Augusta Diary: Change on the cards after Donald complains


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The Independent Online

Luke Donald is anything but a recalcitrant by nature, yet he has urged the Augusta officials to take steps to ensure no player has to go through what he did on Thursday.

For 20 minutes he feared he would be disqualified for a scorecard error, before the greenjackets confessed it was an "adminstrative error".

Explaining the farce, Donald said: "It was a shock and it shouldn't happen in this modern age. There's too many steps to the whole process. What happens is once the scorers are done with the cards they give them to someone else to photcopy or fax for reference. When they fax or photocopy a scorecard they want it to come out darker. So they go over the numbers. And they thought my five on the fifth looked like a three.

"You could see on the card there were squiggles that made it look like a five and that over the top somebody had written a three over it."

Added Donald: "I told them 'hey I'm pretty diligent about this sort of thing' and told them I didn't believe it and wanted to see the original scorecard. But it was a fright; certainly when you think you might be disqualified. As thorough as I think I am in the scoring tent, you always have that doubt you made that mistake. It wasn't a good situation."

Augusta officials say they are now "analysing the process", which means they could well bow to Donald's request. Who says they can't be budged?

Writer to enter Hall of Fame

Dan Jenkins, the great American journalist, will become only the third golf writer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame next month. Jenkins, who is 88, joins Bernard Darwin, the British grandson of Charles Darwin, who covered golf for The Times for 46 years, and his fellow American Herb Warren Wind, who coined the nickname "Amen Corner". With typical humility and humour, Jenkins greeted the news thus: "I thought you had to die first. I'm working on that, too."

Feherty lauds Mickelson's miracle shot

Which shot will be most be remembered from this Masters? David Feherty seems fairly certain on that question. Indeed, by the tone of his comments on CBS, the former Ryder Cup player believes the wedge played on to the 15th green on Saturday evening deserves its place in the pantheon.

"No one hits that shot. No one," said Feherty. "If this doesn't make every hair on your body stand up you need therapy. Nobody but Mickelson even thinks about trying a shot like that."

It was the risk factor which stunned everyone. Off a tight lie, Mickelson dared to take on a trademark "Phil flopshot" with the green running away into the water. If he caught it thin he would have been wet and lambasted. "He had to think 'this is not the option'," said Nick Faldo. "But that means Phil will go for it."

Vaughan slip-up makes Tiger bite

The BBC's decision to employ Michael Vaughan to conduct their post-match predictions backfired here last night when the former England cricket captain made a mistake when quizzing Tiger Woods. It was Vaughan's first time interviewing Woods and may well be the last. After Woods had shot a 74 for a four over total he began a question to Woods. "You've won this tournament three times..." he said before being interrupted by Woods. "Four times actually," said Woods. Ouch.

Amateur happy to shun prize-money

Hideki Matsuyama became the first non-American to win back-to-back Silver Cups last night, the award given to the low amateur in the field. The 20-year-old is a phenomenon waiting to happen and, such is his fame already in Japan, he may even eclipse Ryo Ishikawa's star in his homeland.

Certainly the Japanese press corps following him here have been enormous. There is not an unpaid sportsperson in the world who receives such attention. But Matsuyama is determined to finish his studies at Tohoku Fukushi University, and that means two more years of unclaimed cheques.

Last November Matsuyama beat the likes of Charl Schwartzel and Ishikawa in the Taiheiyo Masters but could not collect the near £200,000 first prize. Here is at least one kid who can wait a few years to be a multimillionaire.

Shot, shank, stries: three of the best

By Marc Padgett

Shots of the Day: Glorious morning sunshine greeted the early starters in Sunday's final round at the Masters and Luke Donald was among those taking advantage. British world No 1 Donald, well out of contention after shooting a third-round 75, birdied three of the first eight holes to get to four over, a distant 13 strokes behind the leader.

Shankers of the Day: Rory McIlroy had a nightmare final round last year (and a nightmare third round on Saturday). He didn't start the fourth round much better yesterday, three-putting the first hole yet again. The opener is certainly not the 22-year-old's favourite – the Northern Irishman double-bogeyed it in the first and third rounds.

Outfit of the Day: Maybe he was hoping for the luck of the Irish, but Graeme McDowell was resplendent in his emerald green shirt as he set off for his final round. The US Open champion partnered his Ryder Cup team-mate and good friend Rory McIlroy but he dropped a shot straight away after driving into the trees on the first.