Friday morning at Augusta National and the sun is still shining. Not quite as bright as yesterday, but still shining all the same. Out on the course, veteran Larry Mize is one-over for the day through ten, and the crowds are steadily flocking for the second instalment of what could be a fascinating season opener.
As a one-time regional paper journalist, I have been intrigued with the quite excellent coverage in the Augusta local rag, The Augusta Chronicle, for which they carry a separate Masters 2009 supplement of sorts. It pretty much covers every base – and refreshingly, refuses to stick rigidly to home hopes.
As you would expect, Augusta’s own, Mize, steals a few columns on the front page. Woods and Campbell share the lead story: TAKING FLIGHT FROM START, but most of the coverage focuses on yesterday’s weather, and the fact that the Masters is back, bathing in the sunshine of old.
Interestingly, there is a strong British flag being flown in the Chronicle. Oliver Wilson is a diarist, while Ross Fisher, Europe’s leading light yesterday, is afforded a huge Q&A on page 11. Luke Donald gets a mention and Harrington also receives plenty of copy.
For today, the Chronicle sees the weather as declining somewhat late in the afternoon. There are a few clouds gathering, but it would be knit-picking to complain.
Thursday in review – Chronicle highlights:
Shot of the day: Andres Romero’s eagle on the 3rd hole, with the Argentine holing out on the 335-yard par 4 – Augusta’a shortest.
Hardest hole of the day: the par-3 4th. At 240 yards, only four birdies in total and, 56 pars and 34 bogeys.
Easiest hole of the day: the par-5 2nd. At 574 yards pretty much all downhill with two eagles, 44 birdies, 46 pars and only four bogeys.
Pace of play: five hours and five minutes.
Driving distance: Alvaro Quiros – 321.5
Greens in regulation: Jim Furyk (18/18)
Average score: 72.25