2000 and turned professional, many people predicted he would already have won a Masters by now. Named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2001, he has won one event, the 2002 Michelob Championship, and hasn't reached the lofty goals he set for himself.

"At the end of the day, it's about winning tournaments, and then taking it a step further," he said. "It's about winning majors."

"People talk about the majors Jack (Nicklaus) won and they don't talk about how many regular Tour events he won, and that's what it's going to be like with Tiger and Phil."

He admitted getting too technical with his game. "I could make Nick Faldo seem like a feel player," he joked. He has worked on spending more time on the course and learning how to get the ball in the hole in the least number of strokes.

"I don't go out there and work on five different things on the range. Everybody knows that the top five players in the world have the five best short games and that's what I'm working on," Howell said. "I'd give myself a B for my career so far."

To achieve his goals, he will rely on his local knowledge gleaned from his large number of rounds, his many friends who are members and the caddie's eager to share their knowledge.

"There are just some holes out here where the ball does things it just can't (seem to) do," he said. "The local caddies always seem to know everything. They always show me a putt or new shot, with the way the ball rolls with the grain or the slope.

"It will blow your mind what the ball will do. Until you play here, you just can't appreciate the difficulty."In 14 official rounds at the Masters, Howell's stroke average is 73.0. He best non-competitive round is 67. That's further proof, he said, of the mental difficulty Augusta National holds on him.

"On the first tee on Thursday, I was more nervous than I've ever been on the golf course," he admitted. "Parts of my body shook I didn't know would shake. You can say it's the best week of the year."

Howell has had plenty of those great weeks, but for 2006, he is looking for something more. He'd like a high finish, a late Sunday run, and the wish to join Larry Mize as the only Augusta natives to win the Tournament.

"It would mean more to me than anyone out here," he said.

Let's see how the changes affect his game.

Golf Times

Monday, April 03, 2006

Phil Mickelson Winning The Bell South By 13 Can Only Mean One Thing At The Master's Tournament...

It can only mean that he will miss the cut. One thing about Mickelson that can be considered his biggest fault is his consistency. He can be incredibly hot for a while then go inexplicably cold. He was way over the top hot this week so I can only come to the conclusion that he won't be able to keep that momentum this weekend.

He probably will be 3 or 4 over on Thur then 1 or two over Fri and miss the cut.

Better luck next year Phil.

Golf Times
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