Masters Live Blog: Round 4
Throughout this week, ESPN.com golf editor Jason Sobel will be live blogging from the Masters, bringing you inside information and analysis from Augusta National Golf Club. Refresh this page often to keep track of all the entries during each round.
Have a question or comment for Sobel? E-mail him at email@example.com.• Round 3 blog
• Round 2 blog
• Round 1 blog
• Par 3 blog 7:30 p.m.: Assuming Immelman doesn't pull a De Vicenzo, that'll do it from Augusta. Thanks for all of the questions, comments and, yes, even the poetry this week. I received more than 2,500 e-mails, so thanks for that. Take the day off tomorrow, too, to celebrate Immelman's win. You deserve. And with that, I've hit my 39,143 word limit over five days (37 total hours) of live blogging. That's all from Augusta. See you with the next Live Blog in Torrey Pines. Until then, hit 'em straight 7:25 p.m.: Trevor Immelman is the newest Masters champion. I think this calls for a haiku. From Bo in Philadelphia:
- Trevor Immelman
Tan pants, black shirt, green jacket
- His jacket size is on his caddie's jumpsuit. It's a 38.
- Nice job on the pre-tournament picks.
Sure, Tiger didn't win, but he's in a share of second place.
Stewart Cink you had ninth; he finished in third.
You called Gary Player finishing last and Paddy Harrington taking fifth. Phil
Mickelson is going to finish fifth when you picked him for sixth.
Here's what you wrote about Snedeker: "The stats say Snedeker doesn't do anything all that well, but he knows how to get the ball into the hole and post a decent score. Might still be a few years away from making a serious major run, but it'll happen at some point." I think that about summed up his week here.
Oh yeah, and that Immelman guy:
66. Trevor Immelman (T-5) - "Myriad injuries and illnesses have befallen Immelman in the past year, adversely affecting his game. He'll still contend for majors during his career, just not this week."
how many emails did you just receive saying you made the blog jinx of all blog jinxes?
- I am sitting in Cape Town, South Africa, screaming at my television in a mixture of Xhosa, English and Afrikaans at 1 a.m. You must understand that Trevor is a true South African athlete, and as such will make every effort to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory; and that is precisely why that shot [on 16] was dumped into the pond. I have faith. Ons sal wen.
P.S. Immelman will carry on where Els has left off. South Africa will continue its proud history of punching above its weight in the golfing world. Tim Clark, Immelman and the always arrogant Sabbatini are the new guard for South African golf, one that we must look forward to.
• His previous best finish in a major was T-5 in the 2005 Masters.
• He's the fifth South African-born player to win a major and the second to win the Masters, joining his idol Gary Player, who claimed three green jackets.
• He's the first to win the Masters when holding at least a share of the lead after every round since Seve Ballesteros in 1980.
• He's the first to win the Masters when holding at least a share of the first-round lead since Ben Crenshaw in 1984.
• He's the first player born outside North America to win the Masters since Vijay Singh in 2000.
• Winner comes out of Sunday's final pairing for the 17th time in the past 18 years.
• He entered as 29th-ranked player in world.
• He had one win in 95 previous PGA Tour events (2006 Western Open).
• He had missed the cut in four of eight PGA Tour events this season; best finish was T-17th at WGC-Accenture.
• He had broken par just once in 16 Masters rounds before this year. 6:56 p.m.: E-mail from Edward in Greensboro, N.C., who takes offense to Michael's insinuation:
- Trevor Immelman a one-hit wonder? Come on. He's ranked in the top 30 in the world right now, and he's barely even played in the last season because of the parasite and then the tumor. He's in his late 20s. And he's finished in the top 10 in majors before -- I'm pretty sure he even has a top five at the Masters. He's also been on two Presidents Cup teams.
Immelman isn't even close to being someone like Ben Curtis or Shaun Micheel who came out of NOWHERE. I think most people who have followed golf for the past few years know who Immelman is, and that he's one of the top 10 players under 30 in the world.
- Immelman has played brilliantly this week, but I think this was a big fluke. He will join Ben Curtis, Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem and perhaps Zach Johnson as one-hit wonders.
- You insinuated early in the blog that Tiger wasn't being cocky, because he said winning the Grand Slam was "easily within reason" and not "easily within reason for me." However, he followed that statement up by saying, "I've won 5 tournaments in 12 of my seasons. I just need to win the right four," or something to that effect. Clearly he meant it was within reason for him to win the Grand Slam, unless you know of someone else who has repeatedly won five tournaments? Karma has come back to bite Tiger.
- At 5:57 p.m., your watch read "five minutes to never."
Time to get it fixed
it is definitely running slow.
• Driving accuracy: 86.5 percent. (Rank: 1)
• Greens in regulation: 73.13 percent. (Rank: 1)
• Total putts: 1.55 per hole. (Rank: 4) Quite honestly, I don't think I can remember a time when one player ranked in the top four in each of these categories at any tournament, let alone the Masters. If he had these numbers and didn't win, there should be an investigation. 6:14 p.m.: Trevor Immelman makes birdie. He's up five with five to play. Only two things can happen now, folks. Either Immelman will own a green jacket pretty soon or we'll see the greatest collapse in Masters history. I say he strolls to an easy win from here. 6:08 p.m.: Unreal wedge shot from Immelman on 13 to within two feet and this could turn into a coronation over the final six holes. If the blog jinx is ever going to rear its ugly head, it'll be now. But let's hope not, for Immelman's sake. 6:05 p.m.: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Or something like that. Brandt Snedeker pushes his second shot into the creek on 13, just as he did in Round 3, and that one's going to be costly. 5:57 p.m.: Tiger Woods misses a 10-footer for par on 14, will fall to 4-under, five behind Immelman with four to play. I know I said "never say never." Well, my watch says it's about five minutes to never right now. 5:53 p.m.: Brandt Snedeker drains a long birdie putt at 12 to move to 6-under, while Immelman makes bogey. The lead is down to three. 5:47 p.m.: Trevor Immelman has now played a total of 37 par-4 holes this week. His tally: 11 birdies, 25 pars and just one bogey. Wow. Leads to this e-mail from Dave the former ESPN golf researcher:
- Here are the players who have fared the best on the par-4 holes since 1997:
• Tiger Woods, 2001: 8-under
• Davis Love III, 1999: 7-under
• Mark Calcavecchia, 2001: 7-under
Zach Johnson was 9-over last year on the par-4s; Phil Mickelson was 7-over in 2006.
- Now the tournament has started. Flesch drops two strokes at 12, Snedeker is playing with three arms (two wrapped around his throat), and Immelman half-duffs a chip on 11.
- Five back with five to go, even on the day and you damned kool-aid drinkers STILL hold out for a Tiger win.
- Good lord, put it to bed already. Tiger Woods will not win the 2008 Masters.
• Hole 13: one eagle, seven birdies
• Hole 15: two eagles, nine birdies Just because they're par-5 holes doesn't mean they're birdie holes. 5:19 p.m.: Spy report from my man on the course, Lanier:
- Just ran into Steve Flesch coming into restroom! I was leaving and he's jogging in! Is he e-mailing you, too?
- Looking at Immelman's card, he has yet to make a bogey on the back nine for the week. Suffice it to say, no bogeys on this back nine today would win
Is 9-under the number?
5:07 p.m.: We actually haven't talked much about Steve Flesch today, but at 8-under, he's just two behind Immelman and two clear of Snedeker. Very un-Flesch-like round so far, with a birdie, a bogey and eight pars. Entering this round, he had an eagle and 11 birdies in 54 holes.Then again, eight more pars could be enough, depending on how Immelman plays down the stretch. 4:59 p.m.: ESPNEWS interview. Back in a few minutes 4:57 p.m.: Spy report from Lanier on the course:
- What a great exchange Bones and Phil had before Phil's second shot on 15. Bones tried to talk Phil into laying up. Phil said, "This is Sunday at Augusta and I'm playing to win." Then he takes out a wood and hits it into the patron's stands!
- Trevor Immelman has a library of every major championship since
1984? Let's hope he threw out the 1996 Masters.
- Ian Poulter birdied the first two holes to get to 4 under, but since then has four doubles, two bogeys, and one birdie in the last 11 holes. Can we start calling him No. 32 (his current standing) instead of No. 2?
- The Englishman, asked by the magazine to predict the winner of the first major of the season at the Masters in April, replied: "Put Tiger down for that one."
For the year's second major at the U.S. Open, he said: "You can put me down for that one."
- Since no one else will say it, I will. Tiger. Is. Done. (Especially after hitting that last shot high into the bunker.)
- Tiger's great and everything, but coming back like Jack in 1986? No way. Jack shot a 30 on the back side in 1986. I'm guessing the course was about 125,000 times easier then than it is now. Factor in the wind as well.
If Tiger shoots LIGHTS OUT on the back side, he'd shoot a 31 or 32.
- Nice call yesterday on Casey. Doesn't look like he can hit the reset button now. He is going down in flames.
- "I can't wait to see the whole video of the tournament next week when I get a hold of that. But I said to my caddie coming up 16, I said, 'You know, all the Masters I've watched, I've always wanted to be in one of the final groups.' And I said, 'No matter what I do the rest of the week, this is the best day I've ever had at Augusta.'"
- Immelman and Woods are the only two in the top five with better scoring on the back nine than the front. Immelman is 3-under on the front, 8-under on the back; Woods is 1-under on the front, 4-under on the back.
- Tiger? Out of it? I don't think so. He's down only five with three relatively unaccomplished players ahead of him. In 1986, Jack Nicklaus was 5-6 strokes back with 10 holes to play, with major winners Seve Ballesteros, Tom Kite, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Corey Pavin, Bob Tway and Payne Stewart all in the hunt. Tiger has a ways to go, but this is how legends are made.
- Based on the wind and the fact it is Sunday at Augusta, can we set the winning score over/under at 8.5-under-par? It just looks like 9-under is going to be the number to hit.
- I can't believe those idiots out there who think Tiger is over-reading his putts. He almost knocked that snake in at 5, and his birdie putt at 6 was center cut. In the future, you should really be more judicious about the e-mails you post.
- Just wanted to point out what a 68 can do today. Miguel Angel Jimenez teed off in about 40th place. He is currently tied for 10th. I'm gonna take a guess and say he finishes in the top seven.
- Tiger coming to co-ed heaven number at No. 6.
Best place to be right now? A volunteer on one of the first three holes. One just told me their job is done for the week and now they get to watch the tournament and look forward to playing a round here at Augusta National in the coming days. What a nice fringe benefit!
- Tiger is over-reading almost every putt he hits this week. I can't count the number of times he's read too much break. It's already happened twice today, including the short one he just missed at 4. I'm shocked he hasn't compensated for this by now.
- I want to be the first in the blog to jump off the Tiger bandwagon.
- Tiger is TOAST! It is just not meant to be for him. He got all egotistical and said one of the hardest accomplishments in all of sports (winning the Grand Slam) was "easily within reason."
If that's his way of self-motivation, he'd better get a new one.
Masters Champions, Consecutive Years
• 1979-80: Fuzzy Zoeller/Seve Ballesteros (3)
• 1993-94: Bernhard Langer/Jose Maria Olazabal (4)
• 1990-91: Nick Faldo/Ian Woosnam (4)
>> Career wins at time of victory Of course, Seve, Langer, Ollie, Faldo and Woosie were all accomplished players on the international stage, so tallying their PGA Tour victories doesn't quite quantify the type of players they were considered globally, but at least this is a start. Let's look at this year's potential numbers (last year's champion, Johnson, had one career win when he won the Masters):
• Trevor Immelman has one career PGA Tour win
• Brandt Snedeker has one career PGA Tour win
• Steve Flesch has four career PGA Tour wins
• Paul Casey has no career PGA TOUR wins
If either Immelman, Snedeker or Casey wins today, it will be the lowest combined total of PGA Tour wins for consecutive Masters champions in Masters history.2:50 p.m.: E-mail from Matt in Covington, Ky.:
- I am a huge Steve Flesch fan (went to the same high school as him, although I am much younger). I'm a college student and I told a friend before the tournament started that if Fleschie won I would show up to class on Monday wearing nothing but a Masters hat and golf shoes. Should I be nervous?
- Something to watch today: I've known Brandt a long time and played a good bit with him in college, etc. He loves chasing the lead, but it's a lot tougher for him to protect a lead or a good round. He only knows one way and one speed.
- I told you, he was leading and made three straight bogeys, then got aggressive coming in trying to catch Trevor and turned it around again. Will be interesting to watch today if Trevor falters.
- Finally got to walk the course today. One thing I was wondering -- how do they decide who gets to be the marker when they have an odd number of guys make the cut? The guy they had with Sandy Lyle hit it to about 8 feet at No. 4 today. At some point if he's having a good round, do they whisper to him to not beat the pro?
- Nice to see Jeff Knox get called by name on 16 in the coverage on Masters.org. He played as a marker with Sandy Lyle. He's a very strong player. I wonder -- is his score made public?
- When do we get to start calling Tiger
the Best Player To Have Won Thirteen Major
Championships But Has Never Come From Behind To Win
Me: Hey, maybe you should write a book about Immelman! After following Woods from Torrey Pines to Dubai to Tucson to Orlando to Miami and now Augusta, I don't think Bob enjoyed that comment. He never texted me back. 2:09 p.m.: One other topic of discussion among the golf writers: If Immelman (or Snedeker or Flesch or Casey) wins today and is awarded the green jacket by Zach Johnson, it would make the most unheralded back-to-back Masters champions since when? Larry Mize to Sandy Lyle (1987-88) included one player (Lyle) with a British Open and a Players title already to his name. The trio of Gay Brewer to Bob Goalby to George Archer (1967-68-69) included a middle player (Goalby) who had won seven PGA Tour events at the time. Jack Burke to Doug Ford (1956-57)? Burke already had 10 career wins. Before that, well, there really isn't any two-year span that doesn't include at least one Hall of Fame champion, or close to it. Moral of the story: If Johnson is draping a green jacket over the shoulders of Immelman (or Snedeker or Flesch or Casey) in a few hours, let's just say there will be fewer flashbulbs popping than when Phil Mickelson did the same for Tiger Woods or when Woods returned the favor the next year. 2:03: OK, let's talk wind. I just took a 30-minute stroll around the grounds and would say there's about a two-club wind out here. But it's very sporadic, coming in brief gusts instead of steady breezes, meaning that sometimes it's a zero-club wind and sometimes I think it can get up to even as much as possibly a four-club wind. What does that mean? Lots of pressure on players to make solid decisions and lots of swings that start in a two-club wind but get knocked off track by a quick gust or a sudden calm. And as we all know, wind is the greatest determining factor when it comes to scoring -- much more so than rain or cold. (Earthquakes are, uh, sorta tough, too.) There are birdies to be made out here, but anything in the 60s will be a very good score. 2:00: Best day of the year in sports? You can have your Super Bowl or early-round NCAA tourney games. I'll take Masters Sunday, thanks. Somebody's going to have a brand new green jacket in a few hours and I have no idea who it will be. At dinner with a few fellow golf writers last night, the question was asked: "So, who's going to win?" A couple of guys abstained. (Weak!) When it came to my turn, I said, "Immelman," but it sounded more like your non-golfing buddy who asked which player was leading, then repeated the name as if he had never heard it before. "Immelman????" So yeah, the fact that I'm picking the guy to win today while adding a few question marks to his name doesn't exactly exude confidence in him. Cool note that a few ESPN researchers and I dug up this morning: Only one previous final four in the final round of a major (2007 British Open) has failed to include a major champion in two dozen tournaments, dating back to the 2001 PGA Championship, when David Toms and Phil Mickelson (neither with a major to his name at the time) played in the final pairing, with Shingo Katayama and Steve Lowery in front of them. What does that mean? Probably nothing. But I would limit the list of potential winners to the final pairing of Trevor Immelman and Brandt Snedeker, the penultimate pairing of Steve Flesch and Paul Casey, and the third-to-last pairing of Tiger Woods and Stewart Cink. For what it's worth, Casey agrees with me. Asked if the winner could only come from these three groups, he said, "Hmmm yes." That's right. Woods still has a chance to win this thing. But with a six-stroke deficit, he's hardly the favorite. It's gonna take something special -- depending on how much the 20-25 mph gusts affect play, "special" could be a 66 or it could be a wind-blown 70 (more on this in a minute) -- but we all know Tiger is capable of special. Anyway, less talkie, more bloggie. Hit me with lots of e-mails to the address above. And keep refreshing the blog as you watch the telecast. OK? Good. Let's get going Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com
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2008 MASTERS TOURNAMENT
When: Thursday-Sunday, April 10-13
Where: Augusta National Golf Club
Yardage, Par: 7,445 yards; par 72
2007 champion: Zach Johnson
Details: Course | Field | Tee times
More: Past champs | Masters.org
More: Leaderboard | Complete video
Fourth round• Final-round recap | Photos | Podcast
• Wojciechowski: Course wins final round
• Harig: Immelman an underdog with some bite
• Sirak: Another manic Masters Sunday
• Snedeker's close call leaves him in tears
• Sobel's final-round blog
• ESPN sets cable golf ratings record
• Sunday Conversation: Trevor Immelman
• Immelman gets his green jacket
• Final-round highlights | North's analysis
• Immelman | Woods | Snedeker | Mickelson
• Golf goes worldwide
Third round• Third-round recap | Photos | Podcast
• Harig: Unlikely final four
• Wojciechowski: Keep a close eye on Tiger
• Sobel: What the contenders need to do
• Sirak: Mickelson's mental meltdown
• Jason Sobel's third-round blog
• Third-round highlights
• Woods' round | Post-round interview
• Andy North's third-round analysis
Second round• Second-round recap | Photos | Podcast
• Harig: Sunday's winner around Friday's lead
• Wojciechowski: Immelman a battle-tested leader
• Sirak: Tiger's seven back, but it's not impossible
• Couples, Sabbatini among those missing cut
• Jason Sobel's second-round blog
• Harig: The man who's seen 'em all
• Second-round highlights | North's analysis
• Immelman: Highlights | Press room | Interview
• Woods reflects on second round
• Snedeker one-shot out of lead
First round• Opening-round recap | Photo gallery | Podcast
• Harig: As Woods knows, birdies tough to find
• Jason Sobel's first-round blog
• Harig: Poulter, aka 'No. 2', cards a '1'
• Wojciechowski: Kuehne's unique ride
• Sirak: Palmer's wonderful life on display again
• Rose and Immelman share lead
• Andy North breaks down the first round
• News conferences: Immelman | Rose
• Woods shoots opening-round 72
• Woods discusses his round
• Poulter aces the 16th
Masters Preview•Sobel: Ranking the entire field
•Amen Corner audio slide show | Harig
More coverage• GolfDigest.com's Masters Countdown
• Golf World Masters preview edition
• ESPNMag.com: Six words about Tiger
Golf Goes WorldwideThe Masters has an initiative to get people, especially kids, playing, watching and talking about golf. Send ideas. English language version
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