Top of the leaderboard is getting tighter at the Masters
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The race is on to finish in the top 50 at the Masters.
There was a lot of movement this morning, and the top of the leaderboard is getting more congested.
Justin Rose remains at the top, but five players shot 5 under or better to really make a run on him, including Tony Finau.
In November, our former champions really had a great showing. Bernhard Langer finished in front of Bryson DeChambeau, and even more finished inside of the top 50 playing the weekend.
This year, that’s not looking to be the case.
The course is certainly playing tougher, and more often than not, former champions and players below the cut line are simply finding themselves on the wrong side of a bad bounce.
“I hit some really nice shots this week that looked good that ended up not getting close to the hole. But that’s what makes this place special and difficult, is not all your good shots turn out the way you think. you have to get the right bounce,” said Mike Weir.
Is the weather helping or hurting?
The common consensus among players was a 2 or 3 under round would be phenomenal. The course is certainly living up to that.
The weather today hasn’t included the beautiful blue skies we’ve seen the rest of the week.
It’s been overcast and humid, so it’s almost felt like the sky has wanted to rain all day, but just could never get it together.
Not that anyone minded, especially since the course appeared to play easier than it did Thursday.
The pin placement was more difficult today, though.
This is not the same course we saw in November -- not by a long-shot.
Only 12 golfers started the day under par.
A dry course maybe to blame for the higher scores.
The cloud cover is keeping the Augusta National from baking in the sun, but so far the rain is holding off.
A tough time for Augusta’s Mize
Augusta’s own Larry Mize was at one point competitive in November.
Today, not so much.
He finished 19 over, but he says he’s not finished with this tournament.
Next year is the 35th anniversary of his amazing chip that beat Greg Norman, earning him a green jacket.
But that’s not why he says he’ll play next year.
He says he just can’t go out like this.
“I didn’t expect it to be this bad, but it was. You know, you got to take the take the bad with good. So we just you know fought for everything we could get and just wasn’t, there was a lot of fight, but there just wasn’t a lot of good there,” Mize said.
Making the cut at the Masters
It’s cut day at the Masters.
One of the changes from November that’s carrying over is how the cut line works.
The top 50 with ties make the cut. So if a player is tied for 48th, they’ll make it, even if the next standing is a tie for 60th.
There have been a lot of changes from Thursday at the top of the leaderboard.
Marc Leishman, Brend Weisberger, Tony Finau and Justin Thomas have all moved up into the top group. The same with Jordan Speith.
Finau and Thomas both bogey’d 18 to go from 5 under to 4.
Three over is looking like it’ll be the cut line.
Gary Woodland, Abraham Ancer (despite a two-stroke penalty) and Bryson DeChambeau all look like they’ll make it.
Kevin Kisner, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day and a number of other notables all look like they won’t be around this weekend.
“I’ve been playing really solid golf yesterday and today, obviously. Just today, I kept the mistakes off the card. The one blemish was a perfect iron shot just flew three yards too far,” Bernd Wiesberger said.
NFL players come to Augusta
Watching the best golfers this week are some of the best football players.
We found NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick out at the practice range today.
He was watching Jordan Spieth get ready for his round.
The 17-year veteran told us he’s here taking in the action with several other NFL players.
Super Bowl winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes and former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence were out on the course Thursday.
Fitzpatrick says new Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is here in Augusta, as well.
Saying thanks to health care heroes
It’s tough to even begin to thank our health care workers for everything they have sacrificed this past year. But Augusta National decided it would certainly try by giving some of our local frontline workers access to one of the most exclusive events in sports.
After a tough year, it was the boost nurse Kimberly Fedrick says they needed.
“It’s been challenging, but we just kept going to work, kept doing what we had to do, and kept taking care of our military population,” said the nurse at Eisenhower Army Medical Center.
And finally, a concessions update
There’s a new sandwich in town, the chicken salad on brioche.
It’s a whopping $2.50.
And if it sounds familiar, it’s been on the menu in a wrap before, so it’s the bread that’s different.
But sandwiches are a big deal at the Masters.
Just ask defending champion Dustin Johnson.
Aside from his green jacket, of course, they are his favorite thing about Augusta National.
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