Golf Buzz

Ben Crenshaw
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Ben Crenshaw won the Masters in 1984 and again in 1995.

Two-time Masters Champion Ben Crenshaw was a guest on Golf Channel's Live from the Masters on Saturday morning and confirmed to host Rich Lerner that the 2015 Masters will be his last as a competitor.

It will also be the 20th anniversary of his victory in 1995 at Augusta National.

RELATED: Masters leaderboard | Complete coverage | Big names miss the cut

"I made the decision that next year is my last year," Crenshaw said. "It is funny, on Amen Corner on the 13th hole on the first day, I hadn't told Carl yet, but I said, 'Carl, I've been thinking about this for a long time and next year would be a good year.' I'm very, very happy with it. I've thought about it for a long time. A lot of times I thought that I could have stepped down earlier. It is hard. Very hard. But I have been so fortunate. I have to look at the good things that have happened. I have to pull over and watch. I'm very resigned to being an encourager for everybody as much as I can."

The 62-year-old Crenshaw won his first Masters in 1984.

In all, Crenshaw -- who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002 -- has played in the Masters every year since 1972. Along with those two victories, he has racked up another nine top-10 finishes.

The last time Crenshaw made the cut at Augusta National was in 2007, when he finished in a tie for 55th.

Over the last several years, Crenshaw has been revered as a top course designer along with partner Bill Coore. In 2010, Crenshaw and Coore began restoring famed Pinehurst No. 2 in preparation for the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open, which will be played in consecutive weeks this June.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

April 11, 2014 - 11:42pm
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Beyonce playing golf
Beyonce via Instagram
Beyonce took the golf course on her short game on vacation in the Dominican Republic this week.
We interrupt our coverage of the Masters for this special report:
 
Beyonce plays golf! Well, sort of.
 
Instead of watching the goings-on at Augusta National on Thursday, Queen B posted a couple of Instagram shots of herself out on the links. She's dressed, shall we say, casually, and gripping the club in a way that inspires me to recommend that she call her local PGA Professional for a lesson.
 
However, the point is that one of the world's most famous and influential entertainers was out on the course and enjoying herself.
 
According to the MediaTakeOut.com website, Beyonce and hubby Jay-Z are down in the Dominican Republic to celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary. To ensure their privacy, the site reported, they rented out an entire golf course (it doesn't say which one) at a cost of $300,000 for the week.
 
Her photos have prompted a huge reaction in female- and entertainment-oriented media circles because some people are claiming she might have done a little photoshopping. I am staying a strong 3-wood away from that discussion, and will end this post by hoping that she had enough fun out on the links to make golf more a part of her life.
 
 
April 11, 2014 - 8:18pm
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John Holmes
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Masters golf fashion Friday
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Billy Horschel, Kevin Stadler, and Jason Dufner and Adam Scott topped our fashion leaderboard on Friday at the Masters.
Here at the ol' Golf Buzz, we don't just care about who's playing well at the Masters. We also care about who looks good as they stroll the pristine fairways at Augusta National.
 
So for the second straight day, we have put together a photo gallery of our 10 standout looks. And, again, I am gonna take it a step farther and declare my three favorite fashion statements from Friday. I urge you to take a look at our gallery and chime in with your choices:
 
 
1. Billy Horschel. The flamboyant Floridian often wears eye-catching outfits on the course, and sometimes they push the fashion envelope – remember the squid pants? But he looked great today in a blue and white striped shirt above spring-green trousers. The thick stripes and their deep blue color were set off just right by the white stripes, and the green pants gave this outfit kind of a preppy feel. I'm not always a fan of the preppy style, but this one really works.
 
2. Kevin Stadler. Several players have worn pink- or rose-colored shirts this week, but few have looked as stylish as Stadler. His pink shirt was not too bright and not too pale, and his gray slacks were the perfect complement. 
 
FASHION AT THE MASTERS: See our picks from Thursday
 
3. Adam Scott and Jason Dufner. Individually, I'm not sure Jason Dufner or Adam Scott would have made my top three today, but together they definitely deserve a spot. The reigning Masters champ was decked out in a red shirt and blue slacks, while the reigning PGA champion was sporting just the reverse – a blue shirt and red slacks. Even their accessories matched – Scott had a white cap and shoes, while Dufner had a dark cap and shoes. I'm sure they didn’t plan it, but their sartorial serendipity stood out today.
 
So there are my three faves. What say you?
 
 
April 11, 2014 - 7:52pm
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Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson missed the cut at the Masters for the first time since 1997.

At least 11 players will head home Friday night from the Masters knowing that just one shot, one stroke of good fortune, would have allowed them to make the cut.

With just the top 50 and ties -- plus any players within 10 strokes of leader Bubba Watson -- playing the weekend, there were a lot of big-name players at 5 over who saw their Masters bubbles burst.

LEADERBOARD: Follow Masters action all day on the PGA.com social leaderboard | Course stats

That list included Luke Donald, Victor Dubuisson, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson -- and perhaps most surprisingly, Phil Mickelson. The three-time Masters champ hadn't missed a cut at Augusta National since 1997, but was done in by a triple-bogey 6 on the par-3 12th, his second triple in two days.

This year's cut wasn't kind to several former winners. In addition to Mickelson and Schwartzel, Angel Cabrera (2009), Trevor Immelman (2008) and Zach Johnson (2007) all failed to advance, along with Mark O'Meara, Craig Stadler, Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw.

Several other pre-tournament favorites had an early end to their Masters. Dustin Johnson couldn't make up for an opening-round 77 and wound up with a 7-over 151. Patrick Reed skied to a second-round 79 and finished at 8-over 152.

PHOTOS FROM THE MASTERS: Friday's second round | Best golf fashion

Keegan Bradley followed a 75 with a 78 for a 9-over 153. Jason Dufner never recovered from his first-round 80 and finished at 10-over 154.

However, there were more than a few green jacket holders still in the 51-man field, including Mike Weir (2003), Vijay Singh (2000), Jose Maria Olazabal (1999), Fred Couples (1992), two-time winner Bernhard Langer (1985, 1993) and Augusta native Larry Mize (1987).

At 54, Couples shot back-to-back 71s to sit tied for seventh, five shots behind Watson.

 

 

 

Phil Mickelson
USA Today Images
The only time Phil Mickelson has missed a cut in the Masters came in 1997.

The only time Phil Mickelson has ever missed the cut in the Masters came in 1997. That same year, Tiger Woods won the tournament by a record 12 shots.

With Woods out this year as he heals from back surgery and Mickelson through 36 holes at 5-over par, we could potentially see the first Masters weekend at Augusta National without two of the game's biggest stars since 1994 when neither of the two played.

RELATED: Masters leaderboard | Big bounce back for Grace | Complete coverage

Mickelson finished his second round right around 3:40 p.m. EDT and was one shot outside the projected cut number of 4 over after a 1-over 73 to go along with Thursday's 4-over 76.

Mickelson's tough week at the Masters shouldn't come as a big surprise if you look at his form of late. It's really a microcosm of his season -- one in which he has yet to finish inside the top 10 through nine starts.

But, bad form or not, Mickelson's 76-73 start is a bit shocking because since that missed cut in 1997, he has racked up an incredible 14 top 10s at Augusta National, including three victories.

In the last two days, Mickelson has had two triple bogeys (No. 7 on Thursday; No. 12 on Friday) and one double bogey (No. 15 on Thursday).

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

Bubba Watson
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Bubba Watson had a stretch that included five straight birdies in the second round of the Masters on Friday.

They say experience counts for a lot at Augusta National during Masters week.

Based on what 2012 champion Bubba Watson did on Friday, it would be hard to argue otherwise.

Watson, who won earlier this year in the Northern Trust Open (his first victory since that epic, sudden-death playoff win in Augusta two years ago), fired a 4-under 68 in the second round Friday to move to 7 under for the tournament and is the clubhouse leader, four shots ahead of his closest pursuers at the time of this post.

RELATED: Masters leaderboard | Big bounce back for Grace | Complete coverage

It wasn't until the ninth hole on Friday -- his 27th hole of the tournament -- that Watson made his first bogey. He was the only player in the field without a bogey up to that point. 

He made the turn in even-par 36 and shortly after, that's when the fireworks started.

Starting on the difficult par-3 12th hole, Watson rattled off five consecutive birdies. The birdie streak came to an end on the par-4 17th hole, where Watson settled for a two-putt par from 30 feet. He missed about a 5-footer for par at the final hole and settled for bogey and the 68.

Watson's impressive play might end up costing a lot of players a weekend tee time. The cut rule at the Masters has the top 50 players and ties moving on to weekend play, as well as all those within 10 shots of the lead.

The projected cut at the time of this post was 3 over, effectively making the 10-shot rule negligible should things remain the same.

If Watson is able to hold on for the win this Sunday, he would become the 17th player in the 78-year history of the Masters to win the tournament more than once.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.