I got to the course ludicrously early today. I was here at 8am even though the first group doesn’t go out until 10.30 – that’s Kyung-Tae Kim of Korea and a non-competing marker. I thought I’d bag my place at the first tee to watch them head off. Not really. I was just too excited to stay in the house any longer. I wanted to come and soak up as much of the pre-round atmosphere as I could.
It’s amazing how many of the patrons had the same idea. There were thousands streaming through the gates as I arrived. The buzz was, of course, about McIlroy and what the others need to do to catch him. General consensus is that Tiger needs a 64 and for those ahead to stumble.
If McIlroy wins today it will mean that, since 2007, players from Ireland will have won all four Major Championships – Harrington the Open and the USPGA, McDowell the US Open and McIlroy The Masters. That’s pretty incredible when you think that, prior to Harrington’s victory at Carnoustie in 2007, the last Irish Major winner was Fred Daly in the 1947 Open at Hoylake.
The Australians on the leaderboard are looking to break their country’s duck at the Masters. Despite Greg Norman’s best efforts, no player from Oz has ever donned a green jacket. They’ve three chances today – Jason Day is four back, Adam Scott is five and Geoff Ogilvy seven.
It was a little misty when I arrived but I was assured by a security guard that it would burn off. I’m not sure I want it to. Yesterday was a bit of a scorcher and I have turned a healthy shade of lobster. I’ve sourced some extra strength sun-screen for today just in case.
Martin Laird, who I followed for nine holes yesterday, is playing with Tiger today. The Scot has done pretty well to recover from an opening 74 with two rounds of 69. I predict another solid one from him today and to see him finish inside the top-10.
Let’s hope Luke Donald makes lots of birdies today. Not only to see him threaten for the title, but also because he has pledged to donate $5,000 to the Japan earthquake appeal for every birdie he makes this week. He’s currently made 15, so $75,000.
Golf Monthly at the US Masters: