The Final Score at Augusta
Righties playing lefty? Lefties doing everything right? Cops?
Canucks? Tiger chunks? Yes, it was a wacky Masters--and here's
our report card
This is an article from the April 21, 2003 issue
HOOTIE Augusta National's embattled chairman hit a home run in
his annual Wednesday press conference, as Mr. Johnson was funny,
combative and resolute in defending the club. He should have gone
on camera months ago.
T.C. CHEN His double chip at the 1985 U.S. Open is no longer the
game's biggest boner, thanks to ...
ARNOLD PALMER Given the conditions, the King's opening 83 might
have been the best showing of the first round.
AMATEURS Three college kids made the cut, led by swashbuckling
Ricky Barnes, who contended deep into the third round. Bobby
Jones would've been proud.
ERNIE ELS His first-round 79 could've been a devastating career
setback, but he showed tremendous heart in fighting back to a tie
TV VIEWERS Golf's most pleasant telecast was even more so without
all those pesky ads for Citigroup, Coca-Cola and IBM.
AUGUSTA NATIONAL The retrofitted course is now an exacting, U.S.
Open-style examination of every aspect of a player's game.
LEFTIES Yeah, Mike Weir was the hero, but don't overlook Phil
Mickelson's restrained 68 on Sunday, a sign of his maturing game.
NICK FALDO The last man to win two consecutive Masters, Nasty
Nick eschewed the usual pabulum and openly rooted against Tiger's
effort to win a third straight. Faldo also finished a respectable
MARTHA She likes to brag of seven million constituents, but Ms.
Burk could only coax about 30 onto the protest bus. Her new tack
is targeting Augusta National's members, an admission that Hootie
will not yield.
... JEFF MAGGERT, whose misadventures on the 3rd hole bounced him
irrevocably from the lead.
JACK NICKLAUS The Bear was bested by two strokes in round 1 by
his old rival Arnie, despite being 10 years younger, at 63.
EUROPEANS After yet another Euro-trashing, it's hard to fathom
how they won six Masters from 1988 to '94. Only Jose Maria
Olazabal cracked this year's top 10.
DAVID DUVAL After shooting 79-83, his slump needs to be upgraded
to a full-blown crisis. Even Justin Leonard's dreadful 82-73 beat
CBS The Tiffany Network didn't distinguish itself by not
acknowledging Martha Burk's protest. What would Edward R. Murrow
LOW NUMBERS Hey, there's already one U.S. Open. Whatever happened
to boatloads of birdies and eagles and rousing comebacks?
RIGHTIES PLAYING LEFTY Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh both had to
turn a club upside down, emblematic of their topsy-turvy Sundays.
TIGER WOODS His front-nine 39 on Sunday was as shocking as the 81
at last year's British, which ended his Grand Slam bid. Throw in
Rich Beem's PGA smackdown, and Woods has folded in three straight
Don't laugh, but Mike Weir could win the Grand Slam. His
controlled game is perfect for the U.S. Open; Royal St. George's
will thwart big hitters; and Oak Hill might as well be in Canada.
THE NEW MATH
Len Mattiace loses another heartbreaker
LOVABLE LOSER [Charlie Brown] + TEARS [baby] + BAD LUCK [black
cat] - GREEN JACKET = [Len Mattiace]
Weir's Sunday Celebration
What do you do after winning the Masters? Eat dinner, for
starters. On Sunday evening Mike Weir changed into a white oxford
shirt and red tie to go with his new green jacket, and along with
a small group of friends and family he enjoyed the traditional
champion's dinner in the Augusta National clubhouse. Weir was
then hustled into the grill room for seven three-minute
interviews with various Canadian media outlets. His agent, Dan
Cimoroni, occasionally darted into Weir's sight line, pumping his
fists in a fruitless effort to inspire more enthusiasm from his
low-key client. With midnight nearing and his obligations finally
over, Weir cracked a Budweiser and ambled toward the exit.
Cimoroni followed with a case of red wine, a parting gift from
One of the Masters' many secrets is the size of the gallery for
practice rounds, but last week one member unwittingly provided
the answer: about 60,000. Asked how much the club was going to
have to fork over in refunds for Monday's canceled practice
round, the green jacket said, "Let's see, tickets were $21
apiece, so just a little more than $1.2 million."
Stat City: Tiger Woods's 76 was his worst opening round in 25
majors as a pro, and his 75 tied for his worst closing score.
Lanny Wadkins's youngest son, Tucker, recently made aces on
successive Wednesdays at Dallas's Gleneagles Country Club--pretty
good for a 10-year-old. Says Tucker's old man, "He's already
said, 'Dad, I'm way ahead of you,' and he is. I didn't make my
first hole in one until I was on Tour."
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