When Fred Couples, Tom Watson and Sandy Lyle came into the scorers tent following their opening rounds at this year’s Masters, they were asked for their “cards”. It’s not that no one believed that they shot 66, 67 and 69…but that the Masters officials wanted to see their AARP cards.
These 3 men are all former Masters champions. Couples (50 yrs old), your 1st round leader with a 6-under 66, won it back in 1992 . 2-time green jacket winner Tom Watson (60 years old), who is tied for 2nd after a career best 5-under 67, was probably in the VIP room at Studio 54 celebrating his wins in 1977 and 1981. And then there’s Scotland’s Sandy Lyle (52 yrs old), who shot a 3-under 69 and is tied for 12th. He won the Masters back in 1988, right around the time when Sonny Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs.
Now I’m not saying that Freddy, Tom or Sandy can’t win it, but I’d almost be as shocked as Elin Nordegren after unlocking Tiger’s blackberry, if any of them finished in the top 10. Last summer, Watson gave a performance for the ages in the British Open. He battled Stewart Cink to the very end but ran out of gas and lost in a playoff. For Watson to pull that off again, it would be an absolute miracle. Every year it seems as if a blast from the past shows up with a stellar and unexpected opening round , but then fades in the second round and eventually is forgotten.
Oh yeah, Tiger Woods is back this week. I’m not going to waste anymore time on him unless he wins the tournament. Even if he does, I don’t really care. People were blinded by his “greatness”, but not me. From day one, his antics on the course and his sense of entitlement made him impossible for me to root for. This week, and every week, I’ll be rooting for “The People’s Champion”, Phil Mickelson. There’s a man everyone should root for. He took time off last year not because he got caught cheating on his wife, but to be there beside her.
The course will be extra soft early on tomorrow after strong storms came thru this evening. So you can expect some low numbers early. This will be beneficial to Freddy and Sandy, who tee off early. As the wind picks up in the afternoon, the likes of Phil Mickelson, Y.E. Yang and Tom Watson will have to be near-perfect on the back 9.