Apr
11
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

I’m looking at the leaderboard after two rounds and I’m baffled. Absolutely baffled. It has nothing to do with who is at the top and who isn’t so much as it has to do with what it will look like on Sunday. What did I expect though? It’s Augusta and it’s the Masters. Anything can happen at this point.

Then, there’s the weather factor. I don’t have to tell you that the conditions were much different today than they were on Thursday. In the post-round interviews, co-leaders Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry, both mentioned the wind made it more difficult. However, it didn’t take the toll on them as it did with the rest of the field.

Just for fun, let’s look at Tiger (who looked like he was ready to implode as he walked off the 18th green). When he was asked to comment about the wind, he responded coldly, “Yeah. You might say {it was tough].” Yikes.

Word around the greens is that thunderstorms are headed toward Augusta, which calls for a soggy course by the time morning comes along. Advantage: long-hitters.

Without further ado, my picks to take home the Green Jacket on Sunday:

  • Kenny Perry: This has the makings of an awesome Cinderella story. I’ll refer back to what I wrote on Wednesday. What I failed to mention was that he has confidence from a spectacular performance at last September’s Ryder Cub; he was a big reason and boost for the U.S. win. He mentioned today how great it was when he heard fans hollering, “Way to go in the Ryder Cup.” Also, he is hitting the ball better than ever – he’s driving it beautifully, allowing him to attack the pins. He’s only missed a few fairways and hit 15 or 16 greens in regulation over the past two days. Impressive is an understatement to describe those stats. Not to mention, Perry is one of those players who once he gets hot, he doesn’t stop!
  • Chad Campbell: He’s a baller. He’s playing well. He hits it long. As long as he keeps his putter going, he’ll be just fine. Let’s do some math: Momentum + Confidence + Ball-Striking = WIN.
  • Tiger Woods: He might be 7 shots back, but (as much as I’d like to at times) I’d never underestimate a “Tiger Woods Comeback.” Yeah, it might be a different situation being that it’s Augusta, one damn tough track. However, he thrives under pressure. He knows he can do it. And, he has the advantage of hitting the long ball.  Ball-striking hasn’t been the worst of his sorrows. Watch out if he gets the putter rolling.
  • Anthony Kim: He has the “Tiger Woods confidence,” and momentum on his side. Despite his mediocre record in 2009, he’s mentally tough with a winner’s attitude, which already gives him a huge advantage. And, simply, he’s due for a major win. Why not it be the Masters?
  • Phil Mickelson: After his late round surge, he’s back on track. He’s been in this position before, and to boot, he has won two out of the last five Masters.

Apr
10
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

I take back two things I said earlier. Well, I misspoke several times, but only two really stand out.

1.) Phil’s man boobs are, in fact, still omnipresent [see photo above from Round 2]. BTW, who is dressing him these days? I’d fire that person.

2.) I underestimated Phil. His late-round surge shouldn’t have been surprising, but I don’t think anyone expected him to play the last 7 holes 5-under-par.

Apr
10
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Anthony Kim blasts his shot out of a bunker in Round 2 of the Masters

…in The Club House, that is, after breaking a course record at Augusta by carding 11 birdies in Round 2 of the Masters!

I wanted to pick Anthony Kim as one to surprise the field. I swear. In the back of my mind, I couldn’t forget his Ryder Cup performance last year! Wasn’t he the unsung hero for the U.S.? And, I would hardly call his play less-than-par in 2009.

But, I got caught up with what the pundits were saying (note to self: go with your gut; not that I claim to be an expert of any sort). People had doubts regarding his youth, his experience, and his lame knee.

Well, looks like we were all wrong.

AK had a swanky swagger to his walk today. Once those putts started dropping, he was unstoppable.

Post-round, he said, “I really don’t know what happened. The putter got hot and my confidence got a little bigger every hole. I made some big putts. [Then] nothing really gets in your way. It’s special.”

Yep, I’d say so. AK is known for his confidence, perhaps some would call him cocky, but that’s precisely why we love him. It’s also why he’s so damn good.

Apr
10
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

OK, Shingo, let’s talk. What’s with the samurai-cowboy look? Pick one or the other, please.

Apr
10
2009

Yes, I know that Round 2 of the Masters is well under way, but to be fair, I just started watching the coverage online. And, thanks to Winston Wolfe, I feel inspired to post the list of top 5 to watch and top 5 to not.

5 To Watch:

1.) Kenny Perry: His “hook” was made for Augusta (as I mentioned earlier this week), and for once, he’s using it to his advantage.

2.) Rory Mcilroy: I like this kid. No, check that. I love him. Sure, Augusta isn’t always kind to those who haven’t played it before, but Mcilroy is defying the rules. Did anyone else catch that eagle on #13? Amazing. He stays so calm and collected. How the heck is this kid 19??? It’s almost an understatement to say that he is mature beyond his years.

3.) Geoff Ogilvy: He’s been my favorite to be fitted for the Green Jacket on Sunday; mostly for reasons of making the “smart” pick. He shot a quiet one-under-par 71 yesterday, and this is why I like him. He’s setting himself up for a surge this weekend. Mark my words.

4.) Chad Campbell: OK, this isn’t fair because he’s in the clubhouse already, but I would’ve predicted that he’d have another strong showing today. I swear.

5.) Tiger Woods: So far, he seems rather baffled by the greens and wind patterns at Augusta, but he’s still right in the thick of the leaderboard. Is he going to win it all?! I wish I could lie and say he won’t, but look, would you bet against him? Real money? No way. Also, you have to keep in mind, this is Tiger. He’s known to creep up the leaderboard, and next thing you know, he’s a putt away from winning.

5 To Not:

1.) Phil Mickelson: He’s lost. He’s out of his element. I think his early exit last week got to his head. As much as I’d like to see Lefty in contention on Sunday, he’s just not there.

2.) Sergio Garcia: See above.

3.) Camillo Villegas: Man, I’d love to see him play well, or even just make the cut. All the high hopes, all the potential, all the hype. Has the pressure been to much for him? I wouldn’t pin him as the type, but…he’s been struggling. I hope his luck changes for the better soon.

4.) Mike Weir: I’m a fan. That’s why it’s been so tough for me to see him scramble. He carded a 4-under-par 68 yesterday. I want to say that he’ll keep up the good play (I mean, he does have a green jacket on his resume). But, he’s going to feel the pressure of making the cut and and the slow collapse is going to commence as he makes he way toward Amen Corner. Just a bad gut feeling.

5.) Fred Couples: This pains me. Seriously. It breaks my heart to say this, but he just didn’t bring his game to Augusta. Perhaps last Sunday was too draining for him.

Side note: Anthony Kim decided to show up and play, today. This might make up for Freddie’s disappointing performance. Nevermind, it won’t. But still, how can you not love AK’s potential and swagger? And, that belt buckle?

Apr
10
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

A picture is worth a thousand words.

“I played terribly, there is no way to sugar-coat it. The course was receptive…but I put the ball in the wrong spots…I never had a chance to make the birdies,” Phil Mickelson grumbled after carding a one-over-par 73 in the first round of the Masters.

Well, Phil, I don’t know what to tell you, except at least you chose a fitting outfit (sans man boobs, no less). Although I’m a Philophile, I’m glad I went with my gut this time.  But, you never know, there’s still plenty of golf to play.

[photo via NYTimes]

Apr
9
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

The moment I’ve been waiting for all day: Stewie’s post Round 1 Masters tweets! Good round today – T-14 at -3 (69) isn’t too shabby, especially at Augusta! Think about what he would of shot had he been hitting the ball pure. Go get ‘em tomorrow!

I was happy that I got to watch quite a few shots that Cink hit (and putts he drained). It was a stroke of luck that he was paired with Tiger because apparently coverage of the Masters is The Tiger Show.

What can you do? Nothing. Everyone wants to watch Tiger, and I can’t really blame them.

Apr
9
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Thanks for the view, Aaron Baddeley. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, great finish draining that birdie putt on #18 (to shoot 4-under-par 68 and T-6 after Round 1). Keep it up.

Apr
9
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Yesterday, ESPNMag unveiled their list of the best Tiger Woods commercials. Which was their choice? Nike’s “Never.” I’d like to argue that I would have picked differently, and perhaps I would have under different circumstances. Given that the Masters started today and Tiger won his first Green Jacket 12 years ago at the young age of 21, ESPN hit the sweet spot.

“Never” features Earl Woods saying: “I said ‘Tiger, I promise you, you’ll never meet a person as mentally tough as you in your entire life. And he hasn’t. And he never will.’”

Fact.

Just a warning, it’s impossible not to get emotional. I’ll be perfectly honest and admit that I got teary-eyed. (Side note: why do I keep posting sentimental videos: here and here?!) It doesn’t help if, like me, you read this article the other day. The bond between Tiger and his father is simply something else and we won’t ever see anything quite like it again in our lifetime.

Apr
9
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

This is Tiger after he misses his birdie putt on #8…anyone else catch him dropping the F-bomb?? Classic. I’m not judging; it’s just hysterical that it’s so obvious watching on TV.