The breeze is picking up through those Georgia pines, but will those winds carry Jordan Spieth to a second straight green jacket? Or will they blow apart his hopes and dreams like so many dandelions scattering in the breeze?
The nerves and tension surrounding Cut Day are already starting to show signs. With that in mind, we consider five storylines to watch today to bring us into a huge weekend of Golf.
1. Jordan Spieth. At 22, Spieth already has one green jacket and starts Round 2 two strokes up on the field in his search for a second. He’s led five straight rounds at the Masters. Watch to see how he holds the lead today; we’re one day in, but we’re already at the point where he will have to stumble or someone else will have to put on an exceptional display to even threaten him. If Spieth gets four strokes up on the field by the end of Friday, we could be in for a coronation, not a tournament, on the weekend.
2. Tom Watson. The legend bids farewell to Augusta this week. Only question is whether it’ll be on Friday or Sunday. At the moment, he’s comfortably inside the cut line at +1, but that could change in a hurry.
3. The Cut Line. Some big names are on the far side of the cut, which at Augusta is the top 50 and ties, plus those within 10 strokes of the lead. Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, and Ernie Els are among those who are awfully close to an early flight home. Plus, Spieth tees off later in the day, meaning that anyone looking for that inside-10-strokes benefit needs to make a move early.
4. The wind. The weather is beautiful at Augusta, but the aforementioned wind could cause some real problems; with gusts of up to 25 mph expected, tee-to-green play at the Masters suddenly becomes yet another question mark. We’re not quite at British Open levels of apocalyptic weather, but those going out early could have a decided stroke or two advantage over those heading out in the gustier afternoon.
5. Necessary Recovery. Two of the odds-on favorites at Augusta, Bubba Watson and Jason Day, suffered second-nine meltdowns on Friday. Day went 31-41 on the two halves of his round, while Watson played the first eight holes in -3 and the final 10 in +6. Bouncebacks from those kinds of days are tough enough in the abstract, but when you’ve got a horse like Spieth setting the pace, well … a poor start could have these guys out of the mix before most of Friday’s patrons even have lunch.
|Davis Love Iii|