published Thursday, April 5th, 2012

5-at-10: Live from Augusta (Day 1)

  • photo
    Luke Donald, left, of England, and amateur Patrick Cantlay walk across the Byron Nelson Bridge on the 13th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, April 3, 2012, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — We are going to move quickly and frequently today. From the satellite offices here at Augusta National, let’s go.

The Masters

We wrote about the tradition in Wednesday’s TFP, and all of the regulars around these parts know how highly we regard this event.

To be frank, it’s the bees’ knees.

It’s the perfect blend of nostalgia and world-class competition. How much does this place value its legends and legacies? Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer started this 76th Masters this morning with ceremonial tee shots down the middle of the fairway. Among the gallery glad in his Augusta Masters green jacket was Phil Mickelson, who is in the final tee time today.

————

It’s still about the golf

The pre-tournament rain has made length off the tee paramount, especially early before the course dries out.

Plus, there is more bad weather is coming. It will be hard and ugly from about 3 p.m. on today. It is doubtful we will complete the first round today. So it goes.

But right now it’s perfect. Simply perfect out there, so there could be a really low number posted around lunchtime today from one of the early groups. Keep an eye on a Ross Fisher or anyone in the Adam Scott, Bo Van Pelt, Martin Kaymer group. Some other tee times of note: Tiger tees at 10:35 a.m., Mickelson goes at 1:53 (and likely again very early Friday morning), Rory McIlroy goes off at 1:42 (and likely again very early Friday morning).

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Full contest

The Mastering the Masterful Masters Challenge is officially the most popular 5-at-10 contest. Well done all around.

Here's a rule recap: Submit your top five players (order on the entry is not important) points will be awarded as 10 for first, 7 for second, 5 for third, 4 for fourth and 3 for fifth and one point for each of your golfers that made the cut but did not crack the top 5; perfect score is 29. Whoever has the most points will get a Masters trinket or something (we won't bring you back a pimento cheese sandwich, but don't expect the moon either — the 5-at-10’s on a tight budget).

Quick reminder: Everyone check your picks and make sure we got them right, and if you don’t see your name, send us a reminder. Thanks and let’s have a little fun out there today.

Blueoval — Mickelson, Tiger, Donald, Mcllroy and Mahan

StuckinKent — Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Adam Scott

BIspy4 — McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley, Geoff Ogilvy

mcpell3 — Verplank, Mickelson, Choi, O’Meara, Donald

Dawg747 -- Mickelson, Stricker, Day, Mcllroy and Mahan

TFP golf ace David Uchiyama — Tiger, McIlroy, Lee Westwood, KJ Choi and Bo Van Pelt

Mrs. 5-at-10 — Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker

5-at-10 — Tiger, Bubba, Rory, Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan

BeachBum -- Watson (Bubba, not Tom), Ishikawa , Adam Scott, Alvaro Quiros, Bill Haas

FEChancellor -- Eldrick Woods, Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson

CelticVol -- Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson

wc777 -- Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell

SportTalk’s Quake -- McIlroy, Tiger, Mickelson, Adam Scott, KJ Choi

SportTalk’s Dr. B (he is a doctor after all) -- McIlroy, Tiger, Mickelson, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley

SportTalk’s Cowboy Joe -- McIlroy, Tiger, Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Luke Donald

BShep -- Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Tiger, Johnson Wagner, Adam Scott

TFP UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown -- McIlroy, Mickelson, Kaymer, Westwood, YE Yang

Jones -- Tiger, Day, Stricker, Mahan, McIlroy

scole023 — Tiger, Mickelson, Rory, McDowell, Oglivy

JordanRules — Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Stricker, Couples

Fred — Bubba Watson, Tiger, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Hunter Mahan

Weena — Anders Hansen, Tiger, Dufner, Mahan, Mickelson

Player A — Tim Clark, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott

Player B — Rory, Westwood, Baddeley, Mahan, Mickelson

———

This and that

— Your Atlanta Braves open their season today. Opening Day is awesome in its awesomeness because of the sense of optimism and renewal and all of it. You know what else we love about Opening Day? The “At this pace” conversations. Let’s say Freddie Freeman hits a couple of homers today and drives in four runs. We can assure you that we’ll share Friday that Freeman is on pace to hit 324 homers and drive in 648 runs, and those would be records. (Side note: We need to get Freddie Freeman a nickname. Like yesterday.)

— Awesome NBA game last night with the Miami Heat holding off an Oklahoma City team that is better than everyone is willing to admit. Hey, we’re a fan of LeBron’s talent, that’s no secret. But he seems to be on a mission right now. From his 41 the other night in a road win with D-Wade in street clothes to last night’s overpowering performance. The playoffs will be fun.

— Our UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown has a good story on new Vols defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri. We were unsure about hiring Sunseri — he apprenticed under Nick Saban, and hiring a Saban defensive assistant and expecting greatness is not unlike hiring Michaelangleo’s paint mixer and expecting a masterpiece — but this may be a better hire than we originally thought. We’re a long way from Aug. 31, but we like what we’re hearing.

———

Today’s question

Gang, bring whatever you want. It’s a great day to be a sports fan.

That said, here’s our schedule today:

We’re going to be back and update live throughout the day here at the 5-at-10.

We’re going to be on SportTalk around 5:15 p.m.

And we want to hear your thoughts, predictions, complaints, what have you.

Bring it and enjoy the day.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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jgreeson said...

Gang, we'll have some additions/updates to the contest shortly, but we felt it was important to note that Tiger Woods has played the first of what he hopes will be 72 holes of golf this weekend, and he already has delivered a fist pump.

Woods hooked his opening tee shot into the pinestraw was forced to runa 3-wood to the front of the green and got up and down to save part on No. 1, which has been utterly brutal so far this morning. Woods made about an 8-footer for his 4 and delivered a subdued — but meaningful little fist celebration.

More to come...

— 5-at-10

April 5, 2012 at 10:58 a.m.
jgreeson said...

MASTERS UPDATE II

Tiger escaped another terrible drive on No. 2 with part and moved to 1 under with a birdie on No. 3. There are eighty golfers including Woods currently at 1 under, two back of Henrik Stenson, who eagled No. 2 and looks a lot like one of the guys that helped Hans Gruber invade Nakatomi Plaza.

— 5-at-10

April 5, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.
jgreeson said...

MASTERS UPDATE III

Paul Lawrie — Yes, Paul Lawrie — has joined Henrik "Hans Gruber" Stenson atop the leaderboard at 3 under.

Do you think every time Paul Lawrie appears on a TV screen that Jean Van de Velde unloads a "Lawrie!" akin to the "Newman!" that Seinfeld used to deliver. Or is it more the "Laaaawwwwrrieeee," ala James T. Kirk's "Kaaaaaahhhhnnnnn."

"Lawrie!"

Tiger is still at 1 under through 5.

Side note: No. 12 is playing tougher than any hole right now. Currently the 156-yard par 3 is playing at an average of 3.44. Yep, these guys are hitting 8- and 9-irons and wedges into this thing and it's eating them up. Stewart Cink just plopped one in Rae's Creek, too, so that number is only going to go higher.

— 5-at-10

April 5, 2012 at 12:18 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

It's easy to forget some of the folks who have won British Opens, such as Mr. Lawrie. Or Mr. Oust ... Oohhst... that Louie guy. And Todd Hamilton. And Justin Leonard, for crying out loud. John Daly - John Daly! - won a British Open.

April 5, 2012 at 12:48 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Sorry you couldn't land a badge.

Henrik "Hans Gruber" Stenson has two eagles, two birdies and six pars through 10 holes. He's 6 under heading to 11.

Gang that's simply huge in the race to find red numbers before the weather turns nasty.

Think of it this way, Stenson has a chance to post a number in the mid-to-low 60s, and the afternoon groups — if they get to finish — will be playing a soaking wet course that will feel like a par 76.

And Spy, why are you screaming JOHN DALY at us? Is it the pants?

— 5-at-10

April 5, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.
jgreeson said...

MASTERS UPDATE IV —

Tiger makes birdie at No. 10 to move to 2 under, one back of the 3-under 69 Paul Lawrie posted and four back of Stenson's scorching 6 under total though 12.

Woods is at 2 under with the hodgepodge collection of Scott Verplank, Jason Dufner, and amateur Patrick Cantlay.

— 5-at-10

April 5, 2012 at 1:48 p.m.
jgreeson said...

MASTERS UPDATE V —

One of the hot names on everyone's pick list was Rory McIlroy. After one hole, Rory is 2 over, doubling the first. And with Rory on the No. 2 tee, and Mickelson and Mahan and Choi on the course, the entire field has teed off. It's doubtful they will all finish.

— 5-at-10

April 5, 2012 at 2:07 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

It's always the pants. I actually had a badge almost in my hands and (please don't threaten to hurt me) I had to forego it. That's what happens when the proverbial you know what hits the fan and you absolutely cannot tear yourself away from the office. So who won the Miss Par 3 last night at the owl's roost on Washington Road? Anyone I know? (don't answer that). And boy does my Jason Day pick look stellar, huh?

April 5, 2012 at 2:22 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

So does Henrik Stenson say "I have a pitching wedge, too"?

April 5, 2012 at 2:37 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

We have zero idea who won the Miss Par 3, but we feel certain that you either know here or have seen her before. And we'll leave it at that.

And no, Henrik does not say he has a wedge. He looks his caddie Mac Lane and says, "Give me back my divot repairs Mr. Mac Lane."

Uch said it serves you right for making fun of his Bo Van Pelt pick.

Back on the course Jason Dufer is at 3 under through 7 with Lawrie, three back of Hans Stenson. Apparently almost everyone else is at 2 under — Tiger, Westwood, Sergio (yes, Sergio), M-A Jimenez, Mahan, K. Bradley and a bunch more. It's quite dizzying here right now and it's only Thursday.

April 5, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Touche', Uch, touche'.

April 5, 2012 at 3:06 p.m.
jgreeson said...

MASTERS UPDATE VI

Speaking of Henrik Hans Stenson, he has an 8-footer left for triple bogey. And he missed it. Now he has 4 feet coming back for an 8. MONEY. Four hours of excellence spent in 14 minutes of agony. From 5 under to 1 under and now we're going to speak with the most irritated golfer who carded a 1 under 71 in the history of Augusta National.

Lee Westwood moves to the top of the leaderboard at 4 under.

  • 5-at-10
April 5, 2012 at 3:32 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

And Justin Verlander is about to take a 2-hitter into the ninth against the Red Sox on Opening Day. Take that, Matt Cain's new fat contract.

April 5, 2012 at 3:43 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Even though I love the Masters, golf really tees me off and there is no fairway to describe it. I wish all the hopefuls well in Augusta but darn it when will the women get to play there?(ala Pres. Obama's conclusion) Would it not be great to see some undiscovered fly high and win it on Sunday? I don't buy that as much of a possibility with the weatheritis incoming. So strap in fiveatthin(only if you need to lose weight)and enjoy this annually monumental event.

April 5, 2012 at 4:40 p.m.
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