Masters Live Blog: Round 3
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.• Round 2 blog
• Round 1 blog
• Par 3 blog 7:40 p.m.: Great third round of the Masters today. Will Trevor Immelman hold on for the wire-to-wire victory? Will Brandt Snedeker become the next young American champion? Will Steve Flesch make it 4-for-6 for the lefties? Or will someone come from further back in the pack? I'll be live blogging right here all day tomorrow throughout the final round, beginning at 2 p.m. See you then 7:37 p.m.: Augusta National's 18th hole isn't easy but Immelman and Snedeker sure made it look that way. A pair of birdies from both players in the final pairing, so they'll be playing together again tomorrow. Immelman goes into the final round at 11-under, a two-stroke lead over Snedeker, with Steve Flesch three back and Paul Casey four. 7:34 p.m.: E-mail from Kevin in Columbus, Ohio:
- Is Tiger worried about the 5-6 stroke deficit or happy that none of the golfers ahead of him have won a major?
- Q: You spent your entire career wanting to chase Jack Nicklaus, tomorrow you face a deficit that will be exactly the deficit Jack faced in '86. How rewarding would it be to be able to finally do that on the last day of a major?
A: I got a lot of work to do tomorrow. Obviously with the conditions are supposed to be pretty blustery tomorrow and a little cooler. And again, you got to hang in there and be patient out there because it doesn't take much to make a high number out here.
- If you count Immelman as a possible wire-to-wire leader, then Seve Ballesteros in 1980 must be included, too. Both players were tied at the end of 18 holes -- Immelman with Justin Rose, Seve with David Graham and Jeff Mitchell. Ballesteros had the solo lead for Rounds 2, 3, and 4, of course.
- Barring a nearly impossible finish, it looks like Boo Weekley is going to have
a share of the low score of the day, and thus get himself a nice new
vase. What do you think he puts in there? Driving range balls?
Loose change? Budweiser?
- Q: What did you do during the delay?
A: Nothing, just sat over there on No. 6 or right behind No. 5 green there. They've got a bathroom there, and we sat right there and went and got some crackers and some water.
Q: Did you guys talk about anything?
A: No, I sat out in the rain with an umbrella.
- You jinx Phil, and ruin the Tiger-Phil pairing, but you can't seem to successfully jinx Immelman, which would bring the lead down and make the whole tournament more interesting.
- When was the last wire-to-wire victory at the Masters? Is it too early to start talking about Immelman's chances?
- No player has ever shot four rounds in the 60s at the Masters.
- Not that he needs extra motivation, but if Tiger is paired with Phil tomorrow, how do you think that will affect him?
- Luckily, you didn't post any of my hilarious comments yesterday. Otherwise, I would have suffered from the blog jinx and the hot girl last night would have said no.
- Why isn't anyone talking about Steve Flesch?
- I think Snedeker realized he was the sole leader at Augusta. Had nothing to do with the blog jinx.
- What do you think Tiger Woods will have to shoot tomorrow to win? Will another 68 do it or will he have to be around 66?
- Snedeker ain't backing up. I don't care what any of you say.
We Tennesseans NEVER choke when we play in Georgia.
- Tiger is the leader in the clubhouse so far. Does the "intimidation factor" now come into play? Once these players see "WOODS -5" in red, will they start thinking just a little more?
- What is the amateur rule? Is any player who has already qualified
for the tournament allowed to come play a practice round whenever
they want to?
- Just came out of the bathroom near phone booths on 18 and almost got hit by Tiger's tee shot. Another broken 4 iron forthcoming looking at his lie?
- Your maths are challenged again. Romero started the day at even, had five birdies and one bogey before butchering 16. Never did he get to 7-under.
- Q: This is your fifth round here. Is this enough for you to actually believe?
A: It's my fifth round competitively, but I've played down here probably 60 or 70 times. I thought they were going to change the amateur rule in '04 because I came down probably every weekend for about three or four months. I think the members got tired of seeing me down here. I've been back a bunch of times after the Masters. This year, I came back three or four times trying to get familiar with the golf course so I don't feel out of my element when I'm out here playing in a major championship. I've played here a bunch and feel comfortable on the golf course.
- Don't all tour pros generally like to go low? I've never heard of one that prefers to go high.
- Q: What is about the majors that makes you such a strong contender?
A: I think that, first of all, I get really excited to play in the majors. A lot of players get intimidated by the majors; I just get really excited to get there and I feel like it brings the best out of my game. When you get to majors, it comes down to hitting fairways and greens, and that's something I've always been able to do. Over the last few years, I've improved my putting and my short game. So if you're actually hitting fairways and making crucial par putts -- which is what it turns out to be at majors; you try to make a lot of par saves -- I'm able to do that and I enjoy playing par golf. I don't always like going to courses where 20-under wins the tournament. I enjoy the challenge of even-par golf, and that's what I find the majors being.
4:54 p.m.: Interesting note from Zach Johnson, who's in the clubhouse with a 4-under 68, during his Butler Cabin interview with Jim Nantz. He said that balls were "hydroplaning" after hitting the fairway, rather than plugging without any roll.Don't get it? Here's an experiment: Hose down the street in front of your house, then step back a few hundred yards, tee one up and let 'er rip. Though the street is a little firmer than Augusta National's fairways, you'll notice how the ball hits and spins right off that water. Uh, unless you don't hit it straight. Then it might plug. Somewhere. 4:50 p.m.: E-mail from Ryan in Kansas, regrettably (his word, not mine):
- So, is it fair to say that Tiger should have had three more birdies than he does in this round? Are missing these putts going to come back to haunt him tomorrow?
- Did Tripp Kuehne win low amateur? If he did and Tiger wins, will the ceremony in Butler Cabin be the first time they have been in the same room since the U.S. Amateur at Sawgrass?
- I iz in the Columbia Law School library, reeding ur blog. Iz Tiger Woods perforance still doin good?
So with the civil rights movement exploding around their primes, Palmer and Nicklaus let pass an opportunity to expedite change in their separate-but-unequal sport.
"A lot of people looked up to them," Lee Elder said. "People pretty much looked and followed their pattern. And I think had they been a little more outspoken in the way of saying, 'Hey, we're going to have to do something to maybe change the situation for the minority player,' it would've [helped]
. Their voice was something that I think almost every sponsor and every tournament director would have listened to."
Like Sifford, Elder said Palmer and Nicklaus were a pleasure to play with. He said both men were courteous enough to stay on the greens when they were done putting so the swelling crowds wouldn't move and distract him. He said Palmer was good enough to give him a few rides to tournaments.
But Elder was often mistaken for a caddie when he'd show up at those tournaments. The culture of professional golf encouraged such assumptions, and that was a culture Elder wished Palmer and Nicklaus were more willing to attack.
"They never voiced their opinion about it," Elder said. "If they had voiced their opinion a little more, they were right in that era where it could've made a big change
With them being the name superstars, I can pretty much see it, because when you're a top player or you're the number one, you don't want to set yourself to doing something. But if you want it to happen and you want to help somebody, then you show your true colors.
"[Golf officials] want the general public to think that they have been really great guys, have been the champions of the causes and they have helped out. And they really haven't."
- Tiger is beginning to look a bit more confident and his name is now on the leaderboard.
- I'm in the Harvard medical library studying immunology, but I would rather be watching my favorite athlete, Tiger Woods, on TV. Please keep us up to date on Woods' performace. Thanks.
2. Hey, everybody look at the Harvard guy -- he spelled "performance" wrong!!! Haha! Good luck with your studying, Harvard guy! I think I'll take the high road. Birdie for Woods on No. 10; he's now at 3-under for the tournament, five shots in back of the lead. What a "performace" so far! (Sorry, couldn't resist!) 3:57 p.m.: Brandt Snedeker makes birdie on No. 2, but Trevor Immelman misses a short birdie putt to fall into a tie for the lead at 8-under. Of the top-10 on the leaderboard, only Immelman, Poulter and Goosen failed to make a birdie on the second hole. 3:51 p.m.: E-mail from C.J. in Minnesota:
- Let's say Ian Poulter has a shot to win tomorrow -- does he dress to match a green jacket, or do we end up with a jacket ceremony that makes plaid slacks look muted?
- The post about Stewart Cink made me wonder: With unimpressive closing stats like that, why is it that the media tends to make such a big deal out of Tiger never coming from behind on a Sunday in a major? Is it just nitpicking? Do they forget that he has won 20-25 percent of the majors he has played in, which means that he has been the leader after three rounds on average once a year in majors?
- Stewart Cink has to be at the top of the list as "one of the best players never to win a major."
Do you think if he stays close today that he can put the pressure aside and win a green jacket?
- I'm just figuring out [the course] as I go. So far, I've figured out these greens are fast.
I just struggled a little bit with the putter -- the line, the speed. You have to be careful out here. Really.
I played last year at Oakmont. I don't know if y'all were there, but woo. They were pretty rough, too. You had to know where you were going with it. You had to find where the grain is. If you find where the grain is, then you got it.
- My high school girlfriend used to be nicknamed the "Big Easy." Needless to
say, she didn't make the cut, either.
- 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. Great player and a better guy.
- I know it's still very early in the third round, but I'd like to take a look ahead to the final round. In your eyes, which of the following players would make the most compelling playing partner for Tiger (assuming they're all near the top of the leaderboard) on Sunday: Phil Mickelson, Stephen Ames, or Ian Poulter?
- Would you like to make a bet on which player, Immelman or Snedeker, gets Aaron Baddeley-ed first (see U.S. Open final-round performance)?
- Remember about 12 years ago when [Scott Hoch] got paired with Presidents Ford, Bush and Clinton at the Hope? About two weeks later at the Nissan, he's sitting near my desk changing his shoes (why he was doing so in the lobby, I can't recall) so I wander over, exchange some brief small talk, then ask:
"So what's it like playing golf with three presidents?"
He looks up and with a completely straight face says: "Slow."
End of conversation.
To this day, I have no clue if he was joking
- Tiger is one shot from getting on the big leaderboards around here. Think that won't make some of the leaders take notice?
- Rain is making me run to restroom more today. Plus, I'm back to drinking beer (not driving)!
- Which will be greater: Tiger's strokes
under par today, or the number of people between him
and the lead at the end of the day?
- I think 68 would be a good number. Given the conditions, it's not only well within is reach, but could also move him toward the top of the leaderboard considering the likelihood for guys like Immelman and Snedeker to fall back.
- So, Tiger Woods is out of this thing. Uh, right?
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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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