4:00pm PST: Ok Masters Recap Time, Saturday Edition.
They call Saturday "moving day" for a reason and with Justin Rose going five under, Jordan going four under and Schwartzel at four under, a lot of guys made big moves to put them into the conversation.
Meanwhile Rickie, Sergio and Hoffman didn't have quite the same type of days but all did just enough to stay either tied for or near the lead. So what is store for tomorrow?
I think looking at it from a momentum perspective everything is coming up Justin at this point. The guy has the game and he played the most solid of the top guys. Jordan is dangerous when he is chasing but his mistakes on the back 9 keep happening. At this point I think its Justin or bust but really anyone on that first page has a shot. See you tomorrow for more live bloggin!
3:10pm PST: Sergio and Rose are playing super solid golf. Super solid. It will be interesting to see who Hoffman is paired with tomorrow and how that effects his round.
Jordan meanwhile just can't get through the last 3 holes without some sort of mistake. Last year when he was down to Willett and pressing he needed birdies and couldn't convert on the last 3 holes. I think if Jordan is going to seriously challenge tomorrow he needs to go out in 4 or 5 under on the front side.
2:45pm PST: When there were only a few TV channels everyone had a shared experience of watching events like the Masters. Everyone remembers Jack's charge in 86, Freddie staying up in 92 or Tiger in 97. Now with multiple feeds on multiple platforms, my Masters experience is much different than yours (maybe). For example, I have been staying off the main feed for most of the day and switching back and forth between Amen Corner and Featured Group action.
I have barely seen any of Hoffman or Garcia or Rose. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the flexibility that multiple channels affords but at the same time I don't have the same sense of the tournament this year. I am in a CoupleofRahms/Spieth land but I have vowed for the last hour to follow the main feed to see what everyone else is up to.
2:30pm PST: We are watching something special right now with Jordan Spieth and that just goes to show you that no one knows what is going to happen at this tourney. It has been hours since I blogged about CoupleofRahms and Hoffman/Garcia aren't exactly lighting the tournament on fire. But who is?
Jordan, Jordan Spieth. Mr. Masters. Had a terrible Thursday, almost completely out of it but he is charging up the leaderboard and is currently one back. I learned this awhile ago, NEVER bet against Jordan at this course.
2:00pm PST: Jordan has been watching a lot of TV, to his benefit:
Before his 2nd shot off the straw at 13, Spieth said to Michael Greller "What would Arnie do?" Answered himself "Hit it to 20 ft." Close.
1:45pm PST: One of the things golf commentators often remark about Jordan Spieth's game is that he knocks it around the park and is all over the place and yet grinds hard and is more often than not is in red numbers. He never gives up despite the odds and just grinded out two amazing back to back par saves on holes 10 and 11.
1:25pm PST: CoupleofRahms are both back up to -2 and are inching closer to the lead as Hoffman and Garcia are both stuck at -5. Golfers are threatening to go low but no one has really broken out of the pack with a sub-68. Jordan meanwhile has an amazing up and down to stay at -3. He is turning into Amen Corner now which he hasn't exactly excelled at this week. Jordan doesn't have many flaws in his Masters game but the back 9 has been much crueler than the front 9 that's for sure.
1:07pm PST: Jordan stuffs it close for another birdie. If there is one guy who knows this course inside and out and has the game to go low its Jordan. Before the tourney Jordan had this to say:
“I think we know, and the other players that are playing next week know, that we strike fear in others next week,”
It will be interesting see if Jordan is only a few shots off come Sunday if the field does feel fear a la the heyday of Tiger Woods. There are horses for courses and Jordan is quickly joining Freddie has that type of horse.
1:00pm PST: Jordan must have been listening to me as he just birdied a par 5 and even had a great look for eagle. What about everyone else?
The leaderboard at the moment looks like a repeat of Thursday with Hoffman and McGirt on top. Rickie and Sergio really haven't made any moves and Pieters is going in the other direction. Paul Casey, yet another pre-Masters darkhorse is blitzing the field and is currently -4 for the day. If Casey is near the lead come Sunday, he has got the game to challenge anyone.
12:45pm PST: Aside from CoupleofRahms, I am a huge Jordan Spieth fan. Jordan is always a threat to win at this tourney but he is 4 strokes back of the lead. The key for him today is to go super low on the par 5s where he has been horrible this week. A quadruple birdie coupled with a bogey has left him cumulatively +1 on the par 5s for the week. If he wants to make up strokes on the field he has to birdie the last three par 5s (he parred the first one today).
12:35pm PST: CoupleofRahms Update 2: Rahm falls back to -2. Two birdies and a boegy he is a bit feast or famine. As I mentioned on Friday's wrap up, once Rahm figures out this course, watch out.
Couples stays steady at -2. That is not to denigrate what Freddie is doing. He has had several birdie putts not fall so far. If his putter catches fire then he could really go on a run. Of course, he has to stay away from the par 3s which he butchered yesterday. Time will tell.
12:25pm PST: Every year I add one item to my Masters collection. I have never attended a tourney (anyone want to give me a ticket to 2018?) and I can only imagine once I get there how much stuff I am going to buy in person. I hear that they provide you lockers for your schwag and even shipping services. Until that glorious gluttonous day happens I take a sip out of my Masters Cup!
12:15pm PST: First CoupleofRahms update. Rahm is pulling an early Rory by going 2 under for the first three holes. Freddie is hanging in there with a -1 under. Of the two I have to confess that Rahm has the game at this point to go really low and Freddie hasn't played 4 rounds in awhile. Still you hope that they feed off each other.
12:00pm PST: Ok FINALLY DirecTVs feed is on the air. DirecTV basically mirrors the internet feed but brings it to you in HDTV. At this point in our modern era, with a million channels and bandwidth, there is no reason not to offer fans as much coverage as possible on as many platforms as possible.
That being said, every April I fall down on my knees and thank the Golf Gods (TM) for partnering with DirecTV because it is the best way to experience the Masters that I know!
Can anyone really make a move a post a sub-68 today? If so, they will be in prime position for later today.
11:05am PST: Rory tees off.
It will be interesting to see if he takes my "advice" and stop pressing so much. He has all the talent in the world but I think you can want something too badly it severs as a detriment to your goal. Of course, watch him go out and shoot 65 today to shut me up but at 11:05 I am standing by it.
10:45am PST: Ooof seeing the scores of some of the guys I picked this week scroll across the screen makes me question my golf fandom. I thought for sure Kevin Kisner and Daniel Berger were trending in the right direction and would do something this week but that was not to be.
It looks like it is heating up there in Augusta. The patrons are wearing shorts. The golfers aren't wearing jumpers. Does this mean scores will be lower today? The announcers seem to think not given the flag locations but looking at the early morning groups I think many of the positions are gettable.
10:15am PST: I played a bunch of golf in Virginia but not much in the Carolinas-Georgia region of the country. Certainly the South has a lot of trees (at least many more trees than SoCal) and the courses tend to be narrower in those regions. However the Carolinas-Georgia courses have an added feature of pine straw to help golfers.
I always think about pine straw when I watch the Masters because I see golfers hit it WAY off line only to be bailed out because the trees aren't thick and the pine straw holds up the ball a bit. Sure you have to learn how to hit off pine straw but I think you have a lot more leeway with a straw course.
9:45am PST: Yea, yea, yea featured groups, big names but only the Amen Corner Coverage has Jeff Knox. Knox is now a local legend (and even has a Swing Juice shirt!) and you can catch him live and direct on the Amen Corner feed right now!
9:20am PST: A Tradition Unlike Any Other here on the blog is bringing you the best in Masters schwag each year. Look back to my Thursday and Friday posts for Masters-specific gear you can rock for 2017. This morning Golf.com posted a subsection of schwag, the Masters-inspired schwag that you can rock.
None of this is particularly exciting to me and I think the inspiration for this stuff has steadily gone downhill each year. That being said, I am a HUGE fan of Swing Juice shirts (I have several) and I am glad to see them included in the list!
8:55am PST: What is really interesting about watching two golfers play AGNC is that you really feel like you are following them on the golf course. You see them wait, you see them judge yardages, hit shots, everything that goes into a round of professional golf. TV gives you the impression it is shot, putt, repeat but there is a lot of waiting and walking and judging that goes along with it.
8:35am PST: Ok, our first featured group is Brandt Snedeker and Matthew Fitzpatrick. I really like these guys for very different reasons. Brandt is a super solid guy who put together one of the best rounds of the last 5 years winning the rain-soaked Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Matthew is a super young gun out of Europe who seems like he has a bright future ahead of them.
That being said, each is +5 (of course Brandt rolls a birdie in as soon as I type that) and while not technically out of the tourney are so far back they will be having peach ice cream sandwiches way before Jordan or Rickie or Sergio tee off. What I get out of these early groups is a sense of where the pins are and how the course is playing for when the later groups come through. Grist for the mill as it were.
8:15am PST: Ok while Masters coverage is currently blacked out, you can use the Masters shot tracker to follow your favorite golfers who are back of the pack. The only downside? There is no Jeff Knox tracker.
To help fill in the blanks, I thought I would list some great sites/social media accounts you should follow over the course of this weekend:
1) Augusta Chronicle. This newspaper brings it every year with great articles and content and is a MUST follow during the tourney. You can check out their Twitter account or website.
2) Kyle Porter: When you think Masters you think CBS. Sure ESPN has Thursday and Friday but CBS gives you the meat and potatoes. The CBS golf bench is deep but one of the best sure is Kyle and you can check him out on his Twitter account.
3) Humorists: These guys bring the funny and you should be following them to get a good laugh when things get too serious on the telecast:
7:55am PST: It is Saturday and the day I think things really shake out on the leaderboard. They call it moving day for a reason and it will be fascinating to see where we are at the end of the day.
Of course, I am SUPER excited that Jon Rahm and Fred Couples are playing together. If they are a featured group, I might just focus on them the entire time but don't worry, I will focus on EVERYTHING Masters this weekend ;).
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