ROCKY STARTS

April 19, 2009

Three teens made highly publicized Masters debuts last week, and all of them turned in less-than-stellar performances. Ryo Ishikawa (above, center) and Danny Lee (right) missed the cut, while Rory McIlroy came in 20th. Here's the good news: First-time results are not necessarily predictors of future performance. Among the 11 players who have won more than one green jacket in the last 55 years, the best first-time finish was a tie for 10th, by Arnold Palmer in 1955, while four of the multiple winners missed the cut in their first Augusta outings.

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Player Debut Yr./Finish Second Yr./Finish Follow-up
Arnold Palmer 1955/T10 1956/21 Tied 7th in third start, won in fourth
Gary Player 1957/24 1958/MC Tied 8th in third start, won in fifth
Jack Nicklaus 1959/MC 1960/13 Tied 7th in third start, won in fifth
Tom Watson 1970/MC 1975/T8 Tied 8th in second start, won in fourth
Ben Crenshaw 1972/19 1973/24 Tied 8th in sixth start, won in 11th
Seve Ballesteros 1977/33 1978/18 Won in fourth start
Nick Faldo 1979/40 1983/20 One of three to win back-to-back
Bernhard Langer 1982/MC 1984/31 Won in third start
José M. Olaàbal 1985/MC 1987/MC Tied 8th in third start, won in 8th
Phil Mickelson 1991/46 1993/34 Tied 7th in third start, won in 12th
Tiger Woods 1995/41 1996/MC Won in third start
PHOTOROBERT BECK (ISHIKAWA)
PHOTOROBERT BECK (MCILROY) PHOTOROBERT BECK (LEE)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)