Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Two stars, and a wide-open field at the Masters

Golf » Anticipation is high for Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, but quite a few other names are in the mix, too.

First Published Apr 04 2012 07:21 pm • Last Updated Apr 05 2012 12:10 am

Augusta, Ga. • Tiger Woods couldn’t see the green through the trees, though that was only a minor obstacle. He choked up on a 5-wood and played a sweeping draw around the pines, over the water and onto the back of the green.

As he approached the Sarazen Bridge to the 15th green Wednesday, the grandstand rumbled when fans suddenly rose in unison to see him walk by. Some of them held cameras as high as they could, clicked and hoped for the best.

At a glance

The Masters on TV

Thursday’s first-round coverage begins at 1 p.m.

TV » ESPN

Thursday tee times of note

Tiger Woods » 8:35 a.m.

Mike Weir » 10:47 a.m.

Rory McIlroy » 11:42 a.m.

Phil Mickelson » 11:53 a.m.

Note » For the complete list of Masters tee times, see Scoreboard. > D5

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Woods is worth watching at the Masters for all the right reasons.

All it took was one win at Bay Hill two weeks ago for Woods to even remotely resemble the guy who once dominated golf. He won by five shots, and, just like that, was elevated to the favorite at Augusta National.

"Everything is headed in the right direction at the right time," Woods said.

But he’s not the only star of this Masters.

Rory McIlroy has all the traits of the heir apparent — an easy swing that produces enormous power, a U.S. Open title at age 22, a tennis star for a girlfriend, and an engaging personality — something that Woods doesn’t have. In his last 12 tournaments, McIlroy finished third or better eight times, including two wins and a brief stay at No. 1 in the world.

"I’m in a great place," McIlroy said. "I feel like my golf game is in great shape."

There is so much anticipation about this clash of generations, it’s as if they were the only two players competing for a green jacket, much like the days of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

Far from it.


story continues below
story continues below

"There probably hasn’t been a Masters with more legitimate chances," Geoff Ogilvy said before heading out for a final practice round. "I can understand people seeing this as a two-man race, but it’s never been further from the truth. There are more horses in this race than ever before."

Luke Donald returned to No. 1 in the world three weeks ago by winning at Innisbrook. He is one of eight players among the top 20 in the world who have won this year, a list that includes Woods and McIlroy, along with Hunter Mahan (twice), Steve Stricker, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson, a threat at Augusta even when he’s not playing well.

"And you’ve got a guy like Keegan Bradley," Ogilvy said, referring to the PGA champion who won the first major he ever played. "Nobody ever talked about a Masters rookie with a chance. There’s more people in the conversation, isn’t there?"

One conversation that was kept short Wednesday was Masters chairman Billy Payne refusing to discuss the all-male membership at Augusta National. The topic returned this year because IBM appointed Virginia Rometty its CEO, and the last four chief executives of Big Blue were invited to be members.

"All issues of membership are now and have been historically subject to the private deliberations of the members, and that statement remains accurate, and remains my statement," Payne said.

Despite a few more attempts — including a tense moment when Payne cut off a series of questions by saying, "Thank you" — the focus at Augusta quickly shifted back to golf.

Still fresh are memories from last year, when eight players had at least a share of the lead in the final round — McIlroy early, Woods in the middle, Adam Scott late — until Charl Schwartzel finished with four straight birdies for a two-shot win.

It could be anyone this year — not just Woods and McIlroy.

"Rory has never won here," Lee Westwood said. "Tiger has not won here since 2005. So I think everybody in this room would have to be naive to think it was a two-horse race, wouldn’t they? There’s more. I think Phil might have a little bit of something to say about that. Luke might. I might."

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.