Hooks Cuts from Augusta

By Rich LernerApril 12, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share

AUGUSTA, Ga. ' After Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson finished I was spent. I had to regroup and refocus and remember that there was still a Masters to be won out there.

Here are my Hooks & Cuts from Sunday at Augusta:

  • Phil and Tiger pushed it to Jack-in-86 levels, but when Perry faltered it felt like Norman in 99. A good man won, in both cases, but the sentimental choice fell short.
  • Angel Cabrera joins Sarazen, Snead, Hogan and Nicklaus as the only men to have won majors at both Oakmont and Augusta National. Does that change your view of Angel?
  • The Tiger-Phil soundtrack was Beethovens Fifth for 16 holes. It was famous and about to be played for 100 years. And then it went Vanilla Ice the last two holes.
  • Cabrera shanks a ball at eight, then hits a tree at 18 and still wins. He never compounded the errors, though, did he?
  • We heard the roar for Tigers eagle at eight a couple miles away at Augusta Country Club. Seriously. Tiger at eight, Phil at seven, Phil at 15, Tiger at 16. It didnt stop. And then it did.
  • Billy Paynes greatest achievement previously was bringing the Olympic Games to Atlanta. It may now well be bringing the Masters back in all its glory. With help from Mother Nature. And from Tiger, Phil, Kenny Perry, Chad Campbell and Cabrera.
  • We talk a lot about Amen Corner and about 13 and 15. Nos. 17 and 18 get overlooked, by press and patrons, not by players. Those two holes ruined hopes this week.
  • How do you look at Sunday and pick at Phil? How are we back at that place again? He doesnt deserve it after 67 and one of the greatest iron displays in Masters history. But you cant help but ask, how do you rinse it at 12, miss it at 15 and again at 17?
  • Feel for Chad Campbell. Hell be forgotten in all this.
  • Excruciating moments everywhere. One Ill recall: David Feherty with Phil putting for eagle at 15 says simply, This is to tie for the lead. And then the moan. Birdies arent generally painful, but Phils at 15 sure was.
  • The 12th, ironically enough, sits at the lowest point of Augusta National.
  • Tiger made some tough par putts at four, five, nine and 10. He didnt win, but Lord he fights.
  • Phil never looked better. More stylish. More defined. More confident. And then at 12 and 15 more like the Phil youd sworn was but a memory.
  • Sergio Garcia said he doesnt like Augusta National. Too much of a guessing game. Mud on the ball even when its dry. Padraig Harringtons response? Im baffled, Harrington said, by the comments.
  • Sunday in 1981, Jack came to Golden Bell with a two-stroke lead over Tom Watson. He hit his tee shot into Raes Creek and ended up losing by two.
  • Sergio may get the same kind of warm reception at Bethpage that he got in 2002, dont you think?
  • Mickelsons second at seven and 15 were mind blowers. Absolute mind blowers.
  • Watson said of the 12th, you decide what shot youll hit before you get there and then wait for the wind to match the shot. Dont look at the wind and try to pick your shot. It mustnt dictate to you.
  • Nice to have Tiger back at the majors. His last two Sundays at majors are two of the greatest Sundays in recent history.
  • Has there ever in the history of sports been an undercard this good? It quickly became the main event.
  • Nicklaus in 86 shot 30 on the second nine with an eagle, five birdies and two pars. His lone bogey came at, you guessed it, 12. Jack actually credits that bogey with bringing him back to earth after three consecutive birdies, getting him re-focused for an aggressive stretch run.
  • After Tiger and Phil finished up, I was spent, empty. Had to re-group and remember theres still a major to be won.
  • Phil had a chance to make this his Watson over Nicklaus Turnberry moment. A chance to cement his standing as one of the best players ever. He was on the verge of out-Johnnying Johnny Miller with a Sunday 62. It could have been the most famous round in history. Really.
  • Perry said Saturday he was viewed as a nice guy and good golfer. He said he could change that. Hes still a nice guy, one of the nicest youll meet. Hes still a good golfer. Very good. But hes also now known as the guy who let the 2009 Masters slip right through his fingers. A chance to make the Hall of Fame as the oldest major winner ever. Sad in a way.
    Email your thoughts to Rich Lerner
    Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Masters Tournament
  • Getty Images

    Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

    Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

    Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

    The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

    In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

    "That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.

    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

    "I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

    Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

    But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

    "Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

    "He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."

    Getty Images

    Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

    The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

    Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

    Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

    "I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

    Koepka will start the final round four behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.

    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

    The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

    Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

    Now, thanks to a closing birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

    "I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

    "Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

    Getty Images

    Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

    On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

    Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

    What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

    Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

    Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

    Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

    Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

    His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

    Getty Images

    McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

    They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

    England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

    Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

    Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.