Masters notebook for April 12

  • Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jordan Spieth may be in over his head, but he has no idea. The 20-year-old finished his round on Saturday shooting a 2-under 70 to earn a share of the lead going into Sunday. Spieth has a three-round score of 5-under par, which puts him in the final group for Sunday with Bubba Watson, who shot a 2-over 74 to follow up his fantastic round on Friday. Spieth has played a more conservative brand of golf, electing to get on the green instead of going at the pin.

ďYeah, we kind of realized early how difficult this golf course was going to play today,Ē he said. ďYou could tell from No. 1 on. I mean, there are front pins that you really couldnít stay below, so youíre going to be putting downhill, downgrain, and itís almost like youíre putting on rolling gravel. It was almost like it was picking up speed even as it went by the hole. It was crazy, crazy fast out there. Iíve never putted on greens like this before.Ē

Moving into Sunday, where Spieth can win a green jacket in his first trip to the Masters, the Texas native is trying to play the course quickly, without overthinking his game plan.

ďI mean, itís lightning fast on the greens and around the greens, and although itís pure and I think that itís fair, itís extremely difficult,Ē he said. ďSo you have to give respect to it. I mean, this is the first tournament†-- the U.S. Opens of past, still even last year, it was raining and the greens were a little softer. Thatís typically what youíd compare close to par as leading a major, what you compare it to. But this is a little different, because itís still going to get hot and windy and itís going to dry up even more and it will be a course like Iíve never seen before. But youíve just got to understand that par is a really good score hole to hole, and itís almost like you just want to kind of play the holes quickly, just get to the next tee box, play it quickly and when you get your opportunities, take advantage of it. Thatís kind of the way I felt like Iíve been playing, whether itís a lag putt or whether itís a little chip, you get it up there to three feet and you just kind of sit back, wait a minute, and then go tap it in and go to the next hole as fast as possible and get through it. You donít want to think too much around this place; trust your instincts. I think the reason that Iíve been able to play well, I guess, better than what people would say first-timers normally do is because maybe itís a different golf course than normal here with how firm it is. Obviously the scores are a little higher than normal, so maybe that plays to my advantage.Ē

Jimťnez goes low

Miguel Ńngel Jimťnez used Saturdayís round to make his move into contention. Jimťnez shot a 6-under 66 to move into a tie for 5th place. The 50-year-old improved his round from Friday to Saturday by 10 strokes, which he credited to playing with more confidence.

ďWell, itís very easy to answer that,Ē he said. ďI think before yesterday, I finished 1 under, maybe 4 under on the first nine holes, and, well, you miss some shots sometimes, not on the right way, and then I finished minus 1. But I played very well, very patient, and feel confident on the golf course. Yesterday, probably is sometimes you feel that good that you want to see the things happen, the birdies coming before you hit the shot, you know, and then when you get a little bit impatient, sometimes it can happen like that. Thatís what happened yesterday. Yesterday I didnít hit it bad, only a couple bad shots on 18 holes. But probably is not in the same mood as I was before yesterday or today. You know, today is very patient, just commit to every hole, shot by shot, and thatís what happened. Thatís the secret to play this golf course, and thatís probably thatís the difference between yesterday and today.Ē

Saturdayís round rivaled some of Jimťnezís better rounds at Augusta.

ďI love the place,Ē he said. ďItís a beautiful place, a beautiful golf course, always manicured and I feel great here. Doesnít matter how you play, you feel good, because everything is prepared for us the way it is. The golf course also is if you donít hit good, you donít want to be there. Doesnít matter how you call it or how you name it. You need to hit good and you need to be patient, and you need to be into your own zone. I like it and thatís my style of game and what I love, what I love to do.Ē

There goes her badge

An unidentified blonde female ran across the 10th green with flip-flops in her hands. She was escorted off the course and questioned by Augusta National security.

Needless to say, even though she caused no real harm, itís highly unlikely that the woman will be getting badges next year or many, many years after.

How are The Starís picks?

News editor Scott Rodgers had quite a thrill on Saturday, with his pick, Jason Day, shooting a 2-under 70 to move into a tie for 18th. Maybe he wonít win a green jacket, but heís showing some fight in the weekend.

Rory McIlroy hasnít shown up in the way many experts, including Mayor Lark Jones, thought he would. After fighting to make the cut on Friday, McIlroy shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday to move into a tie for 24th place. While itís safe to say neither pick will take a green jacket home, at least their guys made it to the weekend.

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