AUGUSTA, Ga. — The only thunder was on the ground, not in the sky, a series of ear-splitting roars for Patrick Reed and his two eagles, Rory McIlroy and his final birdie, and everyone else who tried desperately to keep up with them in the Masters. “The roars ... it’s hard not to know what’s going on,” McIlroy said. By the end of a wet and wild Saturday at Augusta National, Reed helped bring this Masters into focus. He seized control with a pair of eagles on the
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Patrick Reed is leading a major championship for the first time, and his confidence is so high that he can only see what’s ahead of him. Maybe that’s just as well at this Masters. Reed started and finished the front nine with three straight birdies. He answered Marc Leishman’s bold shot for an eagle by polishing off another run of three straight birdies. It added to a 6-under 66 and a two-shot lead over Leishman going into the weekend at Augusta National.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — All three marveled at Tiger Woods as youngsters, then grew up and staked their own place in the game. Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth are stars at every tour stop, ranked Nos. 2, 3 and 4 in the world. But this week at the Masters brings an eerily familiar sight. Though the game’s once most-dominating player sits well below the trio — at 103rd in those same rankings — they’re all looking up at Tiger Woods again. “I know he wants to
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Blame it on a generation that thinks nothing was ever as great as what just happened. Maybe it was a tough winter, and nothing melts frigid memories like the sight of azaleas, dogwoods and Rae’s Creek. It sure didn’t hurt that all the best players, as young as 23-year-old Jon Rahm and ancient as 47-year-old Phil Mickelson, are winning tournaments and hitting their stride. The competition is so steep that four players have a chance to be No. 1 in the world.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — The roar sounded like Sunday at Augusta National. This was Monday afternoon, and it was so sudden and thunderous that it reached the clubhouse. It was loud enough to startle spectators who wondered what they had missed. They had a pretty good idea who it was. Tiger Woods is back at the Masters. Woods teed off with Justin Thomas and Fred Couples shortly before 3 p.m. when thousands of fans were making their way toward the exit. Thousands more crowded around the tee, lined
AUSTIN, Texas — Bubba Watson was in high spirits for someone with such low expectations at the Dell Technologies Match Play. Walking to the sixth tee, already 2 up in his semifinal match against Justin Thomas, he smiled and said, “Just remember, I was beating No. 1 at some point.” Thomas only had to win that match to reach No. 1 in the world, and Watson figured that’s what would happen. It was about the only thing he got wrong Sunday. Watson denied Thomas with a brand
AUSTIN, Texas — Memories are strong in match play, which might explain why Ian Poulter picked up a new nickname. Golf held its version of a selection show Monday night at a downtown hotel when the 16 four-man groups were drawn for the Dell Technologies Match Play. Poulter is the No. 58 seed in the 64-man field, and when his number popped up, he was referred to as a “ninja” in match play. Not just once. Three times. “I’ve never really gone up against a ninja
PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Whatever was said between Jack Nicklaus and USGA chief executive Mike Davis didn’t show up in the annual report on driving distance. Nicklaus has said for nearly half his life that the ball goes too far, an opinion based more on the 415 golf courses his company has designed than the record 18 major championships he won. He believes the culprit is the ball, not the clubs used to hit it or the players swinging them. Two weeks ago, Nicklaus sounded an alarm that
MEXICO CITY — Phil Mickelson knew this was coming, even when he had so little to show for it. Mickelson had gone 101 tournaments around the world since he last won at Muirfield in the 2013 British Open, which moved him to No. 2 in the world and gave him the third leg of the career Grand Slam. In more than two decades on the PGA Tour, he had gone only two seasons without winning. And then it was up to four straight years and counting. There was more frustration than self-doubt.