Wind Chill the Only Low Number at Augusta

By Associated PressApril 7, 2007, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Break out the Day-Glo golf balls, hand-warmers and the winter rules.
 
Chilly temperatures and a brisk north wind made the Masters feel more like it was transplanted to Augusta, Maine. Spectators bundled up in their winter finest Saturday, and players dug out every last bit of clothing they had stashed in their golf bags. Henrik Stenson even teed off in a stocking cap -- at 1 p.m., no less.
 
And he's Swedish.
 
'The only other time I remember the weather like this is when I'm here playing for Thanksgiving and Christmas,' said Charles Howell III, an Augusta native.
 
The temperature at the Masters was only 43 at noon, and it hovered around 50 degrees the rest of the afternoon. Overnight lows are expected to drop below 30. Add wind gusting to 23 mph and it felt like the upper-30s to low- to mid-40s at Augusta National.
 
That's a good 30 degrees below normal, and the cold took its toll on the golf as well as the golfers and the gallery. The field averaged 77.35 strokes, the highest-scoring round since Augusta switched to Bentgrass greens in 1981, and no one finished the day under par for the tournament. The leader was Stuart Appleby of Australia at 2 over par, one stroke better than Tiger Woods and Justin Rose of England.
 
The weather's not expected to be much better Sunday, with a high near 57 and more wind.
 
So much for warm Southern hospitality.
 
'We looked out this morning and thought it was going to be beautiful,' said Simon Burgess, an Englishman by way of Portugal who was shivering in shorts and a light sweater. 'It's bloody freezing.'
 
The Masters is normally spring break for the golfing set -- sun-splashed days that are warm, if not hot; a pleasant breeze that's the perfect complement to a pimento cheese sandwich.
 
Shirt-sleeves are the uniform for players, with maybe a light sweater vest for those trying to show a bit of style. Spectators wear shorts. The women come in skirts or show off their little sundresses. While the golf is the main attraction, getting an early start on the year's tan doesn't hurt.
 
Rain can put a damper on things -- the third round didn't finish until Sunday morning last year because of thunderstorms -- but it's one thing to have muddy shoes, another to not be able to feel your feet.
 
'This seems like another tournament altogether,' said Rich Cheney of Rocky Mount, N.C., who was at his fourth Masters. 'Kind of British Open conditions.'
 
Players were layered in sweaters, wind shirts and jackets. There was even a mock turtleneck or two. The wind played havoc with almost every shot and made Augusta's already quick greens even slicker.
 
'Do I look like I'm out in my shorts and T-shirt?' Englishman Lee Westwood asked. 'When I got out of the house this morning, I said to (his agent), 'It's like walking out of the Old Course Hotel at the Dunhill Links.' It was that cold.'
 
At least the players got to move around and keep the blood flowing. For the spectators, the chilly conditions called for more drastic measures.
 
Mike Misiak had on a T-shirt, turtleneck, sweater and a jacket. He wore black pants -- 'to soak in the sun' -- and tundra-worthy black gloves.
 
'This, I think, is a beautiful day,' Misiak said. 'My golfing weather is 40 degrees. I've golfed in snow six inches deep. I don't know what the temperature was, but probably below freezing.'
 
OK, but Misiak is from Tecumseh, Mich. He's a pro at this. Ditto for David Lewis, a high school golf teacher from Buffalo, N.Y., who was at his first Masters.
 
Lewis had shed his coat by midafternoon, though he did have on a sweater and turtleneck.
 
'I hang out at football games. I've been watching the Buffalo Bills for years,' Lewis said. 'I know better than to be cold. I can take stuff off. But if you don't have it, you don't have it.'
 
Which is why so many spectators looked as if they were wearing half the clothes in their closets.
 
More than a few people had on ear muffs and wool caps. One man had on a long, leather trench coat and a leather hat. A woman already wearing a sweater, heavy jacket, gloves and hat wrapped herself in a wool blanket.
 
One fan who had staked out a seat along the blustery No. 7 fairway was hunched over, a hood over his head and his windshirt pulled up over that.
 
'Temperature-wise, it's not too bad,' said Cheney, who traded the shorts and golf shirt he normally wears to Augusta for thick corduroys, gloves, a shirt, sweater vest and windbreaker. 'But when you throw in the wind, it makes it really tough.'
 
At least the sun was shining. When the wind would die down briefly, it wasn't that bad. Not ideal, but tolerable.
 
For those who weren't prepared for the elements, though, the entire day was brutal.
 
Burgess shivered and chattered for 3 1/2 hours as he followed Westwood. As soon as Westwood was done, so was Burgess. He and a buddy headed for a restaurant to get some hot wings and warm up.
 
'I bought $700 worth of clothes yesterday, and they're all back at the house,' Burgess said. 'I should have brought it all out.'
 
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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”