Friday, April 10, 2009

Backtime Friday Masters LiveBlog: "Shrimp on the Barbie" Edition

One of the storylines heading into the 2009 Masters was would this be the year that the Australians finally break through? If Thursday is any indicator, the answer will again be: no.

Let's roll call the Aussies thru Round 1:

Oglivy, Geoff? -1

Scott, Adam? -1

Allenby? Appleby? +1, Even

54-year old Greg Norman out-did all those guys with a -2. And the best Aussie finish of the day belonged to this guy:

Aaron Baddeley, whose surname is also an adverb for the way he wears his hair (not that I'm one to talk), shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday.

If no Australians are in the Top 10 going into the weekend, I'm going to pour a Foster's over my wife's flower beds.

Check in this afternoon for live updates.

7:33 ET Final thoughts. Sergio just birdied 18 to go to -4. He looked strong coming in too.

For the record, Geoff Oglivy is the top Aussie at T-11. Guess the flowers will have to die a drunken death. A little surprised Jim Furyk didn't capitalize on his Day 1 performance. He shot 74 to fall 5 back at -4. Watch out for co-leader Kenny Perry, he knows how to close with 13 career PGA wins. ¡Hasta maƱana!

7:17 ET
Nice job by Phil Mickelson, giving everyone something to think about with the birdie putt on 18. He's -3 and in a tie for 10th. He has the champion look, but he trails a couple of strong players by 6 shots and another by 5. May be too far to climb for he or Tiger.

6:54 ET
Jim Nantz just made reference to the "luminaries" at -2: Tiger, Mickelson, Harrington. Garcia was there at the time, but just birdied the Par-3 16th to go to -3, joining household names Vijay Singh and Geoff Oglivy.

6:32 ET
The Left-hander just picked a spot. Birdie at 15 puts him at 2-under, tied with Tiger. Cabrera birdied thed 36th hole, so he's at -8 headed into Saturday.

6:15 ET
Some controversy here as a gust of wind blew Harrington's ball from its spot as he was about to hit it and he backed away. I don't know the rule exactly but Mother Nature may have just cost the 3-time Major winner a 1-stroke penalty.

5:48 ET I think you can go ahead and reserve a seat for Lefty this weekend. Followed up birdie on 12 with a tap-in eagle on 13. Now can he pick his spots the rest of the way, or will he get too aggressive and hit a house? Mickelson is -1.

5:35 ET
Now, besides Angel Cabrera at -8 (one back), the drama is about who will make the cut. The cutline is +1 now and looks like it's going to stay there. Mickelson is on the line at +1. Retief Goosen is +2. Ernie Els is +3. And Greg Norman needs a birdie to get to +1 after a rough "7" on one of the Par-5s.

5:11 ET
It's official. I am a jinx. In Stephen Ames' first appearance on TV, he lipped out a 3-foot birdie putt.

5:01 ET
Top of the hour. Perfect time for a TV reset with the full video recap of Tiger's day. Meanwhile, Stephen Ames is at -3 and cooking. Haven't seen him on the air yet.

4:47 ET
A little lull in the action. TV broadcast just kissed off Fuzzy Zoeller. Gary Player's swansong isn't too far away.

4:23 ET Anthony Kim just birdied 18 for a 65. His 11th birdie of the day, a Masters record. He is five behind the leaders and obviously has the game to make those strokes up. We have to get the former Sooner great a theme room at the Sooner Legends Inn. I'll call Val and try to make that happen.

4:15 ET
Morning play was slow enough for TV to catch Tiger's adventure on the 18th live - he bogeyed and now trails by seven going into the weekend. Tiger predictably said nothing quotable in his post-round interview with Tom Rinaldi. Veteran Major champs are making their moves. Angel Cabrera is -6. Vijay Singh is -4.

3:59 ET
TV coverage is moments away. Here are Backtime's top stories:

1. Kenny Perry is in the house, tied with Chad Campbell at -9, three clear of the field.
2. Tiger is -3, 6 back, -1 on the day. No significant move, but far from finished.
3. Young guns are blazing. Nick Watney (27) is -4. Anthony Kim (23) has the round of the day going at 6-under thru 16. Rory McIlroy (19) is at -2.
4. Phil Mickelson is still 10 back at +1.

2:33 ET
Chad Campbell avoided another dubious bogey-bogey finish with a birdie on 18. He is through 2 rounds at 9-under. He's got a champion's score, but does he have that look? He leads Kenny Perry by two, and Todd Hamilton (done) by three. Tiger is seven shots back, and Lefty is ten behind with almost all of his round left.

12:53 ET
Chad Campbell had gotten it to -11, with a 5-shot lead. He's come back to earth a little with Amen Corner bogeys on 11 & 12. Kenny Perry is on the course at -6, 3 shots back. Tiger is still at -2, even thru 7 holes today.

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