Mud balls weighed players down on Day 1


AUGUSTA, Ga. – The big issue for players on Day 1 at Augusta National was mud building up on golf balls.

Despite consecutive days of downpours, officials decided not to initiate a lift, clean and place policy, which is not surprising given the club’s historical reluctance to play preferred lies.

That didn’t ease the pain for players on Thursday who, on average, faced at least a half dozen “mud balls.”

“It takes a lot of guts to aim away from a green and into trouble hoping that the ball is going to jump left or right,” Stewart Cink said. “There’s no way to be good at reading mud.”

Cink said he had four “mud balls” on Day 1, but compared to other players he was lucky. When asked how many “mud balls” he had on Thursday Kyle Stanley grinned and starting counting.

“(Nos.) 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 13, 15 . . .,” he smiled. “Yeah, a lot. It’s kind of a guessing game.”