Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Masters: To Be Continued

Go right now to the Masters leaderboard if you don't have access to a television. Rory Sabbatini is -4 through 8 holes and Retief Goosen is -3 through 7 to pull one stroke ahead of and even with Tiger (who's E through 5), respectively. Updates to come, but consider for the moment that there are 15 golfers within 5 shots of the lead right now. The tournament is still wide open. Cink is the leader in the clubhouse at +9; Casey is +7 through 13 and Singh is +6 through 12--if Pernice and Poulter screw up their last few holes, either Casey or Singh may be the first to surpass Cink. As Morgan Pressel can tell you, it's not a bad thing to be leader in the clubhouse late on a Sunday in a major. Still looking for alternatives to my prediction that +2 wins--any takers?

[Update 1 5:05 am: For those stuck "watching" this thing online, the hole-by-hole summary provides a pretty dramatic visualization of the top 25 (and more, if you want to go to later pages) players in the field--although you do have to refresh it to keep it current. Rather than clicking on the scorecard for each individual player to see why, for instance, Goosen and Sabbatini have switched places and Tiger's dropped to +4, you can get a nice overview of everyone's round through it.]

[Update 2 5:15 am: The Masters web site should really be a model for all tournaments that can afford/staff it. The statistics page is updated fast, and let's you see that the 3 easiest holes in the last 12 today and for the tournament are of course the par 5s (8, 13, and 15) and that of them 15 is the most dangerous, while the 3 easiest today are 7, 11, and 12 and for the tournament are 11, 12, and 18 (so far today 10 and 16 are playing tougher than 18)--all of which probably isn't news if you know anything about Augusta, but does remind you what holes to expect multi-stroke swings on. BTW, now Casey at +5 with two left to play has the best chance to post a number that might scare the people ahead of him.]

[Update 3 5:45 am: Well, Poulter is the leader at +8 in the clubhouse and Singh and Casey are coming back to him. There's a logjam at +3 and it doesn't look to me that we'll see anybody at E going into the last 2 holes. Jerry Kelly, at +5 with 4 to play, is the latest to have a chance to be a leader in the clubhouse who might be the eventual winner of the tournament. All I can say is that it's much better watching this thing on the tee-vee.]

[Update 4 6:00 am: Interesting sights. Tiger pitching to 1 foot on 11 to keep his hopes for a win alive after a terrible bogey on 10; Appleby following up with a fantastic two-putt from the front of the green to retain a share of the lead at +3. Jerry Kelly, fired up after a birdie at 15 brought him to +4, missed the slope that would kick his shot toward the hole on 16 and now needs a Tigeresque chip to put pressure on the leaders. Interesting sounds: almost every word and grunt out of the Japanese announcers. Casey is the leader in the clubhouse at +7. There are 11 people doing better or as well as he has out on the course right now. Still a wide open tournament.]

[Update 5 6:20 am: Lots happening--Johnson birdieing 14 to go to +1; Appleby doubling 12 to go to +5; Harrington eagling 13 to go to +4; Goosen almost putting his lay-up from the trees on 15 into the greenside creek; Kelly at +4 with 1 hole to go....]

[Update 6 6:23 am: Tiger fucking caught the slope on 13 by an inch and now has a two-footer for eagle!!!!!!!!!]

[Update 7 6:26 am: The girls are stirring. No more live blogging. Back when it's over!]

[Update 8 6:37 am: Yes! The girls fell back asleep. With Tiger's eagle and Kelly's holding the line at +4, then there are 7 with a chance to beat him.]

[Update 9 6:43 am: Will Zach Johnson prove my prediction in Update 3 wrong? He has a great chance for birdie to go -4 on the day and E for the tournament. Even though he just missed birdie on 14, Tiger also has a chance to prove me wrong, but it would take eagle-birdie on 15 and 16 to do it.]

[Update 10 6:45 am: Johnson did it!!! He has two bogeys in his six attempts at 17 and 18 so far. If he's at E at the end of the day, I don't see how he loses.]

[Update 11 6:49 am: Sabbatini birdied 18 to get to +3 and be lurking if Zach, Retief, and Tiger all mess up.]

[Update 12 6:54 am: Rose just got to +3, too. Goosen bounced his drive on 18 off a tree branch to stay out of the woods and give him at outside shot at birdie to become leader in the clubhouse at +2. Johnson split the fairway on 17--his rhythm looks great and he's staying aggressive. Only people who can catch him are Woods, Goosen, and Rose.]

[Update 13 7:04 am: Japanese tv cut to the news at 7, so I missed Zach's 3-putt for bogey on 17, Retief's approach shot on 18, and Tiger's entire 15th hole. Somebody fill me in in the comments!]

[Update 14 7:06 am: So Rose doubled two of his first three holes and is now only 1 behind Johnson, with Zach almost shanking his approach on 18 and facing a tough up-and-down. Is golf crazy or what?!]

[Update 15 7:09 am: Great chip by Johnson. Rose and Woods are going to have to take this from him.]

[Update 16 7:14 am: Ouch! Three straight missed birdie putts by Tiger on 14-16 means he needs birdie-birdie for a playoff....]

[Update 17 7:22 am: Unless Rose can eagle 18 (I assumed he'd make the bogey putt on 17--my bad! [7:23 am]), Tiger's the only one with some chance to force a playoff with Johnson....]

[Update 18 7:26 am: Did you see the look on Tiger's face when his approach from 121 on 17 went in the bunker?! Well, sometimes it's easier to get it in from the sand than the fringe, but, wow!]

[Update 19 7:32 am: Rationality says it's over, but how cool would it be for Tiger to eagle 18 to force a playoff?]

[Update 20 7:40 am: Congrats to Zach Johnson--another great first-time Masters winner!]

[Update 21 8:18 am: Japanese tv's priorities are so cute--although I saw that Tiger broke a shaft hacking out of the trees on 11 (which makes his par there even more impressive than I thought back in Update 4), I still never saw how he failed to birdie 15, yet I've seen every hole of Shingo Katayama's nice round today twice, the second time when they broke away from Zach's boring speech to show it. OK, time to take onechan to yochien and get back to work. Thanks for the comments, everyone!]

17 comments:

JP Stormcrow said...

Rescued your waagnfnp comment - do not know what the threshold is, but it went to spam - it supposedly "learns", but I have not seen it.

Have comp in front of TV - so getting to watch as well as compute ...

I generally am not a golf watcher, but like it when there are so many in the hunt. I'm thinking Goosen.

The Constructivist said...

Thanks, JP. Too soon to tell. Wait till Tiger, Taylor, Rose, and Appleby are past 16 to see if whatever Goosen shoots has a chance of holding up.

The Constructivist said...

With Taylor's birdie, put him in the Goosen category--only 15 and 16 to go (best birdie chances in last 5). Rose, Tiger, and Appleby have eagle chances on 13 and 15 yet....

JP Stormcrow said...

Jesus how close did Tiger cut that approach shot on 13? Ball was basically stopped.

spyder said...

Okay, here it is.. live blogging of Tiger's putt at 13.. lining it up... walking around cup... down again on the opposite side.. no addressing the ball... two feet to the cup. .slight read left to right.. on ball.. back swing

IN CUP Tiger for an Eagle..

back to +3 too shots behind Zack Johnson and on to 14... Zach hears the roar and sees the scoreboard change in front of him... the home stretch super pressure begins... way Zach answers with a nice chip punch.. fifteen to the cup on 15...

Tiger just ripped a huge drive at 14...

spyder said...

too bad i can't type to two times in a row correctly... sorry about that...

JP Stormcrow said...

But I think the swing with Johnson making his bird at 16 & Tiger missing his on 14 within seconds probably sealed it.

bill benzon said...

This is just nuts!

The Constructivist said...

Sorry for confusing taylor and johnson in my earlier comments. This is indeed nuts. JP, don't forget how tough the drive on 18 is. Tiger still has two birdie holes. Goosen needs a miracle on 18 and help from Johnson.... Probably down to Tiger and Justin who have any chance of catching Zach. Have I mentioned that I suspect my bro named his next-to-youngest after Johnson?

Oaktown Girl said...

So TC -
Are you watching this listening to commentary in English or Japanese?

The Constructivist said...

Japanese!!

spyder said...

Johnson looking good for the win. Rose off to the left, and Tiger misses crucial birdie putt. Not sure how Tiger can make up two strokes at holes he has gone bogey bogey two days in a row...

spyder said...

it's over with that terrible second shot into the bunker.. it was looking online, looking good, but the wind dropped and it didn't carry at all...

Oaktown Girl said...

Darn. I was cheering for Tiger to make a come-from-behind win (which would be first-ever for him in Major, I believe). But he sure kept it interesting till the end.

bill benzon said...

Looks like a win for Johnson. (Wish he hadn't mentioned Jesus.) Tiger's got to eagle to tie.

Oaktown Girl said...

Well, at least the A's hung on today (just now, in fact) to beat the Angels 2-1. Our pitching's been excellent so far this year, but our batting...not so much.

bill benzon said...

What's Gojira thinking?