Masters Thoughts: Thursday

Tiger Woods (Vuich/SI) Here are a few impressions from the opening round at Augusta National on Thursday:

  • The day was all about Tiger and judging by the golf he played - rightly so! While he received multiple fortuitous bounces (8, 9, 10, 11) he left his fair share of 8 footers out there. On Thursday he was a modern day Seve Ballesteros playing at full steam. Good to watch for sure.
  • That being said, Tiger still has a long way to go in improving his reaction to less than stellar shots. I saw and heard multiple GD's and what looked like an f-bomb.
  • Shingo - what happened to the hat?
  • Charl Schwartzel is the real deal! He played a fantastic opener and I look for him to still be around come Sunday. He gets my vote as the best swing in golf at the moment.
  • Aaah Freddy - that swing is perhaps even smoother and freer than it has ever looked. And I love the "golf sneakers", with no socks none the less, to go along with no glove. He looked and swung like a friend had pulled him off the couch for a quick evening 5 holes at their local track! Did you know that Fred is -77 for 12 rounds on the Champions Tour this year....! Yesterday was the lowest round he has ever had at Augusta National.

Freddy Couples (Beck/SI)

  • Each time I checked the leaderboard a different Champions Tour golfer was leading - first Langer, then Watson and finally Freddy Couples. What a great day for golf!
  • I can see the emergency meeting Thursday night with the superintendent: How do we get rid of these silly pine stamens? Why is there pine pollen floating on the ponds? And why are the scores so low? I'm sure every stamen you saw yesterday is already off property, but can you picture Augusta with no pine trees next year?
  • What happened to Ernie and Angel on the back nine yesterday? Els played a fine round, but spoiled it with an ugly double at the closer for 71 and Cabrera had it to -3 before dropping four shots in the final four holes for 73.
  • I love what Jack and Arnie did to start the tournament. Call me sentimental, I just think it adds so much to the event and it's tradition. Gary Player where are you?
  • KJ Choi is swinging and putting beautifully and I look for him to be around on Sunday. Playing with Tiger seemed to spur him on.
  • Does Matt Kuchar have the flattest back swing you have ever seen?
  • If you have not used the scoreboard at I would highly recommend it. It includes video highlights for multiple shots from each player - take a look!
  • It was good to see Trevor Immelman and Adam Scott have nice openers. Two young stars who have been missing for awhile.
  • In the battle of the long bombers Dustin Johnson (305.50 yds) currently holds a 1 yard advantage over playing partner Alvaro Quiros (304.50 yds)
  • Lookout for Phil.....lookout!

GIR Stats

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Driving Distance Stats