B their calculation, added up to 73 and
included a three at the fifth where Donald had scored a double-bogey five.
This seems especially odd to report-
ers who, in his post-round interview, had
heard Donald talk about three-putting
the fifth for a bogey. It later transpired
that the critical figure was smudged,
misleading the scorers who entered
it incorrectly into the official scoring
system. A later announcement acknowl-
edged it as “an administrative error.”
Meanwhile, talk of a new Augusta
jinx began doing the rounds. It was
noted that when Martin Kaymer was
world No. 1 last year, he made an early
departure from The Masters after card-
ing 78-72. And Donald, the currrent No.
1, seemed headed in the same direc-
tion, but survived into the weekend with
a stroke to spare.
of asking advice on some of the shots.”
And did they ever have a little
wager with each other? “Sometimes,
but not here,” he replied.
“As for the tournament proper, both
players made the cut, with Edoardo
surviving on the limit.
For the first time since 2008, Charles
Howell III returned to his hometown for
The Masters. In four appearances between 2004 and 2008, he missed the cut
three times and tied for 30th in 2007.
Asked if he did anything different to
prepare this year, Howell said, “
Praying maybe.” Howell’s second-round 70
matched his career best at Augusta.
Francesco Molinari talked Thursday
about brotherly love in golf ... the Italian
way. Like how he and Edoardo played
practice rounds together, but stayed in
different houses in Augusta. “Well, I’ve
got some of my friends and he’s got
some of his,” Francesco explained after
an opening 69. “So we have too many
people to stay in just one house.”
In all other matters, however, to-
getherness ruled. “During the practice
rounds, we chatted and we discussed a
little bit some of the flags, how to play
them and how to approach them,” he
added. “I think Edoardo has a bit more
experience than me here, so I was kind
The Masters proved to be everything
Randy Lewis expected. Lewis, 54, the
U.S. Mid-Amateur champion from the
small town of Alma, Mich., has been
the state’s leading amateur golfer for
more than three decades.
APRIL 9, 2012
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | As he sat at
the dinner table telling stories of Ben
Hogan and Clifford Roberts and his
first trip to play in The Masters, Gary
Player stopped to reflect on reaching
another major milestone in his career.
The first international winner of
The Masters in 1961 was going to
become the first true non-American
to serve as an honorary starter to
the 76th Masters tournament, joining
Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
“If I can just catch it,” he said,
“then it’ll be good.”
They could just as easily have been
the same words that went through his
mind when as a 21-year-old he first
drove down Magnolia Lane in 1957.
“Augusta has been like a journey
for me,” he said. “I stood looking at
the gates this year, and I remember
how they were just two brown pillars
in 1957. It’s been an amazing journey.”
At dinner that evening during the
early part of this Masters week, Player
said two things that summed up his
entire career, and more particularly his
“It was at The Masters where I
really understood how important it
was to be a global player. My desire
to travel the world and play golf was
really sparked by a dinner Arnold
Palmer and I had with the American
president, Dwight D. Eisenhower. He
said to us, ‘America is a very global
society. Base your golf on that.’
“In those days, it used to take me
40 hours to fly from South Africa to
America. But I did it because I wanted
to play against and beat the best.”
And then, when asked if he would
be nervous on the first tee this year,
Player revealed the other constant in
“Of course, I’ll be nervous. You
want to hit it past the other two,
At the age of 76, the competitive
fire still rages within Player. “They hit it
past me all my life. Now, it’s my turn.”
And even with Phil Mickelson
coming out hours before his tee time
to watch, Player comfortably outdrove
Palmer and Nicklaus.
As was the case throughout a
legendary career at The Masters,
Player did catch it.
with an 81 and said it was the happiest 81 he’s ever had in golf. He added a
second-round 78 and missed the cut.
Lewis, who named his son Nicklaus
after you-know-who, said, “I wish things
would slow down. It’s all going too fast.
“Almost surreal,” said Lewis, a fi-
nancial manager. “I mean, I don’t know
how else to describe it. This is just way
beyond any expectations that I had.”
It’s not often a group plays through at
a major championship but Sean O’Hair
was only too happy to wave Chez Reavie
and Martin Laird ahead on the fourth
hole of Saturday’s third round.
O’Meara’s WD left Reavie and Laird
a twosome. O’Hair, Scott Verplank and
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano had the
first tee time, the Reavie/Laird A