Phil Mickelson thanking his wife for the support after winning the Masters was a romantic, yet underhanded move. Knowing the media was focusing its attention on Tiger Woods, his return to golf, and his infidelity, Mickelson made a statement by thanking his supporting cast, his wife. The lefty knew he had an opportunity to look like a stud with his wife. Publically thanking her for the support ensured a happy relationship (*wink*wink*)
For Tiger, the man who vowed to clean up his act on and off the golf course, lasted all of about two and a half rounds of golf. He was caught on camera blurting out explicatives after a poor shot.
It's hard not to blame him for his indisgressions, but remember he is under the media microscope 24/7. In no way am I defending Tiger, but just trying to provide prospective.
I think everyone was pulling for Tom Watson, who was listed high on the leaderboard after day one. Although he didn't win, I think he still proved he could keep up at the ripe old age of 60.
Finally, what happened to Jim Furyk? What a disaster. Any thoughts as to how he fell off so hard?
Summary of Round 1:
Tiger plays the best opening round of his career following a five month hiatus from Professional Golf.
Fred Couples has the best round of his career in any Masters event, finishing up at -6/66 for the day. He is the current leader after 18 holes of golf.
The Positive Surprise of Round 1: Tom Watson, at the age of 60 is tied for 2nd with Phil Mickelson, K.J. Choi, Lee Westwood and Y.E. Yang.
The Negative Surprise of Round 1: Jim Furyk, after starting out strong and placing himself high on the leaderboard, bogeyed and double bogeyed his way on the back nine to a +8.
The National Weather Service in the morning predicted heavy storms for the afternoon. The storm split down its center and went around Augusta, providing only minor showers.
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7:06 PM ET: Tiger enters the final hole at -4. He is on pace for his best round at the Masters EVER.
His tee shot on 18 lands far up the fairway.
Ian Poulter is attempting to finish strong as he is a only a few feet away from the cup. Meanwhile his tee mate, Steve Stricker has struggled all day.
Yuta Ikeda misses his chance for three under; finishes up -2/70 on the day. He is the first for the tee off trio of Ikeda/Poulter/Stricker to finish.
Poulter collects a 68 for the day. He is on the leaderboard with a -4.
Stricker finishes up his day with a very average 73.
6:55 PM ET: K.J. Choi is now just a stroke back of Fred Couples for a share of the lead.
The Eisenhower Tree on 17 has been reeking havoc today but didn't phase Choi nor Couples.
Tiger's second shot on 17 stays away, he will most likely need to 2-putt the whole for par.
Ricky Barnes will remain at three under on 16 after missing a birdie chance on a short putt.
Adam Scott stays at -3 after the 16th.
Iam Poulter's tee shot on lands in the rough near the sand trap on 18. He is currently at -4.
Charl Schwartzel finishes with a -3/69.
6:35 PM ET: Tiger Woods eagled 15, it's the fist time ever he has eagled two holes in the same round. He is now at four under.
Fred Couples, in his 26th Masters event, finishes with a par on 18. He is the leader at -6/66. This round is the best of his career at any Masters event.
There is also a strong chance he will set the record for the oldest leader after the first round of the Masters, he is 50 years old.
K.J. Choi is tied for 6th place along with Tiger Woods, -4.
Tiger will have a long putt opportunity for birdie after a solid drive on 16 with his 8-iron.
K.J. Choi is only a few feet away after his drive on 16.
Matt Kuchar's drive on 16 finished dead center between Choi and Woods, with Tiger having the longest putt.
6:15 PM ET: Sergio Garcia is +2 after bogeying 17.
Fred Couples birdies 17 to take the overall lead on the day at six under par.
K.J. Choi biridies 14 to move to -3.
Tiger bogeys 14, drops to minus two. He just missed a short putt. His drive on 15 looks very long, but easily on the fairway.
Best Dressed Nomination: Ian Poulter. He looks like a walking Fanta commercial (teal shirt, white and teal pants with light colord pink plaid, reddish pink and white shoes). However, he is having a great round at -3 on hole 16.
5:55 PM ET: Fred Couples is the Masters' new leader. He is now five under par through 16 holes.
Sergio Garcia is in the middle of the pack with a +1 after 15 holes.
Stewart Cink is also +1 through 13 holes.
Matt Kuchar just missed an eagle on 13. He finishes with a birdie on the hole and is currently at -2.
Tiger, dealing with a paste-like dew on the greens, just missed his putt on 13, but birdies the hole to move to -3.
K.J. Choi birdies 13 to move to -2.
Kenny Perry finishes his 18 holes at an even 72.
5:25 PM ET: It seems as though the cheers get louder for Tiger Woods afer every hole. He is gaining momentum on the 12th hole. According to ESPN, he had only birdied this hole once in 40 rounds of golf at Augusta.
5:10 PM ET: The rains are picking up. Fred Couples is picking up his game and is four under after 13 holes.
Tiger remains in the Top 10 at -2 through ten holes.
Nick Watney and Sandy Lyle have finished their days at -4 and -3 respectively.
Ernie Els finished one under at a 71, as did Berhnhard Langer and Steve Marino.
Angel Cabrera finished up poorly and fell all the way to a +1.
Retief Goosen was disappointed after his +2 on day one. He started off very strong by collecting bogeys on several of the back nine holes.
4:35 PM ET: Nick Watney has moved to five under par to tie at the top of the leaderboard.
Fred Couples just made birdie at 12 and moves to -3.
Matt Kuchar (-3), is faced with a long put from the fringe at 9, curled it to the left and will await Tiger's putt attempt.
Tiger birdies 9 and moves to -3.
Kuchar pars with the hole to stay at -3.
The wind has noticeably picked up. The National Weather Service says heavy rains are about 30 minutes away.
4:17 PM ET: Tiger earns an Eagle on 9, now suddenly two under par.
4:15 PM ET: Tiger's drive on 8 went right but got a fortuitous bounce on a small hill and rolled well on to the green.
As I predicted, the seventh hole claimed another victim. Tiger bogeyed the hole and is now even par on the day. He just missed a short put chance for an Eagle, but will most likely birdie the hole and go back to -1.
Zack Johnson, sporting an orange shirt with horizontal yellow stripes just parred the 11th, he is one under par.
Matt Kuchar, following Tiger Woods, putted his way on to the green, just a few feet away from the hole. He is two under par.
3:58 PM ET: The following players have finished their days, with their scores provided:
Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Lee Westwood, Y.E. Yang, all tied for first with -5 at 67 shots.
Anthony Kim, -4 with 68 shots, in sole possession of 5th place.
David Toms finished up his day at -3, 69.
3:30 PM ET: Who do you think will struggle with Hole 7 and all of those sand traps? Tiger is approaching it shortly. He is currently on 6, holding tight to his -1.
Fred Couples parred 7 and birdied 8. He sits at two under par.
BREAKING NEWS FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE PACK: Jim Furyk has completely self-destructed. His scorecard is loaded with "6's" and he is now at a +8 for the day. He was doing well from tee off on the first hole, but has seemingly dropped off the face of the earth.
Do you think he will make the cut after Day 2?
3:13 PM ET: The Golf Channel is reporting harsh weather is most likely coming by 4 pm this afternoon. Rain, thunder and lightning is a definite possibility.
Currently, both of Tiger's tee off partners are a stroke ahead of him.
3:10 PM ET: Nevermind. I'd watch that commercial a hundred more times if I didn't have to watch, "Wow, that's a low price!!!!!!!!!!" one more time.
3:05 PM ET: Phil Mickelson has tied Tom Watson through 15 holes at -5.
Lee Westwood has finished his day at five under par with a 67, matching Tom Watson.
Y.E. Yang is attempting to remain at the top of the leaderboard with his own -5, he has three holes remaining.
Tiger is through his first four holes, still one under par. Traditionally he doesn't climb the leaderboard on the first day, waiting until the later rounds to make his charge.
Although this is typical of his performances, the media seems to be slanting the numbers, attempting to "connect the dots."
3:00 PM ET: Anyone else sick of the Tiger Woods Nike commercial?
2:50 PM ET: David Duval came out of the gate strong but just dropped his ball in to a water hazard.
Phil Mickelson eagled the 13th hole, and he currently resides in second place on the leaderboard, at the top of all players currently on the course with a -4.
Lee Westwood is having a fantastic round, also at -4, and is nearly finished with his day on 18.
Matt Kuchar, Tiger's tee off partner is one stroke ahead of him at -2 after two holes
Tiger Woods through three holes is at one under par, got a birdie on the third hole.
Steve Stricker is even after a birdie on the 4th hole.
2:35 PM ET: Current Leaderboard:
Tom Watson, -5 F (Career Best Round - 67)
T2 Lee Westwood, -4 through 16 holes
T2 Yong-Eun Yang, -4 through 13 holes
T4 Ernie Els, -3 through 14 holes
T4 Phil Mickelson, -3 through 13 holes
T4 Francesco Molinari, -3 through 15 holes
T4 David Toms, -3 F
2:15 PM ET: Word has it (from ESPN's Jason Sobel) that a loud plane was flying over the course dragging a banner that reads, "Tiger: Did You Mean Bootyism?" Yikes!
The banner didn't seem to phase him, he parred the first two holes.
1:51 PM ET: Tiger has teed off and his ball kissed a sprinkler head and took a weird hop. An omen perhaps? Somewhat comical to see the expression on Tiger's face as the media flashbulbs danced. He Parred the first hole.
Sergio Garcia is one under par through three holes. His drives have looked sharp and he is walking with a confident pace to his ball following every shot.
Tom Watson received birdied 18 and finished his day at -5, still leading the Masters.
Bernhard Langer finished his day with a Bogey on 18, he is a -1.
1:36 PM ET: Tom Watson has taken the lead through 16 holes. He is at a -4 and has taken 60 shots.
Fred Couples has started his day well with birdies on the first two holes.
Trevor Immelman, a 2008 champion, is one under par through fives holes (19 shots).
As anticipated, the wind has notably picked up; should make for an interesting afternoon.
1:30 PM ET:David Toms has finished his day on top of the leaderboard, even though he bogied the 18th.
Angel Cabrera still campaigning for a repeat, now tied with Toms and Steve Marino at -3.
The wind has started to pick up on the course which may pose problems for late tee-timers like Tiger Woods, David Duval and Sergio Garcia.
It's just about that time for Tiger to tee off, and for all the stories of the "tarnished hero" to hault as we see how the icon of the Gentlemen's Game handles his first round back after probably the most publicized five-month hiatus in history.
As a reminder his tee time is set for 1:42 PM ET, and he will share it with K.J. Choi and Matt Kuchar.
NOTABLES: Jim Furyk has double-bogied on 10 and has fallen all the way back to +2 and nowhere near the leaderboard top 5.
Ernie Els, a shutout as a Masters Champion, looks to finally break the string as he is -2 through 11 holes. He has been a runner up in 2000 and 2004.
John Rollins is coming down the backside with strength, tying Toms at -3.
1:00 PM ET: David Toms has emerged as the new leader of the Masters competition. He sits at a -4 through 16 holes. Toms has birdied every hole, save 14, since the 12th hole.
He's nearly done with his day and will need to finish up 17 and 18 with long drives and short putts if he wants to finish at the top.
Hole 17 is a Par 4 at 440 yds with sand traps accompanying the green on the left and the right. A large obstruction, a Georgia pine known as "Ike's Tree" may be an obstacle for weaker drives.
Hole 18 is also a Par 4 at 465 yds and features a large uphill before a small slope in front of the green. The green is raised and will be the toughest putt of the day, sloping down towards the pin.
Toms, a Louisiana native, has never finished higher than the top 30, so there may be a surprise coming out of day 1.
Chasing Toms is Angel Cabrera, Steve Marino, Anthony Kim and Bernhard Langer.
NOTABLES: Phil Mickelson has moved to a -2, Tom Watson remains at -2, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen are -1.
UPCOMING TEE TIMES:
1:53 p.m.: Adam Scott, David Duval, Ricky Barnes
12:30 PM ET: Bernhard Langer has caught Steve Marino on the leaderboard. The German veteran is at a -2 through 14 holes. Langer is very familiar with the course at Augusta having been there several times before.
Five others are tied with him at -1, including Steve Marino, Angel Cabrera and Anthony Kim.
NOTABLES: Ernie Els, T8 at -1 with Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk still at even par through seven holes, Nick Watney -1 through his first two holes.
UPCOMING TEE TIMES:
1:09 p.m.: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Edoardo Molinari, Lucas Glover
1:20 p.m.: Charl Schwartzel, Stewart Cink, Padraig Harrington
1:31 p.m.: Yuta Ikeda, Ian Poulter, Steve Stricker
1:42 p.m.: Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, K.J. Choi
12:00 PM ET: Angel Cabrera, the defending champion, continues his remarkable performance in Masters events, as he trails Steve Marino by one stroke through five holes.
Steve Marino, a name that wasn't in anyone's discussion during the practice rounds so far has separated himself from the pack through nine holes.
Tom Watson is showing he can still hang with the fellas at the age of 60. He currently sits at -2 under par as well. It is still early but as the holes start to stretch out, it will be interesting to see if he can stay near the top of the leaderboard.
Anthony Kim has jumped in to the top five with a -2 through six holes at 21 shots.
Ernie Els is one under par through six holes.
NOTABLES: Retief Goosen -1 through four holes, Bernhard Langer -1 through 13 holes, Jim Furyk even through six holes, Phil Mickelson -1 through five holes.
UPCOMING TEE TIMES:
12:25 p.m.: Thongchai Jaidee, Ben Curtis, Soren Kjeldsen
12:36 p.m.: Camilo Villegas, Kenny Perry, Rory McIlroy
12:47 p.m.: Zach Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Chang-won Han
12:58 p.m.: Fred Couples, Sergio Garcia, Shingo Katayama
Thus far the hype has continued surrounding Tiger as expected, but the funniest commercials have to be coming from Ping on the golf channel, so watch out for those.
11:15 AM ET: Steve Marino currently leads the pack at three under par followed by Angel Cabrera, Jim Furyk, Todd Hamilton, and Tom Watson at two under par.
NOTABLES: Ernie Els finds himself at a -1 through four holes at 15 shots. Phil Mickelson is currently even after two holes.
So far the course looks to be in perfect condition, however the greens will be quick and the sun is out. Look for a few overshots on the green and possibly some trouble with angles in the sun.
Marino shot for par on Hole 1 but collected two shots under on the Par 5 Hole 2 with an excellent tee shot and short putt. He nearly Eagled on 6 but settled for a birdie and currently sits at -3 under par to lead the pack.
UPCOMING TEE TIMES:
11:41 a.m.: Ryan Moore, Ross Fisher, Nick Watney
11:52 a.m.: Trevor Immelman, Soren Hansen, John Rollins
12:14 p.m.: Vijay Singh, Jason Dufner, Sean O'Hair
7:40 AM ET: Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus shared the ceremonial tee off at Augusta National, officially opening the first round of the Masters.
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