I couldn't help but think of Friday's Masters madness in terms of a MAD Magazine issue, so...
"What Have You Done for Me Lately?" Dept: After rounds of 70-72, Phil Mickelson received hardly any airtime in the daily recaps. An explosive player like Phil certainly isn't out of it yet -- all he needs a good day (a "g'day"?) like Jason Day's -8 to get back in contention. But as we all know, yesterday's favorite is today's afterthought.
"Shoot Your Ages" Dept: Rory McIlroy (age 21), Ricky Fowler (age 22), and Jason Day (age 23) played together both days and posted a group score of 23-under. Rumors that we were getting a glimpse of a possible future "Big Three" may not be far off, given that the three are apparently good friends. McIlroy and Day will continue to be paired at least for Saturday, at 10-under and 8-under respectively.
"Who's on Third?" Dept: K.J. Choi is making another run toward a first Masters title for South Korea (and Asia in general), posting -7 to snag a share of third place. And who's that wild animal tearing through the ranks to join him? None other than Tiger Woods, who joined him there with a great second round. Tiger actually seemed to be swinging his clubs rather than just hitting positions; he even had some touch in his putting and short game. These two should also enjoy a comfortable pairing, since they played all four rounds together last year.
"What's Old is New Again" Dept" What happens to Fred Couples at Augusta? I forgot to list him as my "Low Old Guy" in yesterday's post, but it's impossible to forget him at this point. Freddie's 5-under puts him in a tie for 7th, 5 shots off the lead, but that's not too far back when you consider that one 64 and three 65s have already been posted this week.
"So Who Wants to Be First?" Dept: Well, apparently not Martin Kaymer or Graeme McDowell. Their early exits clearly put #1 in the OWGR up for grabs. Four other players can take that spot with a win this week, and all four -- Mickelson (8 back), Donald (6 back), Westwood (5 back), and Woods (3 back) -- are all still very much in contention. Get ready for another shuffle in the rankings... and more debate over who should have gotten it!
"Down Under the Radar" Dept: An Australian has never won the Masters, but Jason Day isn't the only one with a chance. Geoff Ogilvy has quietly crept up the leaderboard and currently sits T5, a mere 4 shots back. Could this be the year the boys from down under come out on top?
"Over Par/Under the Knife" Dept: The cut came at +1, which I think I heard was the lowest cut ever. Only 49 players made the cut, and many favorites went home. Among them: Mahan, Harrington, Oosthuizen, and Vegas. At least Ernie Els survived -- he made it in at #49.
"Shot in the Arm" Dept: Finally, a bit of news reported by Todd Lewis at Golf Channel. Todd talked to Sean Foley, who says an old mainstay of Tiger's arsenal will soon be returning to the course. Apparently they've been working on restoring Tiger's old go-to shot, the stinger. Given how often Tiger used that shot in the past, that's big news.
And if you're wondering whether I'm worried if this weekend can live up to the drama of the first two days, I have but one reply: "What, me worry?" ;-D
Click the Alfred E. Neuman pic to read TVTropes.com's article on MAD Magazine. And the Spy VS Spy pic is from Dave Lawson's blog (davelawson.ca), also just a click away.