Category: Archive

Irish fail to master Augusta

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

One of these days, Graeme McDowell won’t get stuck playing alongside either Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods on Saturday in a Major. He’s twice wilted in Mickelson’s steam (the Winged Foot U.S. Open and a British Open) and he likewise did himself little justice when paired with Woods at Augusta last Saturday.
Actually, McDowell’s 73 was no worse than the number he posted on Friday, but he moved backwards and out of contention. He sandwiched rounds of 69 around those 73s to finish the tournament tied for 17th place at 4-under-par 284, which was eight strokes off the low score that resulted in the three-way playoff won by Angel Cabrera.
Rory McIlroy’s introduction to the Masters resulted in a 20th-place tie and a finish that went largely overlooked amid the other hoopla. He played the back nine in 31 on Sunday, well before the leaders came along. Friday’s back nine also exhibited some roller coaster-like swings, starting with an eagle at the par-5 13th hole. He then went bogey-birdie before carding double-bogey 5 at 16. After playing 17 even, he took a triple-bogey 7 at 18, just leaving enough clearance to qualify for weekend play.
McIlroy also might want to talk with Stewart Cink about the rules of the game. A sand shot of McIlroy’s went almost nowhere and he kicked the surface, which led to some head scratching as to whether he was “testing the surface,” as he had to take another whack on the powder. He was called back to the course after he’d left on Friday and after much viewing of video, officials accepted his explanation that he was merely smoothing the surface on which he’d strode. Last year, Cink was disqualified from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans when he raked a bunker he’d just played from. The problem was that he’d hit into another bunker and United States Golf Ass’n. rules stipulate that such conduct constitutes “testing the condition of a similar hazard.”
McIlroy shot 286 for the event, made up of rounds of 72, 73, 71 and 70.
As for Harrington, he wasn’t exactly in the thick of things at the midpoint; his 142, although level with Woods, was seven strokes off the leaders, Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry. Still, he couldn’t be written off. Until, that is, he carded 9 at the par-5 second hole on Saturday. After his opening 69, Harrington posted three rounds of 73 and settled into a share of 35th place with even-par 288.

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