Ok first things first, was never planning on doing a blog this year as I just got down here last night and am going back to terrible Connecticut on Friday night.
1st) In a normal year I am here from Sunday to Saturday and I can scope everyone and anyone I want to see with a full 3 day practice round schedule.
2nd) I did not take any notes while I was out on the golf course today, because as mentioned earlier, I was not going to do a blog. When I returned to my phone, as they are not allowed on the golf course, I had at least 50 text messages badgering me about where the hell was the blog? Well guess what people – it’s right here. I had no idea that so many people enjoyed it so much, so I am going to just do an abbreviated version of it. It will not be long or detailed, and more then likely this will be the only post this week.
3rd) I brought my camera down and took some amazing shots and videos of the golf course today, but because I am a sales trader, and not a very smart man, my camera choice was not a great one, in short the thing looks cool as hell, but it is a piece of junk and somehow decided it was going to not connect to my phone so I could upload my pictures. I kind of anticipated this problem, and I brought down a wire as a backup to upload them to my computer. But if you refer to earlier in this paragraph about me not being a very smart man, the wire I brought does not fit into my newer laptop, so as far as the pictures go there will not be any until I get back home and able to do this the right way.
4) Because I am doing this impromptu there are going to be a plethora of typos, misspelled words, grammatical errors (sorry Mrs Stobbs) and all sort of other mistakes. If you have a problem with any of that, I found a cool way to fix it. You can simply take your mouse, scroll to the top of this web page and click the X on your internet browser shutting it down instantaneously.
With all of that out of the way lets get to today. First things first, the limited amount of patrons is absolutely astonishing. I have been coming here every year since I was born, with the exception of last year (thanks a lot China) and I am just used to things being a certain way. 15 minute waits to take a leak, 2 hours to complete the shopping process in the merchandise tent, 10 minutes to get a pimento cheese sandwich, and a chicken sandwich and then combine them into one (this might sound disgusting but it is pure genius!!! In fact I take back all of the prior comments about me being a moron because this idea trumps all else. Anyway back on point as a patron out there today I had carte blanche to whatever I wanted to see. Th biggest marquee group of the day was Phil and Bryson and I will tell you 75% of the patrons were following them and I still could watch undeterred and up close and personal. There are also no grandstands for obvious reasons so that makes walking the course much easier as the grandstands block a lot of the arteries that are used for patrons walking, so instead of having to crossover to another hole thru the fairway and getting stuck you can simply walk around the back of the green to the next hole. In short, with limited patrons, no grandstands, it is the easiest it has been to navigate and watch golf at a tournament that I can remember, and this includes any tournament not just the Masters. Ok simple bullet points and thoughts below.
First, the weather has been perfect and today was a no exception. The extended forecast earlier in the week had lots of rain on Friday and Saturday but looking like that is not going to happen and you will see a 100% completely different golf course than you saw in November. The greens were already brown and it was Wednesday and I think it would be the very Augusta National thing to do to keep this golf course as firm and as fast as possible after DJ’s assault on it last fall. While still a little rain in the forecast it is just a passing shower at this point and a far cry from the full inch of rain that was in the forecast – in short it will do nothing to soften up this golf course. It is going to play the way that it should be. Gone are the days of last fall where guys were getting up and down from spots on the golf course that were dead. This tournament is going to come down to the guys who miss shots in the correct spots. These conditions will favor that and really penalize misses in the wrong spots, unlike November.
- Matt Wolfe was using a new putter on the putting green, saw him later playing with Joaquin, Wolfe looked terrible. Joaquin looked really good, very comfortable. Very casual. Wolfe than had a full lesson from Gankas on the range post round. Big time fade for me.
- Brooks – saw Brooks play 3 holes, saw him miss the same putt on 7, 8 times in a row. I shit you not he missed the same putt 8x low. Got up to 8 tee, grimacing, grabbing his knee, looked really bad, proceeded to hit a queefed fade into the bunkers on the right. No power in that right knew; definitely bothering him.
- JDay was playing by himself, hit his second shot into 13 terrible fat, short left. We then saw him n Reed playing together on 17,18 they must have joined up. Both looked very comfortable. Reed more so, just kind of joking around the whole time, felt like he was ready, this was all just for fun.
- DJ and Woodland were playing together. Woodland looked way better between the two. Hammered one on fifteen and threw a dart on 16. Pulled his drive left on 17 but reloaded and was fine. Woody looks very in control of his game. DJ was driving the ball really well but seemed to be struggling putting. After the round we saw him working something out on the putting green.
- Watched Westwood , Willett and Wallace for a bit. It was a very comfortable group and although Willett is the only Green Jacket owner in that group, Westwood was the alpha male. Looked really good.
- Scheffler and Finau both put in a ton of work on the range. Faldo was stalking Scottie, badgering him the whole session. Finau seems off, unless he was going fade, draw, fade, draw on the range, doesn’t seem like he has too much control of his ball right now.
- Christian Bzendenhout (talk about spell check going haywire) was on the range when we first got there. He was absolutely striping whatever club he was hitting ( 4 or 5 ). Hit a hard pull hook of of 10 today playing with fellow South Africans – Oosthuizen and Schwartzel (I will call this group the spell check nightmare)
- Paul Casey played by himself. Seemed at home stress free practice round.
- Molinari looked terrible on putting green, Cam Champ looked terrible chipping behind 14.
- Mentioned earlier Bryson looked a little eratic and I just do not think overpowering Augusta in the way he plans to is going to work out for him, If he gets out of position off the tee he will get out of position into the greens and as I mentioned earlier that is where you will get in trouble
- Bubba, Webb, and Horschel played together. Webb looked steady as did Billy, but man was I impressed with what I saw out of Bubba. Just absolutely striping the golf ball from the 5 holes we saw him play. he loves to fade it off the tee, and for a lefty around here that is a perfect recipe and he is putting great, can be a very live dog this week if you can call a 2 time champ that.
- Cam Smith – I have not seen him play, and he seems to be a very hot pick for everyone this week. I am sure I will be dead wrong on this, but I do not think he does well this week. Everyone likes him because off how well he played in November, and my hat is off to him for that. He also has an insane short game that will definitely come to good use around here, but I think the results from last year are honestly completely moot and need to almost be thrown out. I do not think he would be on everyones list if The Masters was not played at all last year, as if you look at his game, it is not one you would think would do well at Augusta. I think people are putting too much merit into his finish last year. Just to cover my ass as soon as I typed that last sentence I bet on him to win. LOL
- Ollie Osbourne – no I did not make this name up, and I am pretty sure you guys have never heard of him either. His real name is Charles, but that is not important. What is important is he is in the Masters by finishing runner up in the US AM last year, and he is just a junior at SMU, but I was in awe of how good he hit the golf ball. Who knows what will happen when the lights go on, but maybe a kid to watch in future or play in some sort of pool yiouy are in if there is an amateur category.
With all of that being said and the limited amount of stuff I have seen today I will offer my picks below. Obviously it would be easy to say DJ, JT, Spieth, etc…. but as you know I like to go out on a limb a little with my picks. My pick to win it this year, not that it is going out that much of a limb is someone with the name Patrick – Reed or Cantlay. I also put a little money on Bubba as well after what I saw today. I think a few live dogs that could be in play are Berger, Simpson, Woodland, and Matsuyama. A couple more down the list that I like to perform well are Carlos Ortiz, Will Zalatoris, and Robert MacIntyre – I like calling him Bobby Mac as it sounds like he is a farmer from the panhandle of Oklahoma, not from Oban, a small little coastal town in the northwest of Scotland called Oban.
Anyway I did this a little rushed so I might have forgot some of the people I think can do well, but figured this blog today was better than nothing. I hope you enjoyed it, and like I said with the exception of a possible quick update in one of these nights to come this is pretty much going to be the extent of the blog this year.
Enjoy The tournament as it is truly the greatest week of the year.