Expect higher scores in Masters second round
By Tod Leonard
April 10, 2009, 8:10 a.m.
It appears the mornining players at Augusta National, including leader Chad Campbell, are going to get the better end of the draw in the second round of the Masters.
The winds have picked up considerably this morning at Augusta, and they just happened to do so after Campbell birdied the second and fourth holes to get to 9-under. Even if Campbell stayed at 9, it might be enough to hold the lead, because scoring figures to be considerably more difficult this afternoon, when thunderstorms could arrive.
Kenny Perry birdied the first two holes and is closest to Campbell at 6-under.
Tiger Woods has teed off, and he has got to putt better today to make a move. He needed 32 putts in the first round, eight more than Campbell.
Phil Mickelson was saying yesterday that he might get a good draw going off at 1:52 p.m., Eastern. But if thunderstorms are going to arrive, it might be about then, so it may not be an advantage at all. Did Phil fix his driver woes overnight while working with Butch Harmon? He was able to do that in his win in L.A. Let's see if he can do it here.
Jim Furyk, 6-under in the first round, plays with Mickelson, so it will be interesting to see if the draw helps him or hurts him today. Also critical is the wind. Furyk said the westerly breeze on Thursday was beneficial to him because it made the hard holes play shorter and the easier holes play longer for the big hitters.
UCLA alum John Merrick, who won the SCGA Championship once at La Jolla CC, got to 6-under early today, but has given two back.
An intriguing name on the board is Todd Hamilton, the 2004 British Open champion who has accomplished little since lifting the Claret Jug. Hamilton is even for the day and 4-under overall, tied for fifth. He hasn't had a top-10 finish the last two years, and he's missed the cut in seven of nine tour events this year.