AUGUSTA, Ga. — Welcome to the Masters morning rundown, your one-stop shop to catch up on the action from Augusta National. Here’s everything you need to know for the morning of April 6.

Spieth sets the pace

What slump? Jordan Spieth racked up seven birdies—including five consecutive on the back—and an eagle on Thursday afternoon to take the Masters lead on Day 1.

It’s not so much that Spieth went low, but how. While he made the most of the 11 greens he hit—on the nine holes where a red number was recorded, six were spurred by approaches within 12 feet—Spieth chalked up two of his best shots to his putter. An eagle putt on the eighth and, of all things, a five-foot bogey putt on the seventh.

“It was a very difficult putt, and I could have dropped to over par,” Spieth said. “And it led to stepping on No. 8 tee feeling like, okay, regrouped, let’s grab three coming in.”

Given his early-season struggles have been attributed to the flat stick—he entered the week ranked 185th in strokes gained: putting—Spieth’s 1.33 putts per green mark was an auspicious sign, and to the rest of the field, a bad omen. It wasn’t a flawless round; he driver was problematic, and he did make three bogeys. As it was routinely pointed out, one good putting round does not erase three months of woe. But confidence breeds more confidence, and on a course that Spieth has made his de facto home, Spieth is brimming with it heading into Friday.

Finau’s “miraculous” 68

On Wednesday night, it appeared Tony Finau wouldn’t be able to tee it up in Round 1. Which made what transpired on Thursday all the more shocking. As night fell on Augusta National Thursday night, the 28-year-old finds himself near the top of the leader board.

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Despite dislocating his ankle in celebration at the Par-3 Contest, Finau cobbled together a four-under 68, one of the best rounds on Day 1. The tour’s leader in driving distance still had plenty of oomph off the tee, and though his irons weren’t on (hitting just half of the greens in regulation) his putter was, with a field-best 1.28 putts per hole.

He did it with “quite a bit” of tape. And a hell of a lot of heart.

“It was nothing short of a miracle ,” Finau said.

This is Finau’s first appearance at the Masters, and as it’s been noted, this is a tournament not kind to newbies. Considering what he just accomplished on one ankle, taking down that history doesn’t seem too daunting.

Tiger’s so-so Round 1

The buzz never stopped for Tiger Woods’ first Masters round in three years. The problem was, Woods never got going, posting a one-over 73.

The 14-time major winner was able to make two birdies on the final five holes, yet his poor driving continues to rear its ugly head. This was especially evident on the par 5s, which have been the bane of his existence this season (101st in par 5 scoring), failing to make birdie on Augusta National’s long holes.

To his credit, Tiger was okay with his round, and feels like he’s in position to strike.

“Yes, I played in a major championship again, but also the fact that … I got myself back in this tournament, and I could have easily let it slip away,” he said. “I fought hard to get it back in there, and I’m back in this championship. It will be fun the next 54 holes.”

It will. The Masters always is. But Woods needs a solid Friday to make sure he’s part of that mix.

Sergio’s terrible, no good, very bad hole

Sergio Garcia came to Augusta National’s 15th hole at two over in his first round as reigning Masters champ. His score was decidedly higher when walking to the 16th tee. After hitting a 320-yard drive on the 15th, leaving 200 yards and change, the Spaniard’s approach went into the water. As did his fourth. And six. And eighth. And, you guessed it, 10th.

However, the 12th found land, and the 38-year-old sunk the 10-footer. The final damage? An octuple-bogey 13.

“I don’t know,” Garcia responded when asked to explain the hole. “I don’t know what to tell you. It’s one of those things. I feel like—I don’t know, it’s the first time in my career where I make a 13 without missing a shot. Simple as that. I felt like I hit a lot of good shots and unfortunately the ball just didn’t want to stop. I don’t know, you know, it’s one of those things. So it’s just unfortunate, but that’s what it is.”

The 13 tied for the highest score in Masters history, and the highest score on the 15th, “beating” the 11s of Masashi (Jumbo) Ozaki, Ben Crenshaw and Ignacio Garrido. To Garcia’s credit, he bounced back on the 16th with a birdie. But it’s safe to say he won’t be defending his crown.

Day’s suds-soaked shot

That Jason Day’s drive at the first went left is not a shock; that side is a common bailout for players on the opening tee. What makes Day’s shot unique is where his second landed: into a patron’s beer.

The 2015 PGA champ’s approach sailed to the right, clattered around the Georgia pines, hit a patron’s shoulder and landed in a libation. Told by an official that Day needed to identify his ball, the fan obliged, downing the drink to the amusement of his fellow patrons and Day.

Unfortunately for Day, he was unable to save par from the suds-soaked spot, walking away with a bogey. The rest of his front nine wasn’t much better, making the turn in 40 and finishing with a 75. But at least he had a story to cheers to after the round.

Source: Golfdigest.com

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods was on the driving range Tuesday at the Masters after playing nine holes in a foursome that included Phil Mickelson when Rory McIlroy sidled up and made him laugh. McIlroy said he had told Woods, “I never thought I’d see the day: Tiger and Phil playing a practice round at Augusta.”

Yes, it was hardly practice as usual at Augusta National when Mickelson and Woods, the game’s great rivals who had circled each other like birds of prey for more than two decades, played nine holes together ahead of a major for the first time in their storied careers.

It was Mickelson’s idea, and Woods embraced it. “We enjoyed it,” Woods said.

This very public thawing of their relationship proved an irresistible attraction at Augusta National, where, strangely, birdsong is heard but birds are rarely seen. That’s what made the sight at the 13th hole doubly surreal. As Mickelson and Woods were playing the 510-yard par 5, a large crane strutted across the fairway.

The crane joined the huge gallery in time to see Woods hit his second shot to within 40 feet of the pin. The roar after Woods stepped up and sank the eagle putt was deafening. The crowd erupted again after he made a much shorter attempt for another eagle at 15. When the noise quieted to a loud murmur, one patron remarked, “It sounds like Sunday and it’s only a practice round.”

Mickelson and Woods beat the other half of the foursome, Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, and the Belgian Thomas Pieters, in a contest that wasn’t close. “It was very loud and very fun and they hit some real good shots,” Couples said. “Wow.”

Mickelson wore a long-sleeved, button-down shirt that inspired a joke from his playing partner. “The only thing that was missing was a tie,” Woods said.

Woods has gotten the better of Mickelson on the course many more times than not, but according to their peers, it is a tossup as to who is ahead in the war of wit.

“It’s pretty even,” said Jordan Spieth, who has heard them up close at Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups.

He added, “Tiger has more accolades than just about anybody in the sport — you know, nobody wants to go out there and just say, ‘I’ve won this or this or this or this,’ and Phil’s kind of better at getting under people’s skin.”

Woods, 42, is an introverted only child. Mickelson, five years his senior, is an extroverted firstborn with two siblings. The one important thing they have in common — a burning desire to win — is probably the primary factor behind their lack of closeness all these years. Remember: Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer became fast friends only after they stopped banging heads on the golf course.

“Oh, man, he’s very, very, competitive,” Woods said of Mickelson. “He’s feisty. He’s determined. He always wants to win.”

Woods, of course, could have been describing the man in the mirror. Justin Thomas, whom Woods mentored while on the mend from multiple back surgeries, played a practice round with him on Monday. Thomas noted a change in Woods’s demeanor as they prepared to compete with each other. Woods, he said, was “a little harder to get stuff out of than when he was hurt and I was asking him questions.”

Mickelson has tour victories in four decades, but younger players like Thomas, the reigning P.G.A. champion, almost universally looked up to Woods when they were growing up.

“He was winning about every other tournament he played in,” Thomas explained.

In some ways, though, Mickelson had the more auspicious start to his career, winning his first PGA Tour title when he was still an amateur. He has won 43 Tour titles, including five majors, while Woods has 79 tour wins, including 14 majors.

If Mickelson hadn’t played in the same era as Woods, he might have “10 to 12 majors,” Couples said.

Mickelson isn’t so sure. “It’s very possible that that’s the case,” he said, “and it’s also possible that he brought out the best in me and forced me to work harder and focus to ultimately achieve the success that I’ve had.”

Six golfers in their 40s have won a Masters title. Led by Mickelson and Woods, at least a half-dozen here this week have a chance to become the seventh. The others include the 2007 champion, Zach Johnson, 42; Charley Hoffman, 41, who led after the first two rounds last year; Paul Casey, 40, who has top-six finishes in each of the past three years; and Ian Poulter, 42, who secured the final berth with a playoff victory Sunday in Houston.

After Mickelson won the World Golf Championships event in Mexico City last month in a playoff against Thomas, Woods described Mickelson’s first victory since 2013 as “very, very cool to watch.”

Woods tied for second a week later at the Valspar Championship outside Tampa, and Mickelson said he sent Woods a text message after he played his way into contention. Mickelson said he had told Woods that it felt “like it was a different time continuum, because I found myself pulling so hard for him.”

This week they are less rivals than two men united against Father Time, a much more formidable opponent than Couples and Pieters combined.

“I find that I want him to play well,” Mickelson said, “and I’m excited to see him play so well.”

At the start of the practice round, Woods teed off first. Someone asked how the group had decided who got that honor. An impish smile creased Mickelson’s face.

“We just went right in order,” he said. “He has four jackets, I have three jackets, Fred, then Thomas.”

Mickelson winked. “It’s a respect thing.”

Source: nytimes.com

Check out our Driving Range Cards at Falcon Crest Golf Club! This year, we are happy to offer another range option. In addition to the Large Bucket Cards we’ve always had, we have now added an X-Large Bucket Card!

Large Bucket cards includes 10 large buckets and 2 free large buckets.

X-Large cards include 10 X-Large buckets with 2 free X-Large buckets.

Here are the results for the one man scramble put on by the Falcon Crest Golf Association. 46 players were put into 3 flights.

Bubba’s last man standing in Match Play
A month ago, Bubba Watson was viewed as a player headed to pasture, his career lost in the wilderness. Now, with the Masters just a week away, Bubba’s one of the favorites to bring home the green jacket.

Proving his win at Riviera was no aberration, Watson upset Justin Thomas in the WGC-Match Play semi-finals on Sunday before quickly dismissing Kevin Kisner in the championship to capture his second title of the season.

“It’s one of those things, I got off to a hot start and I’m just focused on golf,” Watson said after his victory. “So focused on committing to the shots, there was about four or five shots throughout the week where I wasn’t committed, where I kind of blanked out, and so, that’s pretty good over a 100-and-something holes, however many holes we played.”

Although his triumph at the Genesis Open was unexpected, it wasn’t a shock, as Watson had won the event twice. The same could not be said for this tournament, as match play had historically given Bubba fits. Not that one could tell from his work at Austin Country Club. Following a 2-0-1 pool-play record, Watson eliminated Brian Harman 2 up and Kiradech Aphibarnrat 5 & 3 on Saturday before knocking out Thomas 3 & 2 and Kisner 7 & 6.

It was further testament that Watson has shaken the troubles that dropped him from No. 4 in the world to 117th in an 18-month span, and that, as he nears his 40th birthday, the sun is far from setting on his career.

Poulter misinformed over Masters invite
Remember when Ian Poulter thought he lost his tour status last year, only to find out through the detective work of Brian Gay that he actually had done enough to earn his card? This is just like that, only the exact opposite.

Following a Saturday morning victory in the Match Play’s Sweet 16, the 41-year-old Englishman was told by officials and media that he had done enough to jump into the world’s top 50, thus earning an invite to the Masters. One slight problem: before his afternoon match against Kevin Kisner, Poulter was told he, in fact, had not yet breached the top 50. With this information in hand, Poulter lost to Kisner 8 and 6, and was not particularly pleased after his loss.

Can sympathize with the man. I won the 2016 Masters lottery, only to find out that A) Because I changed addresses, my winning bid was no longer accepted and B) I would not be covering the event in person. I’m sure this knowledge will go ways in alleviating his pain.

Luckily for Poulter, an Augusta invite is still up for grabs, as a strong performance at this week’s Houston Open can move him into the top 50.

More fan misbehavior on tour
Crowd etiquette, or the lack thereof, was a subject mostly canvassed at the Phoenix Open and Ryder Cup. Through a third of the 2018 season, it’s now become a weekly theme.

Joining the choir of Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, James Hahn took to Twitter following his Friday loss to Jason Dufner to lament the actions of a fan in the gallery:

“Fought hard today after a bad start. Two down, 4 to go, guy yells purposely on my back swing,” Hahn wrote. “Whether we like it or not, this is where the game is going. My fault for not expecting the worst from fans. Just sucks to lose a match that way.”

Hahn later deleted the Tweet, saying that many were misinterpreting his statement. “I respect and love all golf fans but I can expect bad behavior from them,” Hahn said. “And I’m not blaming the fan for losing the match. Just disappointed I lost the deciding hole in that fashion.”

Interestingly enough, commissioner Jay Monahan said earlier in the week that players need to adjust to this new behavior.

“I believe that there was more that went into it that preceded and in a situation like that we’re hopeful our players will reach out to our security staff and they can handle that,” Monahan said. “But yelling, ‘get in the bunker,’ that’s part of what our players have to accept. In any sport, you go to an away game, in any other sport, and people aren’t rooting for you. Sometimes out here you’re going to have fans that aren’t rooting for you, but they can’t interfere with what you’re trying to do competitively.”

In short, don’t expect this issue to disappear anytime soon.

Garnett wins inaugural Corales
Brice Garnett went wire-to-wire to win the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic, the tour’s alternate event to the WGC-Match Play, for his first career victory. Garnett, who finished first on last year’s Web.com Tour regular-season money list, turned in a two-under 70 in brutal conditions to win the inaugural tournament by four shots.

“It was a hard day, but man it was a lot of fun to do this,” said Garnett. “I was just excited for the day. I knew it was going to be tough.”

Since the tournament was played opposite the Match Play, Garnett’s victory does not earn him a spot into the Masters in two weeks. But it does get him into the Sentry Tournament of Champions next January and secures his tour card through 2020, as well as earning him spots in the Players Championship and the PGA Championship.

Romo missed cut in tour debut
While Garnett won in the Dominican, Tony Romo stole the tournament spotlight, as the quarterback-turned-commentator was in the field via sponsor’s exemption. Similar to Steph Curry’s participation in a Web.com Tour event last summer, the invite drew its share of skepticism. Unlike Curry, Romo’s play did not silence the criticism.

The former Cowboys star actually enjoyed an auspicious start, playing his first 12 holes in even par. The final 24, however, were not as prosperous, as Romo went 15 over in this stretch to finish last.

“Short-sided a few times, made too many mistakes,” Romo said. “So a lot of stuff to learn from, and in a good way. I’ll be able to kind of assess why I didn’t play as well as I wanted to and then you go attack it. In a month from now I think we’ll see things a little better.”

Romo missed the cut by 16 shots and was six behind the next closest competitor. Romo won’t be the only celebrity to participate in a professional event this season, as musician Jake Owen is expected to play in the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Open in June.

Source: golfdigest.com

We would like to thank everyone who played. It was great to have a full field.

First flight

Second flight

Third flight

Fourth flight

Fifth flight

Michelle Wie keeps putting herself back together again.

Broken down by injury or illness or slump so many times in her career, she keeps finding ways to overcome.

She did it again Sunday in brilliant fashion, coming from five shots behind in the final round to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore with a dramatic putt at the final hole, a 36-foot birdie from just off the front of the green.

Wie thrust her fist into the sky when that last putt fell, and then she punched the air twice more in giddy delight.

“I think that has to be the best putt of my career so far,” she said.

Four long, frustrating years after winning the U.S. Women’s Open, Wie was finally able to claim her fifth LPGA title.

“It’s been a tough journey since 2014,” she said. “It’s been kind of well documented. I’ve had some injuries, had a really bad year, just lost a lot of confidence. I’m just really proud of myself for pulling myself out of it.”

Wie’s parents, B.J. and Bo, were in the gallery following, as they always are. Her parents have been scrutinized and criticized as much as any in the sport over their handling of the former phenom. Wie, 28, said they were on her mind when that last putt dropped.

“When I made the putt, I could just picture my parents kind of celebrating,” Wie said. “My family believed in me relentlessly, and with that, I started to believe in myself.”

Wie beat a star-studded lineup Sunday that included 19 of the top 20 players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

“This is Asia’s major,” Wie said.

With a bogey-free 7-under-par 65, Wie prevailed in a crazy afternoon of high drama, breaking out of a four-way tie for the lead with that birdie at the last. She finished at 17 under overall, a shot ahead of Brooke Henderson (67), Danielle Kang (70), Nelly Korda (71) and Jenny Shin (65).

“Everyone was really clustered up there on the leaderboard,” Wie said. “I’m just really proud of myself for making a lot of birdies, and [to] keep going.”

So many players got in the mix on the back nine, with one player after another mounting charges. The course record was 64, but five players equaled or broke the mark in the final round.

After her closing birdie, Wie had to wait in the wings and watch Korda and Kang miss birdie chances at the last that could have forced a playoff.

The victory was sweet for Wie for a lot of reasons, including her inability to close out a 54-hole lead in this event a year ago.

“I just wanted to get revenge after last year a little bit,” Wie said. “I kind of came with a slight chip on my shoulder in the morning.”

Wie overcame so much winning that U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst in 2014, when she finally looked ready to realize all her potential in a run to No. 1. But, she was derailed by a finger injury later that summer, and then by hip, knee and ankle injuries that led to an awful slump after that. When she finally looked as if she was turning a corner again last year, neck spasms and an emergency appendectomy derailed her in the summer.

“Definitely, my team and my family and my friends have pulled me out of the hard times and kept me going,” Wie said. “There have been moments where it was hard. It was hard to keep going and to keep playing.”

Wie’s longtime swing coach, David Leadbetter, has been there through all the challenges with her since she was 13.

“I can’t list all the injuries Michelle has had in her career,” Leadbetter said at year’s start. “I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue.

“The main goal this year is really to see if she can go injury free.”

Leadbetter believes Wie hasn’t reached what she’s really capable of yet, but he’s hopeful this might be the year. There was promise loaded in Sunday’s victory.

Source: http://www.golfchannel.com/

 

Saturday, February 24

Tee times 9:30am to 1:30pm ‧ Set your tee time when signing up!

at Falcon Crest Golf Course

Entry fee is $160 Per Team ($40 per guy) – Entry Fee includes cart

Each player must have an active IGA handicap 

Field is limited to the first 25 paid teams and that each team must have at least one member of the Falcon Crest Golf Association.