AUGUSTA, go. — A long day in the small window of the day that accompanies the Masters in November has decided nothing yet, except that Dustin Johnson will play as number one and Justin Thomas will finally get a chance at Augusta National.
They were among the top four in the standings on Friday, when the second lap was stopped by darkness, the product of the most unusual Masters race ever attempted to make up a three-hour gap in start time.
Among those who were still on the track was Tiger Woods, who on the day the greens regained some strength and the autumn leaves shook a little with a bit of wind, stayed on a neutral track. After losing the ball, Bryson De Chambo did his best to make the cut, which led to the triple Goddess.
Two days proved that the experience of the masters so far was only sufficient in a soft spot with rye grass, which is not grown as usual in April.
Abraham Anker, one of the 26 new masters, dropped a six-fly stone on his U5 U67 tour and joined Johnson (70) and Thomas (69) in the club’s top group U9 U135. At the top is also Cameron Smith, an Australian illustrator who played the last four holes with an eagle and three straight birds for hole 68.
Another newcomer to the Masters, Sung-Jae Im (70), was in the group behind Patrick Kentley (66), who fought for the green jacket last year.
They really need to throw all their insider knowledge, however strange, out the window this week, Thomas said. A lot of the history and things you know on the golf course can sometimes hurt you this week because you are used to it. But in the end, it’s much sweeter and much more humiliating.
He gave the example of Friday morning, when he was one of the 44 players who had to finish their first round. Thomas stayed off the 15th. Half green with a pin to the right of the well and to the left of a field that normally is almost impossible to hit from close range. He hits a hard, low blow, brakes in the hole and gently turns to get within the bird’s reach.
I had to believe that all I had to do was cover him up and hit him hard enough to make him turn around, Thomas said. The balls make field marks with chip shots and field shots.
Matty and Caddy filmed this podcast, which is about things as important as Caddy’s clothing and his sense of style. Then they hit number two. Master’s day, when the tiger seems even calmer than on Thursday. Listen!
Johnson was one of three players who finished the last Masters with a shot behind Woods, and apparently with four flies on his back nine, he shot 65 this morning. This allowed him to beat Dylan Frittelli and Paul Casey with 18 holes.
Johnson soon became the first player to reach the age of 10 this week, with three birds in the Amen Corner. But then the mud hit his ball – not uncommon this week – putting it on the impossible shelf on the 14th floor. Grüns sent what led to the goddess with three bullets. Then his 3 iron was taken away by a small burst of steam – 5 15, and that was enough to push the greenery up and roll it into the water. He led to the gods.
Did you miss a moment? Johnson shrugged his shoulders.
But he followed him with 11 straight pairs – the shots in the bunker cost him a good chance of 5 pairs for him in the ninth – until he made his final approach at 6 feet in front of the bird in the ninth.
After a rainy start, the forecast was formed for a good weekend, and on Friday there was some excitement at the Augusta National. It’s not from the crowd – no customers were admitted this year – but from SubAir engines.
I think it might get a little stronger, but it’s going to be hard, Johnson. I think it’s flexible enough to attack the court, play aggressively and keep swinging like me. I love where I am. I like my position.
Of those still on the course, Hideki Matsuyama was 8th with three holes to play, while John Ram was 12th with three holes to play. Hole par 3 with a bird on runway 8 when the game was interrupted.
On Thursday Woods left the field with only three players in front of him. He was at the end of the first lap with the 10th and 22nd when he took off Friday evening with two flies on the par 5 and fought on the third and seventh, with the last tee shot close enough to the Georgian pines that his only shot came from the rider who hit the front bunker.
Betting favorite DeChambo, who entered the tee a week later due to his enormous weight and power failure, made a big drive to third place and never found the ball. With the height of the shots he could bury himself under a soft blanket.
Anyway, he went back to the triple and rolled to the same spot, making a random shot and a triple. Two other gypsies followed, but he was in a good position to bring the bird back to the same level for the tournament.
In the section – top 50 and tied – and among those who will remain, young and old, are 23-year-old John Ogenstein, American amateur vice champion, and Bernhard Langer, 63. The two-time Masters champion shot 68 times in the morning on a long, soft field. He followed him with 73 and will be the oldest player to make the cut at Augusta National.
I really feel older when I play with these young boys and I can see how far they get and how short I get, Langer said. I love this golf course. I think I know how to get around that, even if I go to really long clubs. But it’s certainly not easy.
It was very difficult for Rory McElroy, who opened at the age of 75, and was in danger during the weekend until he made up his lost ground from 66 to 66, at least to return in the swing of things and reach the final stage of his Grand Slam career.