Commentary: After a confusing Saturday, we are slightly wiserApril 12, 2014 News & Tour
There are so many storylines that remain possible after an enthralling Masters Saturday
It was a day when the cameras, and therefore the viewers, simply did not know where to look. One minute there was Bubba Watson five shots clear of the field and the next it seemed like the same margin covered the top 30 players.
Had early finishers like Ian Poulter, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose done enough to end the the day within a couple of shots of the pace or could we eliminate them from our enquiries?
It didn’t help that there were so few pars. Take Bubba’s card, which showed an eagle and four bogeys going out, or that of Gary Woodland, who made an eagle, six birdies, three bogeys and a double. Rose had two eagles and three bogeys. And so it went on.
The temptation was to pour yourself a(nother) drink and presume it would have distilled into something like clarity by the time you settled back down. In the event, it was deep into the evening before any kind of clear pattern emerged.
The day was supposed to be all about Bubba and Adam Scott. The latter disappeared without trace, opening up with four fives in the first five holes, the kind of start you might expect from a solid and consistent 10-handicapper on medal day.
As for the former, well it was all about him, though the narrative felt like it could go either way as early as the 4th, by which time he had made an eagle and two bogeys.
"Bubba produced a characteristically bizarre display, alternating astonishingly accurate bombs from the tee with some erratic iron play and weak putting."
In conclusion, he produced a characteristically bizarre display, alternating astonishingly accurate bombs from the tee with some erratic iron play and weak putting.
Sometimes you feel that he sees nothing of what is going around him – he exists in a Bubba bubble. At others he blinks like the proverbial rabbit in headlights, has the air of a malfunctioning automaton and looks like he should be lead quietly away from the golf course.
With so many players near the top, and in the absence of a serial Major winner among them, it was hard not to imagine about 20 careers being redefined, as you pictured at various times the likes of Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar, Thomas Bjorn, Jim Furyk, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Fowler and Jordan Spieth in a Green Jacket.
It was a reminder of how little separates the great from the good – one of the above will most likely be the last man standing in a matter of hours while the rest will go on as they were, perhaps never to come so close to Major fulfilment again.
As for which of them it will be, well that’s anyone’s guess.
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