Midway through “moving day” there has been, well...fairly little movement, other than the collective whole taking advantage of the weather and scoring in the red numbers.
Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry have stretched their lead over the field, and as of now, are starting to turn this tournament into a two-man race: Perry is currently at -11, while Campbell is at -10.
At 3:10 p.m. EDT today, there were 12 players within four shots of the lead, but within the next hour, that number dwindled to just three.
Angel Cabrera continues to lurk in the weeds, playing one under on the day and eight under for the tournament.
Steve Stricker has played himself into contention with a front-nine 33 and is now at six under for the tournament. If he can continue to make up ground and record another two or three birdies, he will be in position to make a run at the leaders on Sunday.
There have been 117 birdies recorded on the day alongside 115 scores above par: 102 bogeys, 11 double bogeys, and 2 scores of triple or worse.
Steve Flesch managed to find six birdies on the course today and play himself into red figures after starting the day at one over. Currently sitting at three under, he could be poised to make a move on Sunday if the lead continues to hang around -10.
The once-impenetrable Augusta has been there for the taking this year. Of the 50 players in the field, 31 are under par, and there are only five players (I repeat, five) that currently sit at worse than two over par.
Though it's rare in any golf event, there is a very real chance that nearly every player could finish this tournament at even par or better; Mike Weir and Kevin Sutherland are bringing up the rear at six over, but both players are capable of recording birdies and giving it a run.
As of now, there have been no eagles recorded on the day, but with the weather being better than expected, expect a couple players to take a run at some of the par fives.
Hole 8 – Yellow Jasmine – Par 5 – 570 yards
The eighth hole is playing as the easiest hole on the course.
Only two bogeys have been recorded at Yellow Jasmine, and there have been 18 birdies there. The whole is playing at a 4.6 clip.
Expect every player to attempt to take advantage of the eighth by drilling a long drive down the middle and going for the green in two.
Jasmine is playing very easy today, and with a pin placement at the very front of the green, it makes for an easy shot.
Hole 9 – Carolina Cherry – Par 4 – 460 yards
The ninth hole is playing as the seventh-most difficult hole on the course and troubles players for an average of 4.1 strokes.
There have been only two birdies compared to seven bogeys on Carolina Cherry today.
Players are starting to turn conservative in the middle of the course, and par is the play of choice. Expect this to remain constant throughout the day, as the field will not want to give back any shots before heading into the difficult stretch of three that awaits.
A back-of-the-green pin placement on the ninth brings both greenside bunkers into play. Few players will choose to challenge the flag stick, instead opting to play middle of the green for an easy two putt.
Hole 10 – Camellia – Par 4 – 495 yards
Camellia has been particularly forgiving today after being a nuisance the first two days.
The 11th-most difficult hole on the day is playing to an even 4.0 pace. There have been three birdies and three bogeys, but otherwise, nothing but pars.
The field has accepted the difficulty of the tenth hole and is adopting the same strategy that is being incorporated for the ninth.
The pin placement is very difficult today, as it is right next to the greenside bunker, so you can expect very few players to take shots at it.
This hole should not score as bad as it has the first two days, as the pin placement eliminates many birdie opportunities.
Do not expect anyone to be attempting to make a move on this hole.