Ridley somehow announced that between them the pair had won 10 Masters when Nicklaus has six green jackets and Player three. The four-time champion has been a new man, and his game has looked sharp.
Unfortunately, expectations and reality don’t always match perfectly. On recovery, he hit a sharp, stinging draw out of the pine straw. The last one was from tap-in range after another superb pitch, from the left gallery to escape with bogey for a 6-under 66 and a two-shot lead over Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau.
“Fore, please. Tiger Woods now driving”.
At that point, Woods was 3-over for the day and looking very much like he might be on the verge of falling apart. Makes the 4-foot par save – and still no birdies for Tiger on the par 5s this week.
Most aggravating was playing the par 5s without a birdie. “Unfortunately, people ran out and it clipped them”. We were anticipating getting it back to even par, just fighting our way back to even par. He came up just a few revolutions short for another birdie at the par-5 eighth.
Really, that last sentence could be the story of the day. He was pretty good without a glove, too, as he putts with his bare hands. Bogey, but it could have been worse.
After his tee shot landed in a foot in the right rough, he flew the green with his second shot. “But, yeah, you could definitely feel it”. His approach barely hung onto the right side of the green, but he sunk the long putt to card a safe 4. Anything short will come back.
Stenson only arrived on Tuesday afternoon and played a total of 13 holes in practice, but broke 70 on the opening day for the first time with a three-under-par 69. Woods began the week at Augusta saying this would be a different kind of test because of all the slope on each and every hole at this course.
Spieth also missed putts of 11 and 5 feet.
Before Spieth and Kuchar made their late sprints up the leaderboard, only the most vivid of imaginations could have conjured the wonderful and even zany happenings.
Tiger Woods started his Friday on the first tee stretching out his back and then untying and re-tying his shoe laces to extend and get loose before embarking on one of the toughest walks in golf.
That coverage, minus the 4K part, is also available via a Masters app available for smartphones, tablets and home streaming boxes like the Apple TV, Amazon Firestick and Roku.
McIlroy sank an 8-footer for par at No. 16, holed a sweeping, downhill, 13-footer for par on the next green and then chipped to a couple feet to save another par on 18.
Asked by ESPN to sum up his feelings at being back in the Masters, Woods said: “Awesome”.
Further gains over the next two holes pulled Spieth three clear of the chasing pack, before the 24-year-old made a superb up-and-down from the rough to leave the last with just a bogey.
So, you’re saying there’s a chance?
While ball after ball after ball after ball after ball belonging to defending champion Sergio Garcia cruelly vacuumed back into a pond on his US Masters return, one belonging to a 20-year-old college kid who was supposed to be in probability class on Friday (AEST) sat on the edge of a proverbial cliff.