Golf Buzz

April 10, 2015 - 7:05pm
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T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
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Expectations for Tiger Woods in this Masters were at an all time low. So far, he's exceeding them.

Weather was supposed to be the story of the day from Round 2 of the Masters, but luckily it held off and we were treated to another spectacular day of golf from Augusta National.

Along with the weather staying away, these were the five biggest surprises on Friday:

5. Phil Mickelson opens with two sub-par rounds
Mickelson's game has been far from stellar for the better part of two years now (the exception being a runner-up finish at the PGA Championship last August).

RELATED: Masters leaderboard | Spieth's 36-hole record | Masters photos

He entered the Masters without a single top-10 finish this season, yet through two rounds, Mickelson is at 6-under 138 thanks to rounds of 70-68.

Like everyone else, Mickelson is well behind the leader, Jordan Spieth (14 under). But these first two rounds were significant for Mickelson.

The last time Lefty opened with two sub-par rounds at Augusta National was 2010.

He won that year.

4. Tiger Woods shoots 3-under 69
Expectations for Woods in this Masters may have been lower than ever before -- not necessarily from the 14-time major winner's perspective, but certainly by most golf observers.

His 1-over 73 on Thursday was a nice start, seeing as it was one of those rounds that very well could have been a 6-over 78. But still, it wasn't much to write home about.

On Friday, however, that short game that has been such a concern the last two months was sharp. Woods shot a 3-under 69, his first sub-70 round at the Masters since a 67 in the final round of the 2011 tournament.

Woods didn't miss the cut like many predicted he would. Instead, he will go into the weekend at a respectable 2-under, 142.

Yes, that's a whole 12 shots behind the leader, but a cut made -- in a major -- after a two-month layoff and a lost season a year ago has to give Woods some confidence.

3. Mark O'Meara shoots 4-under 68
At 58 years old, no one expected the 1998 Masters champ to go out on Friday and fire a sub-70 round. But that's exactly what O'Meara, who hasn't made a cut at Augusta National since 2005, did.

O'Meara's 68 on Friday was his first round in the 60s since a final-round 68 in 2001.

At 3 under for the tournament, O'Meara will easily be seeing weekend action at Augusta National for the first time in a long time.

2. Dustin Johnson's three eagles in one round
It's no secret that a bomber like Johnson feasts on par 5s. But what he did at Augusta National on Friday is something that's never been done before.

In just one round, Johnson played the four par 5s in an astounding 7-under par, collecting three eagles and a birdie. And all of that after making double bogey on the first hole.

The eagles came on Nos. 2, 8 and 15, while he birdied No. 13. Johnson finished with a 5-under 67. Along with Thursday's 70, Johnson is 7 under through 36 holes.

Until Friday, no player in Masters history had ever made three eagles in one round.

At the Masters, players who make an eagle receive a pair of crystal goblets etched with the Masters logo, the players name and his feat. Johnson snagged six of those beauties on Friday.

1. Spieth sets 36-hole Masters scoring record
Why?: Like yesterday, I'm not surprised Spieth is leading. I am surprised, however, with the way he's ripping the course apart and running away from the competition.

He backed up the incredible 8-under 64 on Thursday with a masterful 6-under 66 Friday to move to 14-under, 130 total. That's a new Masters scoring record, supplanting the prior mark of 13-under 131 set by Raymond Floyd way back in 1976.

Spieth's work the first two days has him five clear of his next closest competitor, Charley Hoffman. 

April 10, 2015 - 2:55pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
Jordan Spieth is one of four players to have posted a 130, 36-hole score in major championship history.

Jordan Spieth looks like a man on a mission at Augusta National this week and that mission is to win the green jacket come Sunday evening.

The 21-year-old backed up his magnificent 8-under 64 in Round 1 with a dazzling 6-under 66 in Round 2 on Friday.

RELATED: Masters leaderboard | Masters photos | Stenson snaps club

His 36-hole total of 14-under 130 is a new Masters scoring record, edging the mark of 13-under 131 that Raymond Floyd set in 1976. Floyd went on to win that year.

Spieth's 36-hole total at Augusta National also ties the record for 36-hole scoring in major championship history.

Nick Faldo first set that mark in the 1992 Open Championship at Muirfield (which he won). Brandt Snedeker matched the mark in 2012 at the Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes (he tied for second) and 2014 U.S. Open winner Martin Kaymer added his name to the list of players with a 130, 36-hole total when he turned the trick at Pinehurst No. 2. 

April 10, 2015 - 2:33pm
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T.J. Auclair
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Henrik Stenson
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The Masters has a way of getting to the best players in the world... frustratingly at times. That's what happened to world No. 2 Henrik Stenson on Friday.

Henrik Stenson may not have a major championship on his resume, but he's three-quarters of the way to a career grand slam when it comes to club snapping.

A frustrated Stenson -- who hasn't been himself this week after a bout with the flu leading into the Masters -- let his anger get the best of him during the second round of the Masters on Friday.

RELATED: What's the rule on broken clubs? | Masters leaderboard | Photos

After knocking a ball into the pond on Augusta National's par-5 15th hole, the world's No. 2-ranked player proceeded to snap the offending club over his knee.

We don't have the official footage, but you can check it out here.

Stenson bogeyed the hole, which typically plays among the easiest scoring-wise. He was 1 over for the day and 2 over for the tournament to that point.

Friday's Masters club-snapping makes it three majors now in which Stenson has "Bo Jackson'd" a club after a less-than-desirable shot.

Here's video of Stenson from the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, where his temper got the best of him and he actually added injury to insult.


Click here and you can see a still image of Stenson snapping his club last summer at the Open Championship.  

Be on the look out at Whistling Straits this summer in the PGA Championship. A snapped club there and Stenson will complete the career club-snapping grand slam.

April 10, 2015 - 11:24am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Thongchai Jaidee
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Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee holed out for eagle from 98 yards on the par-4 third hole at Augusta National in the second round of the Masters on Friday.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee earned himself a pair of crystal goblets early in the second round of the Masters on Friday.

Playing the par-4 third hole, Jaidee holed out his second shot from 98 yards for an eagle.


RELATED: Masters leaderboard | Spieth sets early pace | Masters photos

One of the perks of doing special things at the Masters are the goodies that come along with them.

Here's a look at the goodies:

- Lowest daily score: a crystal vase
- A hole-in-one or double eagle: a large crystal bowl
- An eagle: a pair of crystal goblets
- Winner of the Par 3 Contest: a crystal bowl 

April 10, 2015 - 9:07am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
Arguably the signature shot in the Masters career of Tiger Woods was his chip-in on No. 16 on his way to winning in 2005. The shot happened 10 years ago today.

Where does the time go?

Hard to believe, but it was 10 years ago today -- April 10, 2005 -- during the final round of the Masters that Tiger Woods hit one of his all-time highlight-reel shots.

Locked in a tight battle with Chris DiMarco on that Sunday, Woods had a one-shot advantage when the pair reached the par-3 16th hole.

RELATED: Masters leaderboard | Spieth sets early pace | Masters photos

Woods pulled his tee shot left, while DiMarco was safely on the green.

And that's when the magic happened. Woods, aiming 25 feet left of the hole, chipped the ball into the green's sloped. The ball crept closer and closer before trickling in on the last revolution.


Watching that shot and hearing the great Verne Lundquist boom, "Oh wow! In your life have you seen anything like that?" never gets old.

Woods would defeat DiMarco in a one-hole playoff, but the chip at No. 16 was the signature shot of the tournament.

It also marks the last time Woods won the Masters -- his fourth overall. 

Fast forward to today... Woods will embark on his second round of the 2015 Masters at 10:30 a.m. after an opening 1-under 73 on Thursday that had him nine shots behind first-round leader Jordan Spieth.