Sunday at Augusta


Bookmark and Share
AUGUSTA, Ga. ' I did my own highly unscientific Nielsen sampling outside Golf Channels studio at Augusta Country Club late Saturday. With a full hour left in the telecast, there were only a handful of people in the grill room watching Chad Campbell, Kenny Perry and Angel Cabrera on television. The rest, maybe 100, were on the back patio enjoying cocktails, conversation and a gorgeous Georgia spring day.
This was not must see TV. Not bad, mind you. Just not must see. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson did too little. Theyll need to do more than theyve ever done on Sunday at a major, and theyll do it together. Weve long hoped for a Tiger-Phil final round Masters showdown. No one figured it would come an hour before the leaders tee off. Slim as their chances are, given the good weather and huge deficit, slim isnt leaving town.
True, Tigers never come from behind to win a major, but you dont think hes going to end his career without at least one Arnie-at-Cherry Hills-charge, do you?
The hope at the start of the week was for a retro Masters with second nine Sunday roars. Pat Summeralls doing voiceovers, the piano musics still soothing, the course still green but the giant swings in momentum are missing.
There were reminders of the good old days everywhere you looked. Jack Burke Jr. was on the grounds and he pulled off the greatest final-round comeback ever when he rallied from eight down to win in 1956.
Gary Player completed his final Masters on Friday. In 1978 he stood on the 10th tee five shots behind. He told playing partner Seve Ballesteros that these people dont think I can win. Ive got news for them.
Player shot 30, capped by a 22-footer on 18, and beat Hubert Green. His 64 is the lowest final round in Masters history.
With good weather expected, it may take a number that low from Phil or Tiger to get it done. While Cabrera, Perry and Campbell are all very capable players, theyre also capable of 74.
If slim gets fattened up by 5:30 Sunday evening, the back patio at Augusta Country Club will be empty.

Email your thoughts to Rich Lerner
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Masters Tournament