On the opening day Tiger Woods relieved one unlucky fan of his beer, knocking a cup out of the reveller’s hand with a wayward shot at the par-four 3rd.
Not to worry. Win the whole thing for the fifth time and Tiger can buy him 480,000 of the $3-a-pop local beers with his $1.44m prize money.
Amen to the 15th
In 1935 Gene Sarazen played the “Shot heard round the World”, fizzing off the 15th tee on his way to the title. This year, though, it looks like the decisive hole may be elsewhere. After the opening day and a half, the 15th was the easiest one with a shot average on the par-five at just over four, with the par-four 1st rated the hardest with an average of 4.312 strokes. But while several players have managed to recover from a poor start, Amen Corner is likely to separate the men from the boys come tomorrow night with hazardous pin positions already planned for the 11th, 12th and 13th.
Rain won’t stop play for long at National
Yesterday’s early birds struggled with the wet conditions out on course, with only Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen posting an under par score from the first six groups. Conditions improved in the afternoon but it will take more than some drips and drops to make Augusta unplayable. In 2003 the National was fitted with ‘SubAir’ systems beneath the greens that suck out moisture, taking two hours to make the surface playable and double that time for the surface to be bone dry. They can make the green as fast as they want, but with a threat of possible thunderstorms the system will be set to slurp.
Merrick misses out
He may be a man, not an animal, but John Merrick will not be a major winner either. The unfortunately-named American was in decent enough shape after the opening day but followed up an opening round of 74 with a hideous 77 to miss the cut.