AUGUSTA, Ga. – The elaborate stands behind Augusta National’s practice tee, a first-year structure that looks like it’s been there for a century, was strangely quiet, and only about a third full, as Sunday’s final tee times approached.
Much of that has to do with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods having teed off an hour and a half and 50 minutes before front-runner Rory McIlroy, respectively.
McIlroy, whose parents did not fly in from Northern Ireland, was hitting high draws into the practice range’s “fade” fairway. Because he can, we can only assume. And K.J. Choi – who begins the day four back with Jason Day, Charl Schwartzel and Angel Cabrera – was looking right at home like he always does at Augusta National.
“It reminds him so much of Korea,” said his manager with IMG Michael Yim. “The rolling hills, the tall pines and the way they frame fairways, it’s all just like Korea.”