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Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Monster Once Again

They've complained that the Blue Monster had become too easy, they being the media and many of the Tour players. There's an old saying: "Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it."

Let's just say they're unlikely to complain anymore. After 2 rounds only 4 players are under par... just by one stroke, but they're under par. Those four are Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, and Patrick Reed (pictured below).

Patrick Reed

Tim Rosaforte at GC reported that architect Gil Hanse spent most of the day with his head in his hands, frustrated with the way the course was playing. He shouldn't have felt so bad -- the greens hadn't had time to settle in because of the time frame for the redo, so they were a bit hard. Perhaps the banks shouldn't have been mown so closely but it's hard to plan for unexpected 30mph winds. Once the greens have some time to age, the course will probably need very few tweaks.

Reportedly, Donald Trump enjoyed the carnage immeasurably. After all, hadn't everybody lamented that the Monster had lost its teeth? It's ba-a-a-a-ack! Trump wanted a major-quality course and he got it.

Best of all, the Monster is an equal opportunity devourer.

The Top10 on the leaderboard are separated by only 3 strokes, and they represent a cross-section of Tour players -- the Blue Monster didn't favor long hitters over short hitters. Bubba and DJ find themselves in a battle with Francesco Molinari and Zach Johnson. I'd say that's a pretty fair layout, even if the setup was tough.

The water swallowed up 113 balls, yet there were birdies to be had. Tiger made 5 birdies in 6 holes while Phil made 3 doubles in 3 holes, yet both sit at +5 and very much in the mix.

And in case you missed it, here's the 91-foot putt Tiger made -- the longest on Tour in 5 years:

The wind is supposed to be down the rest of the weekend, so perhaps the scores will be better. But I can understand why the Donald is so happy...

The Tour wanted the Blue Monster back. Trump gave them what they asked for. And Henrik Stenson may have best summed up the way most of them wanted to thank him: "How do you say something you might regret the rest of your life?"

1 comment:

  1. First Paula, now Tiger! America's back, baby! Even unheralded Americans Beth Allen and Amelia Lewis are playing great in China--nothing like Inbee and Suzann, but still really really good golf!