Wind Chill the Only Low Number at Augusta

By Associated PressApril 7, 2007, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Break out the Day-Glo golf balls, hand-warmers and the winter rules.
 
Chilly temperatures and a brisk north wind made the Masters feel more like it was transplanted to Augusta, Maine. Spectators bundled up in their winter finest Saturday, and players dug out every last bit of clothing they had stashed in their golf bags. Henrik Stenson even teed off in a stocking cap -- at 1 p.m., no less.
 
And he's Swedish.
 
'The only other time I remember the weather like this is when I'm here playing for Thanksgiving and Christmas,' said Charles Howell III, an Augusta native.
 
The temperature at the Masters was only 43 at noon, and it hovered around 50 degrees the rest of the afternoon. Overnight lows are expected to drop below 30. Add wind gusting to 23 mph and it felt like the upper-30s to low- to mid-40s at Augusta National.
 
That's a good 30 degrees below normal, and the cold took its toll on the golf as well as the golfers and the gallery. The field averaged 77.35 strokes, the highest-scoring round since Augusta switched to Bentgrass greens in 1981, and no one finished the day under par for the tournament. The leader was Stuart Appleby of Australia at 2 over par, one stroke better than Tiger Woods and Justin Rose of England.
 
The weather's not expected to be much better Sunday, with a high near 57 and more wind.
 
So much for warm Southern hospitality.
 
'We looked out this morning and thought it was going to be beautiful,' said Simon Burgess, an Englishman by way of Portugal who was shivering in shorts and a light sweater. 'It's bloody freezing.'
 
The Masters is normally spring break for the golfing set -- sun-splashed days that are warm, if not hot; a pleasant breeze that's the perfect complement to a pimento cheese sandwich.
 
Shirt-sleeves are the uniform for players, with maybe a light sweater vest for those trying to show a bit of style. Spectators wear shorts. The women come in skirts or show off their little sundresses. While the golf is the main attraction, getting an early start on the year's tan doesn't hurt.
 
Rain can put a damper on things -- the third round didn't finish until Sunday morning last year because of thunderstorms -- but it's one thing to have muddy shoes, another to not be able to feel your feet.
 
'This seems like another tournament altogether,' said Rich Cheney of Rocky Mount, N.C., who was at his fourth Masters. 'Kind of British Open conditions.'
 
Players were layered in sweaters, wind shirts and jackets. There was even a mock turtleneck or two. The wind played havoc with almost every shot and made Augusta's already quick greens even slicker.
 
'Do I look like I'm out in my shorts and T-shirt?' Englishman Lee Westwood asked. 'When I got out of the house this morning, I said to (his agent), 'It's like walking out of the Old Course Hotel at the Dunhill Links.' It was that cold.'
 
At least the players got to move around and keep the blood flowing. For the spectators, the chilly conditions called for more drastic measures.
 
Mike Misiak had on a T-shirt, turtleneck, sweater and a jacket. He wore black pants -- 'to soak in the sun' -- and tundra-worthy black gloves.
 
'This, I think, is a beautiful day,' Misiak said. 'My golfing weather is 40 degrees. I've golfed in snow six inches deep. I don't know what the temperature was, but probably below freezing.'
 
OK, but Misiak is from Tecumseh, Mich. He's a pro at this. Ditto for David Lewis, a high school golf teacher from Buffalo, N.Y., who was at his first Masters.
 
Lewis had shed his coat by midafternoon, though he did have on a sweater and turtleneck.
 
'I hang out at football games. I've been watching the Buffalo Bills for years,' Lewis said. 'I know better than to be cold. I can take stuff off. But if you don't have it, you don't have it.'
 
Which is why so many spectators looked as if they were wearing half the clothes in their closets.
 
More than a few people had on ear muffs and wool caps. One man had on a long, leather trench coat and a leather hat. A woman already wearing a sweater, heavy jacket, gloves and hat wrapped herself in a wool blanket.
 
One fan who had staked out a seat along the blustery No. 7 fairway was hunched over, a hood over his head and his windshirt pulled up over that.
 
'Temperature-wise, it's not too bad,' said Cheney, who traded the shorts and golf shirt he normally wears to Augusta for thick corduroys, gloves, a shirt, sweater vest and windbreaker. 'But when you throw in the wind, it makes it really tough.'
 
At least the sun was shining. When the wind would die down briefly, it wasn't that bad. Not ideal, but tolerable.
 
For those who weren't prepared for the elements, though, the entire day was brutal.
 
Burgess shivered and chattered for 3 1/2 hours as he followed Westwood. As soon as Westwood was done, so was Burgess. He and a buddy headed for a restaurant to get some hot wings and warm up.
 
'I bought $700 worth of clothes yesterday, and they're all back at the house,' Burgess said. 'I should have brought it all out.'
 
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  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.