Did you find Sergio's downfall funny?April 5, 2018 The Scoop
The Masters Fourball of Dan Murphy, Alex Perry, Mark Townsend and Steve Carroll take it in turns to ask each other the most important questions from day one at Augusta
Dan Murphy. We’ve got to start with Sergio Garcia and that 13. Without repeating the gag about him being unlikely to name any future children Firethorn, did anyone think it was funny and if not what was your overriding emotion?
Steve Carroll: I was mortified, to be honest. It’s probably a bit easier to take now he’s got his arms in the green jacket but I never like to see anyone struggle like that.
Apparently, according to some of the more high profile members of the golf media who found it very amusing, it humanises him and makes him one of us. I don’t want players of his skill to be one of us. I want to see them hit great shots. I can watch myself hitting five into a pond every weekend.
Alex Perry: It was more like a car crash really, wasn’t it? I was watching through my fingers from when the second ball went in the water, by the fifth I was in the foetal position. To record 13 on a single hole and walk off 18 to sign for an 81 is incredible.
Mark Townsend: I didn’t find it funny at all, it wasn’t like he was chunking shot after shot. I can’t remember that green ever being quite so penal in previous years and the strange thing was we kept seeing that other ball on the bank that had somehow stopped?
I was pretty gutted for him, most of us would like to see him give it a go over the weekend again and he’s had it now because of one hole. What a difference a year makes etc etc but quite weird that he hit the flag and made eagle to help him win last year and now he’s tied the record for the highest score on any hole. The 81 makes him look like a clown and that wasn’t the case here.
Alex Perry: Did you see anything in Tiger Woods’ game today to make you confident that he might be in contention come Sunday?
Mark Townsend: I watched quite a lot of him on the red button and you would be hard pressed to say any part of his game was firing. His driver was either brilliant or horrific and not an awful lot dropped but, with all that pressure on him, he got it round in 73. So maybe, stating the obvious, his head is in a good place and that probably means anything is still possible.
Steve Carroll: He is still the world No. 1 in grinding it out. There are plenty in the field who’ll happily trade places with him for that 73 and he’s only going to get more comfortable as the week goes on.
Dan Murphy: I think the fact that he turned a 76 into a 73 is very impressive and he did at least finish strongly. Clearly, he will have to play the par 5s an awful lot better than he did today. But he is still very much in the tournament as far as I’m concerned.
Mark Townsend: What is the worst injury you’ve played a round of golf with and how did you play?
Alex Perry: I’ve actually done something similar to Tony Finau. I was knocked off my bike by a car a few years ago and my shoulder went. Had to pop it back in on the side of the road. Never felt anything like it. Tried to play golf about two weeks later, which was a horrible mistake (my doctor’s words, not mine).
Steve Carroll: I played five days after tearing my left calf in a 6-a-side match. I did it on the Monday night, was in hospital on the Tuesday (it had ballooned to twice the size and I couldn’t walk) and then teed it up on the Saturday.
I did OK, if I remember rightly, but the only thing that I really recall about it was that the offending area was completely purple by the time I putted out on 18.
Dan Murphy: This wasn’t an injury as such but I’m afraid I was once caught short on the golf course and we were only halfway down the second. Without explanation, or any other options, I made an emergency trip to the undergrowth. The real shame of it was, I was sporting a new bag towel that day. It had to be sacrificed. Thereafter, my game didn’t suffer too much apart from being unable to clean my wedges.
Steve Carroll: We’re always being told how brutal Augusta is, particularly those long par 4s. So how has Sandy Lyle shot a 74, and how does Fred Couples keep turning back the clock – despite having no back?
Alex Perry: Quite simply these guys are just Augusta specialists. They love the place, and it loves them. Were you looking for a more complex / less clichéd answer than that?
Dan Murphy: Sandy bogeyed the last two to shoot 74 as well. Plus Bernhard Langer was as steady as ever. I guess the answer is that there is no pressure on them and they know the course – and especially the greens – so well. Still, it is remarkable.
Mark Townsend: Couples is a freak (in a good way) and Lyle still hits it a mile (based on nothing else other than being able to reach the 15th today). These are the very best players of a generation, hopefully we’ll be saying the same about Rory and Spieth in 25 years. It must be brutal, half the favourites are over par.