Saturdays at Augusta

By Rich LernerApril 10, 2009, 4:00 pm
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AUGUSTA, Ga. ' Phil Mickelsons body language looks better than Tiger Woods. But since its a mind and body game, well not back off from Tiger just yet.
 
Still, when he flubs the second at 18, its surprising. When he flings the club, its uncomfortable, an opening for critics. He strode past the press, flanked by security, like a football player heading to halftime after fumbling at the goal line. He was hot. A 21 point third quarters not out of the question. He needs to put points on the board, no less than 68 on Saturday.
 
If the analogys football, Anthony Kim did what on Friday, run for 297 yards? Throw six touchdowns? Eleven birdies at Augusta National ' thats obscene. This isnt Bermuda Dunes, folks. The effort screams talent, the motivation poignant. Kim read the account of Nick Adenhart, the young Los Angeles Angels pitcher killed in a car accident earlier this week. You never know, Kim explained. Enjoy the day and quit stressing.
 
I asked Kim if he was conscious of people looking to jump off his bandwagon in light of his recent poor play. He said he didnt perform for anyone else and that he believes hes better now than last year. The evidence suggested otherwise. But after 11 birdies, Ill buy it. Im really curious to see how he handles the weekend.
 
Sergio came in trying to just make the cut. Seriously, thats what he said. Not looking to win his first major, but just be around on Saturday. Think like a journeyman. Take that Rotella.
 
Kenny Perry treated the majors last year the way Tiger treats the Southern Farm Bureau Classic. It wasnt a priority on the schedule. Now hes threatening to become the oldest ever to win one at 48. Modern equipments lengthened careers, and Kenny reminds me of Vijay Singh and Fred Couples with a swing that really doesnt look a whole lot different than it did 20 years ago.
 
If Chad Campbell wins hell have finally fulfilled the potential his peers saw in him when they voted him six years ago most likely to attain superstardom. And because hed be a third straight winner without star status on top of Trevor Immelman and Zach Johnson, hell also spark another round of noisy debate about the golf course.
 
Interesting that the lengthening of Augusta National has given more players, not fewer as many thought, a chance to win. Tigers edge going in with a middle iron to a stout 4 or even a short 5 is not as great as it is going in with 9-iron or wedge.
 
So who makes the better move, Tiger or Phil? What do Sergio and AK bring? Sure its all about the second nine on Sunday at Augusta, but Ive always enjoyed Saturdays here too.
 

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