Thursday, April 9, 2009

Backtime Thursday Masters LiveBlog: "Yes Masters" Edition

Ever since Jeannie popped out of the bottle, she was all about her master's wishes. She always dialed it up for the Majors (Major Nelson, Major Healy).

This morning I feel like the master of my domain, like I just found a genie in a bottle.

The taxes are done, I've run a couple of miles, and I just pulled a chorizo and egg stuffed pepper off the grill (is there any doubt now that my wife's out of town).

I checked in on Augusta, and if Stephen Ames wished for an eagle on his 2nd Hole, he got it and is off to a nice start. Check back mid-afternoon for real-time updates.

7:36 ET Final Thoughts: Campell's 65 was huge, but it isn't clear ofthe masses. Thirteen players are within 3 shots. And Padraig Harrington looms at -3 with Woods and Zach Johnson at -2. Coverage was geat. Light on interviews and flashbacks. Lots of action. See You Tomorrow!

7:21 ET Tiger Woods air-mailed the green on 18 to settle for bogey. After missing makeable birdie putts on 16 and 17, his -2 round could have been much better. He's T-20 and 5 shots back from 1st round leader Chad Campbell.

7:02 ET Again Tiger and Immelman fail to convert brilliant approaches on 17 & 18 respectively.

6:44 ET Tiger missed the putt, as did Trevor Immelman on 17 to stop his own string of 3 straight birdies.

6:34 ET Tiger's got 3 in a row. He's -3 and just stuck it on 16.

Here's a fun fact about Tiger: Barring a rain delay, you won't see a single shot of his live on TV tomorrow. Tiger tees off at 10:45 Friday and Augusta National is strict about the limits on the TV coverage. I'm sure you'll see the Tiger 2nd Round recaps frequently. To credit the CBS/ESPN coverage so far today, they haven't over-Tigered us at all. Let's see if he finishes strong today, 17 and 18 have been claiming victims.

6:05 ET Tiger Woods just made back-to-back birdies on 13 & 14. After Campbell finished bogey-bogey, and Hunter Mahan is making a total mess of 18, it's ON.

5:34 ET Nice to see Kenny Perry birdie at 13 to go to -4. In 2008, he didn't play the Masters (didn't qualify), US Open (didn't try to qualify), British Open (didn't choose to attend), then withdrew after first round of PGA. Even though he was a no-show in the Majors, he rocked the Minors, winning 3 times in '08 and he won in Scottsdale earlier this year.

5:03 ET A little bit about Chad Campbell who just went to -9. Earned a "battlefield promotion" after winning 3 times on the Nationwide Tour in 2001. Runner-up to Shaun Micheel in 2003 PGA before winning the Tour Championship later that season, his best year. Didn't qualify for last year's Masters, but was a captain's pick on the victorious 2008 Ryder Cup team, so somebody knows something.

4:49 ET Yankees 11, Orioles 2. First win of the season. AJ Burnett is 1-0. Nick Swisher had 5 RBI and Robinson Cano is rakin'. Just thought I'd throw that in.

4:37 ET Mike Tirico is actually interviewing Larry Mize, who had a first round 67. Other former champs: Mike Weir is in at -4 and Bernhard Langer at -2. Meanwhile, Chad Campbell just went to 8 under.

4:14 ET Obligatory first Augusta scenic montage with pink flowers and azaleas (are they the same thing? Beats me). Defending champ Trevor Immelman is +2. Robert Allenby just shouted "you bastard" at an insect on his tee shot at 12.

3:59 ET ESPN coverage begins in 1 minute. Here are Backtime's top stories:

1. Tiger struggling (+1 thru 7)
2. Mickelson struggling (+1, first round complete)
3. Surprising since the field is kicking it. Furyk is in at -6
4. Chad Campbell's 5 birdies in first 5 holes
5. Greg Norman with a 70 (-2) in his return to Augusta

3:06 ET Right now, 39 of 96 entrants are under par. So today the course can be had. Shingo Katayama is complete with -5. Chad Campbell is -5 at the turn. Tiger (even through 4) and Lefty (even thru 15) haven't yet taken advantage.

1:10 ET South African Tim Clark, listed (generously) at 5'7" is in the house with a 68 (-4). Clark won the Par 3 event on Wednesday, defeated Tiger in the matchplay event about a month ago, and was runner-up to Lefty at Augusta in 2006. So he's legit.

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