The Masters never disappoints. After an amazing minus 7 start, Charley Hoffman appeared mortal on Day 2. He did not have that confidence and zeroed in focus we saw in his opening round and I am not surprised. Augusta National is a fantastic course that requires 5 hours of intense concentration if you have any illusions of scoring well. So, the second day of play unfolded exactly as I expected.
After 36 holes, the top of The Masters leaderboard looks exactly like the 401 highway on a Friday afternoon – jammed packed. Charlie Hoffman, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia and Thomas Pieters were the players who navigate Augusta National with the least amount of damage. Actually, Rickie Fowler’s minus 5 was the best of the day and many pundits are not surprised he is on top the pack.
I missed most of the action because I was at a fun curling day for work, but I was able to catch some of the action on TV at the curling club. I did not see any fantastic shots, so if you have any in mind, drop me a comment so we can all share in the excitement. Thanks.
Today is moving day at The Masters. It is the day that sets players up to springboard up the leaderboard to make a run on Sunday. Many times I am asked the question of how close a player needs to be to have a chance to win a green jacket and my answer varies.
The ability of anyone, Charley Hoffman for example, to shoot that amazing round is limited to everyone in the field. The real impact of any great round is where they sit after Day 3. This year, I believe that if a player is within 5 strokes, they have a chance. Of course there are many factors and influences to the outcome, but anything can happen (just ask Danny Willett – the 2016 Masters Champion)!
Right now that number sits at 13 players. At the end of today, I expect that number to grow by a couple to around 15 players in contention at the start of the final round of this year’s Masters.
The current leader board is very interesting. It has many great names like Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott; these guys can never be counted out. Players like Rickie Fowler (who is my sister Roxana’s favorite because of his shoes and golfing outfits), Matt Kuchar, and Ryan Moore are always hanging around and cannot be underestimated. But, I think a couple of other stand outs are worth mentioning.
Sergio Garcia is one of the greatest players never to win a Major. It is high-time this fact be put to bed and moving day will determine if he is ready to shed that yoke. He is playing well and for him to rise above the rest, he needs to putt his best. If Sergio’s flat stick gets hot, he will be very tough to beat.
Freddie Couples has the most top 10 positions after 36 holes of any player since 2010. Sitting at 5 top 10s, Boom Boom is always in the mix. Unfortunately, moving day has caused him the most challenges over the years. I am not sure if it is his back or what, but unfortunately I do not see him in the hunt on the back nine tomorrow. I hope he proves me wrong.
Others outside looking in after Day 2 are Hideki Matsuyama, Martin Kaymer and Jimmy Walker. All three had strong rounds yesterday and will use this performance to move higher up the leaderboard. I do not see any of these players winning this year, but they will make the final round a bit more exciting.
Lastly, I would be remiss not to mention Charley Hoffman and William McGirt. These journeymen are the talk of the Masters right now. It would be great to see them in contention tomorrow, but they must focus on today’s round. To be in contention, both players will have to shoot a sub-par round. It does not have to be much, but a 70 or 71 will be enough to make a run for their first green jacket. Of the two, Charley Hoffman has the most experience being in contention in 2015, only to finish tied for 9th. The golfing world will be watching these two fan favorites on moving day.
There you have it, moving day at The Masters is upon us! It is going to be an exciting day of golf with many exciting shots that will change the fortunes of the players. Regardless of your pick, the fans watching will be the real winners. Are you watching the action on moving day?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!