Masters snapshots: Sergio's tribute

Quotes of the day

Masters snapshots: Sergio's tribute

Sergio's tribute

Sergio Garcia wore a black ribbon to honour a friend former physical trainer, Enrique Beltran who died on Thursday.  Beltran, underwent surgery after being diagnosed with terminal cancer last month.

However, Garcia turned it into a positive with his best opening round at the Masters in eight years - a three under par 69.

"Enrique was a good friend and I wanted to pay tribute to him," said Garcia, who tied for fourth in 2004.

"My confidence is still not where it should be. if it was I definitely would have made some of those putts," Garcia said. "But it's definitely better. This is a tough course to build up on confidence, unless you're playing really well."

Kaymer frustrated

The world's top-ranked player, Martin Kaymer sz uffered another disappointing round. He has never made a cut at the Masters and will need a phenomenal round to make the cut after his 6-over 78 tied 93rd in the 99-player field.

"At the moment, I don't really know how to play the golf course," said Kaymer. "It's really frustrating because I prepared a little bit different and I was hoping to play a little bit better but it obviously didn't work out."

Kaymer made double bogey on the par-4 10th and finished with three bogeys and a birdie in the final five holes to drop into a tie with 53-year-old 1991Masters champion Ian Woosnam, who has made only one Masters cut since 2001.

Amateur antics

Even a distinguished amateur career couldn't prepare David Chung for the sea of people awaiting him during a competitive round at the Masters.

"I was approaching my shot at the 7th and asked my caddie 'Where among those 5,000 people behind the green should I hit?' The flag was pretty much hidden by people."

Chung opened with a par 72, tying Hideki Matsuyama and the American son of the Titleist president Peter Uihlein, for the lowest score among the six amateurs. British Amateur champion Jin Jeong shot a 1-over 73.

Augusta's most diffcult hole

Thursday's most difficult hole was the 505-yard par-4 11th, which played to a 4.545-stroke average.
Only three players birdied it, while 45 shot bogey or worse. The easiest was the par-5 15th, where the field averaged 4.455 strokes and 53 players recorded a birdie.

Japanese concerns

Hiroyuki Fujita, Ryo Ishikawa and Hideki Matsuyama finished their rounds  on Thursday with the news their native Japan suffered another earthquake, a 7.4-magnitude aftershock from the March 11 quake that devastated the country.

"I don't know anything about it. Do you know the damage so far?" Fujita asked reporters who responded that it had injured 20 people, according to Japan's National Police Agency.

Matsuyama wore a shirt representing his college, which was destroyed by the March 11 earthquake, which his friends and family survived. Ishikawa is donating his year's glf earnings to the rescue fund.

Westwood putting woes

Lee Westwood came off the course unhappy with his putting after an even par 72. After a bogey at the 18th, the 37-year-old said: “It’s how my game is at the moment. If you can’t hole it out from four feet, you’re going to struggle, aren’t you?”

Before the tournament Westwood revealed that he had been working on his putting with father John, a former schoolteacher at Worksop GC.

Harrington and Clark hurt

Padraig Harrington he did a little too much in his preparation for the week. Just a few minutes into his practice routine, the Irishman was swinging left- handed to loosen up when he tweaked something in his neck. He shot a 77, matching his highest score ever at Augusta.

"I nearly pulled out before I started," Harrington said. "but I wouldn't. That's just not my nature. I would always have a go. But it wasn't much fun."

Battling an elbow injury was South African Tim Clark, shot shot 73.

"I'm not sure if I can play tomorrow," said Clark. "It's pretty bad."

Commentator's curse

There's a memo posted next to CBS commentator Andrew Caton titled "Misused Terms/Phrases," ensuring  that as a newcomer to the team, he makes sure that more English-inspired terms are used for the Masters coverage than ones usually employed on the regular PGA Tour.

In Masters-ese, it's 'flagstick' not pin; 'bunker' not sand trap; 'teeing ground' not tee box. There are no threesomes; they are 'groupings and 'through the green' is replaced by 'over' or 'beyond the green'.
As for grandstands or bleachers (as they're known in the US) try 'patron observation stands' - now that's taking it too far, surely?

Green with envy

Rickie Fowler may have taken the whole Masters green thing a bit too far, according to the fashion police.

The former Oklahoma State pupil, known for his colourful outfits and oversize caps, dressed in all green for his first official round at Augusta nearly blending in with the grass. The Puma player wore matching green trousers, shirt, belt and hat for his Masters debut but would probably have looked more at home with a bunker rake than a 9-iron.

Standing on ceremony

Ross Fisher didn't mind being nominated the first tee time shortly after 8am. Fisher, Jonathan Byrd and Sean O'Hair were on hand to watch Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus (ten green jackets between them) hit ceremonial shots down the first fairway as tradition dictates.

"It was a special treat for the three of us to see two legends like Arnie and Jack get it under way," Fisher said. "That was pretty special to be here and witness that."

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