A shot-by-shot analysis of Phil Mickelson’s thrilling eagle at the Masters

April 6th, 2017

Phil Mickelson, AKA Phil-the-Thrill, AKA Lefty, stormed out of the gates during the first round of the 2017 Masters on Thursday. After a a par on his opening hole, he made an impressive eagle on the second, courtesy of three fantastic shots. Let’s break it down. The Par-5 second is a right-to-left dogleg. The hole plays shorter if you go down the left hand side, but trees encroach throughout, so it’s a fine line players have to walk. You can see what Phil wanted to do by looking at spot he’s picked out in the distance. Left-center of the fairway, hitting a little fade off that right bunker. He hits it far, but perhaps lets it drift a touch too far left. What he’s left with in the fairway is a partially blocked shot, so he needs to hit a big slice around the trees to get at the day’s back left pin. He manages to get it to the back of the green, but somehow, that wasn’t even his best shot on the hole. That title goes to this putt, which had so much break that he had to roll it along the collar of the green. The solid line below is his aim line, the dotted line is the fall line. The eagle demonstrated all Phil’s best qualities: His artistry, his imagination, his brilliance. It was Mickelson at his very best. Here’s the video. Masters 2017: Phil Mickelson | 2nd Hole, Round 1 pic.twitter.com/QkzJQM9cnd — Masters Highlights (@MastersMoments) April 6, 2017 brightcove.createExperiences(); More Golf!Why does Bubba Watson use pink golf balls?15hr agoA shot-by-shot breakdown of Jordan Spieth's tournament-crushing 9 at the 2017 Masters17hr agoSee the heartbreaking moment Dustin Johnson withdrew from the Masters after freak accident18hr ago

READ MORE >

Golf fans are annoyed about the Masters’ ‘joke’ featured groups

April 6th, 2017

Golf fans love the Masters. There’s no doubt about that. But that Masters, for better or worse, does what it wants. And one of the those things it wants to do is limit the amount of golf it puts on television. Television coverage doesn’t start until 3 p.m., and the only coverage fans are left until then are those the Masters chooses to stream on its official website. During the first, in a morning wave that included big-names like Phil Mickelson (who made an eagle on his second hole), Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, the powers-that-be for groups of Zach Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Hadwin, along with Adam Scott, Kevin Kisner, and Andy Sullivan. Martha Burk ought to protest these featured groups. Hard pass. — Big Randy (@BigRandyNLU) April 6, 2017 How both Phil and Spieth got bumped from the morning featured groups for this crew is perplexing and egregious. pic.twitter.com/4IlZWpmlpB — No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) April 6, 2017 @ASchmidtacular I don't know what they were thinking when they chose their featured groups. — Bob Meseroll (@BobMeseroll) April 6, 2017 Whoever called in to LPGA about Lexi's blunder should call Augusta about these “featured groups” — Andrew Jaskel (@JaskelFlatts) April 6, 2017 Can some one explain how Phil's grouping and Rickie's grouping aren't the featured morning groups???? #themasters — Bread Bruce (@babaaBRADsheep) April 6, 2017 Remember that time The Masters app made us watch no-names for their featured groups? I do. This year, last year, 2015, 2014, 2013…… — Will Salter (@wasalter) April 6, 2017 I would like to formally express my disdain for the featured groups at #themasters. — Remy Maccioli (@rmaccioli) April 6, 2017 These featured groups are horrible. #themasters — Sean (@rabdaawg) April 6, 2017 who comes up with the featured groups ????? this is a joke — Br€n G@®®ett (@Bs_and_Garretts) April 6, 2017 Hey @TheMasters can we please get some better featured groups? You have rockstars on the course and have these two boring groups live? C'mon — Derek Herron (@Derek_Herron) April 6, 2017 I don't think I seen anyone in the two featured groups make a putt… — Brian Smith (@MyLifeisBS_11) April 6, 2017 I'd love to know the selection process of the https://t.co/Oftz4WDGRr featured groups that is a combined +8 through holes 9 and 10 — Kyle Hoke (@Kyle_Hoke) April 6, 2017 brightcove.createExperiences(); More Golf!Why does Bubba Watson use pink golf balls?15hr agoA shot-by-shot breakdown of Jordan Spieth's tournament-crushing 9 at the 2017 Masters17hr agoSee the heartbreaking moment Dustin Johnson withdrew from the Masters after freak accident18hr ago

READ MORE >

From left, James Simpson, Wyndham Rose Simpson, Dakota Watson and Caleb Watson watch as their fathers Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson play during the…

April 5th, 2017

From left, James Simpson, Wyndham Rose Simpson, Dakota Watson and Caleb Watson watch as their fathers Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson play during the par three competition at the Masters golf tournament Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

READ MORE >

Caleb Watson and Willow Simpson watch their fathers Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson play during the par three competition at the Masters golf tournament…

April 5th, 2017

Caleb Watson and Willow Simpson watch their fathers Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson play during the par three competition at the Masters golf tournament Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

READ MORE >

Bubba Watson helps his daughter Dakota putt during the par three competition at the Masters golf tournament Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

April 5th, 2017

Bubba Watson helps his daughter Dakota putt during the par three competition at the Masters golf tournament Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

READ MORE >

Watson, Simpson make most of family time at soggy Masters

April 5th, 2017

AUGUSTA, Georgia (AP) – While severe weather canceled the Masters’ popular Par 3 Contest for the first time in history, Bubba Watson was able to get on the course with his two children before it was shut down. The two-time Masters champion enjoyed every moment. Watson and former U.S. Open …

READ MORE >

Johnson to launch Masters title bid with Watson, Walker (Reuters)

April 4th, 2017

By Frank Pingue AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – World number one Dustin Johnson will launch his bid for a maiden U.S. Masters title in the company of twice champion Bubba Watson and PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker, in groupings announced on Tuesday. World number two Rory McIlroy, who can complete the career grand slam of golf’s four majors with a win this week, will set off with red-hot Spaniard Jon Rahm and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara at 1:41 p.m. Australian world number three Jason Day, who took a short break from golf as his mother had surgery in her battle with lung cancer, has been paired with England’s Justin Rose and American Brandt Snedeker.

READ MORE >

Golf-Johnson to launch Masters title bid with Watson, Walker (Reuters)

April 4th, 2017

AUGUSTA, Georgia, April 4 (Reuters) – World number one Dustin Johnson will launch his bid for a maiden U.S. Masters title in the company of twice champion Bubba Watson and PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker, in groupings announced on Tuesday. Johnson, who has won his last three starts, will tee off in the final group at 2:03 p.m. ET (1803 GMT) in Thursday’s opening round at Augusta National. World number two Rory McIlroy, who can complete the career grand slam of golf’s four majors with a win this week, will set off with red-hot Spaniard Jon Rahm and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara at 1:41 p.m. …

READ MORE >

Breaking down the 12 best bets ahead of the 2017 Masters

April 4th, 2017

All odds courtesy of Bovada… Short Odds Dustin Johnson, 6/1 All of my picks are based on two statistical factors: Driving distance and greens in regulation percentage. Those are the two stats that correlate most with success at the Masters, and Dustin Johnson is quite good in both categories. While other top contenders (the Jordan Spieths and Jason Days of the world) may be better with their putters, that doesn’t seem to be too big of a factor for the Masters. If you are going to put money down on one big name, make it Johnson. — Steven Ruiz ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 19: Dustin Johnson of the United States hits a shot on the practice ground during the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 19, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 688146985 ORIG FILE ID: 632026892 ” data-medium-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gty_632026892_88080770.jpg?w=1000&h=669?w=300″ data-large-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gty_632026892_88080770.jpg?w=1000&h=669?w=1000″ class=”size-full wp-image-666842″ src=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gty_632026892_88080770.jpg?w=1000&h=669″ alt=”” width=”1000″ height=”669″ srcset=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gty_632026892_88080770.jpg?w=1000&h=669 1000w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gty_632026892_88080770.jpg?w=2000&h=1338 2000w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gty_632026892_88080770.jpg?w=640&h=428 640w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gty_632026892_88080770.jpg?w=300&h=201 300w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gty_632026892_88080770.jpg?w=768&h=514 768w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gty_632026892_88080770.jpg?w=1024&h=685 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px” />GETTY Rickie Fowler, 18/1 Rickie Fowler has everything you’d look for in a short-odds candidate. He’s playing well — T-4, 1, T-16, 12, T-3 in his last five starts — but not so well that expectations have gone into overdrive. He’s a good driver of the golf ball whose game fits the course well, and despite a missed cut last year, he’s played well here in the past. T-5 and T-12 in 2014 and 2015. Really like Rickie this week. — Luke Kerr-Dineen Hideki Matsuyama, 18/1 I like to bet on a favorite with a good resume and he’s got it: A fifth-place finish at Augusta in 2015, followed up by a T7 in 2016. And while he’s had a rough past three PGA appearances, a certain esteemed colleague pointed out that you can’t come in too hot to the Masters. Plus, 18/1 is a surprising amount of value for the No. 4 player in the world. — Charles Curtis AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 23: (EDITORS NOTE: THIS IS A COMPOSITE IMAGE, ALL INDIVIDUAL IMAGES AVAILABLE SEPARATELY) Hideki Matsuyama of Japan swing sequence during round two of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at the Austin Country Club on March 23, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 686971333 ORIG FILE ID: 657091638 ” data-medium-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gty_657091638_89765334.jpg?w=1000&h=971?w=300″ data-large-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gty_657091638_89765334.jpg?w=1000&h=971?w=1000″ class=”size-full wp-image-673166″ src=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gty_657091638_89765334.jpg?w=1000&h=971″ alt=”” width=”1000″ height=”971″ srcset=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gty_657091638_89765334.jpg?w=1000&h=971 1000w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gty_657091638_89765334.jpg?w=2000&h=1942 2000w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gty_657091638_89765334.jpg?w=640&h=621 640w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gty_657091638_89765334.jpg?w=300&h=291 300w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gty_657091638_89765334.jpg?w=768&h=746 768w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gty_657091638_89765334.jpg?w=1024&h=994 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px” />GETTY Medium Odds Bubba Watson, 45/1 This is a pretty obvious pick, I’ll admit. Watson has won the thing twice, which makes his 45-to-1 odds difficult to pass up. Oh, and he also has a game that should serve him well at Augusta National. He blasts it off the tee and his greens in regulation percentage is pretty good. With those odds and Watson’s history at this tournament, it would be a wise move to throw some money down on Bubba. — Steven Ruiz Justin Rose, 25/1 Usually I look for a bit more meat in the medium odds section, but Justin Rose is too good a pick to pass up. He’s a former major winner (and Olympic gold medalist) who is among the best on tour from tee-to-green, he’s got six top-25s in his last six Masters starts including a T-2 in 2015, and as Golf Channel’s Justin Ray notes, no one has made more Masters birdies or eagles than Rose over the last five years. — Luke Kerr-Dineen RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Justin Rose of Great Britain celebrates winning in the final round of men’s golf on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Golf Course on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 631390061 ORIG FILE ID: 589497254 ” data-medium-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gty_589497254_842725441.jpg?w=1000&h=674?w=300″ data-large-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gty_589497254_842725441.jpg?w=1000&h=674?w=1000″ class=”size-full wp-image-617078″ src=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gty_589497254_842725441.jpg?w=1000&h=674″ alt=”” width=”1000″ height=”674″ srcset=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gty_589497254_842725441.jpg?w=1000&h=674 1000w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gty_589497254_842725441.jpg?w=2000&h=1348 2000w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gty_589497254_842725441.jpg?w=640&h=432 640w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gty_589497254_842725441.jpg?w=300&h=202 300w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gty_589497254_842725441.jpg?w=768&h=518 768w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gty_589497254_842725441.jpg?w=1024&h=691 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px” />(Getty) Matt Kuchar, 80/1 Okay, this might just be an emotional bet for me — I’ve always rooted for Kuchar throughout his career and been heartbroken to see him get thisclose to a major win. Beyond that, he’s finished in the top 10 at Augusta three times. Because of that, I’m willing to overlook an inconsistant 2017 in the hopes that he turns back the clock this week. — Charles Curtis Long Odds Hudson Swafford, 200/1 I’m making up for my first two picks by going with a legit long shot here. We’re talking 200-to-1. Swafford, like Johnson and Watson, drives it well and consistently gets the ball on the green in regulation. He’s also been hot to start the season with three top-10 finishes to his name already. This is his first appearance at the Masters, which is a little disconcerting, but if you’re looking for a longshot, this is your man. And while you’re at it, put some money on Swafford finishing as the top debutant at 16-to-1. — Steven Ruiz Hudson Swafford walks past an alligator that was lying on the sixth fairway next to a lake during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla., Friday, March 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) ORG XMIT: OTKBH205 ” data-medium-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ap_bay_hill_golf_89617101.jpg?w=1000&h=667?w=300″ data-large-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ap_bay_hill_golf_89617101.jpg?w=1000&h=667?w=1000″ class=”size-full wp-image-673165″ src=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ap_bay_hill_golf_89617101.jpg?w=1000&h=667″ alt=”” width=”1000″ height=”667″ srcset=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ap_bay_hill_golf_89617101.jpg?w=1000&h=667 1000w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ap_bay_hill_golf_89617101.jpg?w=2000&h=1334 2000w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ap_bay_hill_golf_89617101.jpg?w=640&h=427 640w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ap_bay_hill_golf_89617101.jpg?w=300&h=200 300w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ap_bay_hill_golf_89617101.jpg?w=768&h=512 768w, https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ap_bay_hill_golf_89617101.jpg?w=1024&h=683 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px” />AP Bill Haas, 100/1 There’s actually a few guys with fat odds I quite like. U.S. Open runner-up Shane Lowry at 150/1 and Charley Hoffman, who finished T-9 two years ago at 125/1, are the two notables. But as much as I like those, I can’t look past Bill Haas in this spot. He appears back to his best this season and remember, it was only two years ago that he lead the Masters after the first round en-route to a T-12 finish. — Luke Kerr-Dineen William McGirt, 250/1 There are longshots and then there’s McGirt, who won his first PGA tournament in 2016. However, he’s solid in green in regulation and finished T10 at the 2016 PGA championship, so perhaps the pressure of a major isn’t a factor. Despite the lack of Masters experience, throwing a few bucks at those odds wouldn’t be the worst bet. — Charles Curtis Prop Odds Top Senior: Freddie Couples, 11/4 This is my pick for two reasons: (1) Couples still has some juice left in his driver and (2) who doesn’t want to root for Freddie Couples? He always seems to perform well at Augusta, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s lurking around the Top-20 come Sunday. — Steven Ruiz Top Amateur: Stewart Hagestad, 14/1 My friend made it to the Masters — of course I’m going to tip him! Look, of course any Amateur at the Masters will face an uphill battle, and Mid-Ams don’t have a great track-record here. That said, you only need to look at the manner in which he won the Mid-Am to know not to count him out. — Luke Kerr-Dineen .@s_hagestad erased a 4-down deficit, then drained a great birdie to win the 36th #USMidAm in 37 holes. https://t.co/rjdAFfi6S2 — USGA (@USGA) September 15, 2016 Top Debutant: Thomas Pieters, 7/1 The young Belgian putts pretty well and has a couple of top-5 finishes under his belt this year. I’m probably biased after he looked like a seasoned vet for Team Europe at the 2016 Ryder Cup, but the former college golfer has a seriously bright future that might be jump-started this week. — Charles Curtis More Golf!Proof that Augusta National looks even more beautiful from the sky1hr agoTrue golf nerds should have no problem acing this Masters quiz4hr agoApr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett celebrates in the green jacket after winning the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports ” data-medium-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/usatsi_9244160-e1460382350446.jpg?w=300″ data-large-file=”https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/usatsi_9244160-e1460382350446.jpg?w=100&h=620″ />The very-British menu for Danny Willett's Masters Champions dinner looks delicious5hr ago

READ MORE >

You have to see the putter Bubba Watson might be using at the Masters

March 27th, 2017

The Masters is right around the corner and Bubba Watson very well might have a new putter in the bag when he gets to Augusta National.

READ MORE >