Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie analyzed the pairing Saturday morning on Golf Channel’s “Live From the Masters.” He believes Jordan Spieth’s understanding of Augusta National and how to patiently stack up pars will work for him, given the high winds that will make scoring difficult in the third round.
“I think that’s why you have to favor Jordan here,” Montgomerie said. “I'm not saying that because I am on an American television show here. I was so impressed with what Jordan did at the Open Championship last year, in very, very difficult circumstances, having to play par golf around St. Andrews, and how he managed that. This is all about patience today. It's about who can handle the mistakes the best. They are all going to make mistakes. They're going to make mistakes all over the place. Good shots are going to be bogeys. Bad shots could very well be doubles. It's going to be about who can handle that, and walk on to that next tee, and think about the next shot. The only shot important in golf is the next one.”
Montgomerie says he’s eager to see how the different styles of Spieth and McIlroy will affect their play in the wind, especially given McIlroy is such a high-ball hitter.
“Two of the great players of the day, very interesting to see the striking ability of Rory McIlroy,” Montgomerie said. “I think we all accept that Rory strikes the ball better through the green, better than Jordan Spieth. But Jordan has him on the greens. He has everyone on the greens. So is this a striking day? Through the green? Or is it about what happens on the greens? Both are challenging today. If you have a left-to-right wind and a left to right putt, there is self-doubt there. You have to give it another couple inches left . . . or is it a foot left?
“Jordan does keep the ball down. The longer the ball stays in the air today, the worse it is, because there's more chance for it going wrong, but it’s not a golf course to hit it low. This is the problem. This is the issue. You can't run the ball into some of these greens. This is the challenge of the day. It could be very, very interesting.”