There’s a big storm coming. Saturday’s third round should be completed without interruption, however, the southeast U.S. sits in the bullseye for a classic spring storm – lightning, wind, rain, etc. – as a cold front bears down on Augusta, expected to arrive Sunday afternoon.
Geoff Shackleford, whining less than usual, makes a good point. If the forecast remains this dire, push the final round of the 83rd Masters Tournament to Monday. He’s spot on with this take, what we have entering Saturday is quite possibly the best Masters leaderboard of our lifetime – deep with talent, rich with storylines. It deserves a uninterrupted conclusion. And the safety issues are real.
And oh yeah, Tiger. My words for the Augusta Chronicle and Gatehouse Media on Woods’ second-round 68. If you’re looking for more details on the security guard’s slip and trip in the Augusta straw, check out John Boyette’s column here. Also, hat tip to Golf.com writer Dylan Dethier for tracking down the security guard.
While we’re on the Tiger subject, I don’t think he’s going to win this weekend. (Then again, I picked Justin Rose who is down the road). It would be a incredible moment, one of the best in golf history if he ended a nearly 11-year major championship drought and earned a fifth green jacket. The impact he makes on golf fans was on display in high definition in the waning light Friday afternoon as he created electricity that only he can.
Still, there are two areas he has to improve over the final 36 holes if he wants to add another remarkable page to his unparalleled legacy:
Par 5 scoring: Woods has birdied only three of the eight so far. Throw in a sloppy 3-putt bogey on No. 8 yesterday and he’s only 2-under on the holes which present the best scoring opportunities at Augusta National. Here’s how Woods and the other contenders have fared on the par-5s.
Short Putting: Woods is 26 of 29 on putts inside of five feet, which is 89.7 percent and tied for last among those who made the cut. He’s 4 of 8 on putts from 5-10 feet, which is T-48 in the field. On a jam-packed leaderboard, filled with major champions and world class players, avoiding mistakes this weekend will be critical. Missed short putts are momentum crushers. Woods made 58 feet of birdie putts on 14 and 15 in the second round, sandwiched between 20 feet of missed opportunities on 12, 13 and 17. Even one of the all-time greats has jangled nerves at age 43. Making the ones he never used to miss is an essential step in Tiger’s path to victory.