Rumford scores spectacular win at Ballantine’s Championship

Rumford joins a growing list of Australian golfer's who have won in 2013.

Brett Rumford played some forgettable shots during his final few holes at the European Tour's Ballantine's Championship in South Korea yesterday, but it was his approach to the first playoff hole that will be remembered for many years.

It would be an understatement to say that Rumford's Achilles heel is the driver. His driving accuracy has always floated just above 50% but manages to stay in tournaments thanks to a great short game.
Rumford was struggling with the driver again during the final round of the Ballantine's Championship and appeared to hit himself out of the tournament on the 17th hole. With a two shot lead, Rumford found the trees on the left and was forced to take a penalty drop finishing the hole with double bogey.

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Steve Williams chats about The Masters, and that putt

Steve Williams chats to NZ TV about The Masters.
Steve Williams, caddy for Adam Scott has proved a little elusive since Scott’s remarkable Masters victory.
Williams has now been on the bag for 14 major wins, 13 with Tiger Woods and one with Adam Scott. He was also on the bag when Raymond Floyd lost a playoff at 1990 Masters to Nick Faldo.
Williams shunned the spotlight following the dramatic victory. He agreed to an interview on Triple M radio earlier this week but New Zealand’s 3News caught up with him as he arrived back home.

Williams reveals that Adam Scott will definitely be the last golfer he caddies for and will be looking to cut back on his full time commitments at the end of 2014.

Check out the full 15 minute video interview. Williams sounds positively jolly which from what I heard can be rare.

10 things we learned from the 2013 Masters

Adam Scott's historic Masters victory taught us a few things.

1. Adam Scott is a genuine golfing superstar
A lot of people questioned whether Scott could bounce back from the heartbreak at Royal Lytham at last year's Open Championship and he proved to everyone, and himself that he could.
He must have had thoughts of his final four hole capitulation in the back of his mind on Sunday but we didn't see any sign of it.
Scott was often listed as one of the best golfer's never to win a major. He no longer appears on that list.

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2013 Masters: Another Adam Scott interview

This time ESPN interviews Adam Scott with a green jacket on.

2013 Masters: Final round wrap video

FoxSports and the great Brenton Speed wrap up the final round of the 2013 Masters.

2013 Masters: Adam Scott post-round interview video

Courtesy of FoxSports comes this great wrap of Adam Scott’s post-round interview after victory at The Masters.

And how good is this. Adam Scott speaking ahead of the 2002 Masters.

2013 Masters: Aussies line up for green jacket

Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Jason Day have positioned themselves for a shot at claiming Australia's first ever green jacket  at the 2013 Masters.

2013 Masters scores (through three rounds)
-7 Brandt Snedeker
    Angel Cabrera
-6 Adam Scott
     Marc Leishman
-5 Jason Day
-4 Matt Kuchar
-3 Tim Clark
     Tiger Woods
-2  Rickie Fowler
     Steve Stricker
     Bernard Langer
     Lee Westwood
     Jim Furyk
American Brandt Snedeker and former Masters champion Angel Cabrera will form the final pairing at tomorrow's final round of the 2013 Masters.
Australian golfers Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Jason Day jostled for position around the top of the leaderboard all day and it wasn't until the final two holes when they relinquished top position as Snedeker and Cabrera took the lead courtesy of some great birdies over the closing holes.
We are looking at a very interesting leaderboard, with the likes of Tiger Woods, Tim Clark and Lee Westwood still very much in the hunt for the green jacket. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the leaderboard is the presence of two time Masters champion, Bernard Langer (1985, 1993).
So what about the Aussies? Do we dare to dream?

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Tiger Woods faces disqualification from Masters

Tiger Woods is staring at disqualification from the Masters after a dodgy drop in round two.

There is plenty of talk about Tiger Woods’ drop on the 15th hole during his second round of The Masters yesterday. If he’s proven to have dropped incorrectly, he may be disqualified from the tournament.
After Woods hit the flagstick with his third shot the ball careered into the water leaving Tiger with three choices: Drop in the designated drop zone, drop back along the line between where the ball last crossed the line of the hazard and the flagstick, or ‘as near as possible’ to where he played the previous shot.
Tiger chose the last option after surveying the drop zone area but he appears to have dropped the ball two yards behind where he played his previous shot, “as nearly as possible at the spot from which the last stroke from outside a water hazard was made” as Rule 26 subscribes.
Compounding Woods’ problem will be his post-round interview yesterday where he all but admitted he didn’t drop it “as nearly as possible”.

“I went down to the drop area, that wasn’t going to be a good spot, because obviously it’s into the grain, it’s really grainy there. And it was a little bit wet. So it was muddy and not a good spot to drop”, Woods said.
“So I went back to where I played it from, but I went two yards further back. I tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit – that should land me short of the flag and not have it either hit the flag or skip over the back.”
“I felt that that was going to be the right decision to take off four right there. And I did. It worked out perfectly.”

Well, maybe not so perfectly. Things could get interesting. Stay tuned.

2013 Masters: Tiger Woods hits flagstick video

One of the ‘highlights’ of the day was this remarkable pitch shot from Tiger Woods at the par-5 15th hole at Augusta.

Woods makes a fantastic bogey after a serious bout of bad luck. Woods also made bogey after three putting at the final hole today but lurks just three shots behind leader Jason Day.

2013 Masters round 2: Jason Day leads Masters

Jason Day mastered swirling conditions at Augusta to lead the field going into the weekend.

2013 Masters scores, through round two
-6 Jason Day
-5 Fred Couples
    Marc Leishman
-4 Angel Cabrera
    Jim Furyk
    Brandt Snedeker
-3 Adam Scott
    Jason Dufner
    David Lynn
    Lee Westwood
    KJ Choi
    Tiger Woods

Jason Day fired the low round of the second round of the 2013 Masters and finds himself leading the field going into the weekend.
Day's 4-under round 68 included six birdies and two bogies. One bogey came at the 12th hole at Amen corner where his tee shot found the water. He bounced back at the par-5 13th hole to make birdie.
"I had the right club (at the 12th), through impact I felt that the club face was just slightly open and as soon as I hit it I knew it was going to stay out there and unfortunately it didn't have enough power to get over the water", Day said after the round.
Day leads the field and will play in the final group with Fred Couples. 
Some would suggest Day is one of the slowest golfers on the US PGA Tour after the news that 14-year-old Chinese golfer Tianlang Guan was handed a one-stroke penalty for slow play, Day was surprised.
"Wow. That's amazing." Day said. "It was unfortunate he received a penalty".

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14-year-old Guan hit with slow play penalty, still makes Masters cut

The youngest ever player to make The Masters field was penalised a stroke for slow play.

Tianlang Guan has become the youngest player in history to make the cut at The Masters, but it didn’t come without some controversy.
Guan struggled like most players during his second round of The Masters and had trouble with club selection on many shots. But Guan was put on the shot clock by tournament official john Paramour and given a warning for slow play on the 10th green. He was then again given warnings on the 12th, 15th and 17th holes before he was penalised a shot after he had played the 17th hole. Suddenly his par became a bogey and Guan looked in danger of missing the cut.
Guan signed off for a 3-over par 75 and sat in the club house at 4-over for the tournament. With the cut set at 10 shots from the leader and with Jason Day at 6-under par, Guan had a nervous wait to see if he had made the cut, and history.
Day signed off at 6-under for the tournament and Guan (along with other players at 4-over including last year’s winner Bubba Watson) breathed a sigh of relief. The very composed Guan said after the round he respected the officials decision.
There was plenty of discussion among golf experts and fans surrounding the penalty. Not so much as to whether the decision was correct or not, but whether the kid was made an example of by tournament officials when regular Tour players often play just as slowly every week.

2013 Masters: Opening round video highlights

Because it’s all about moving pictures…
Courtesy of the always thorough FoxSports here are the highlights from today’s opening round of the US Masters.

2013 Masters: Marc Leishman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, round 1 video interviews

Courtesy of TheTourPlayers here are the post-round interviews from the opening round of the 2013 Masters; Marc Leishman, Adam Scott and Jason Day.

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Leishman and Garcia share opening round Masters lead

All four Aussies are well in the hunt after the opening round of the 2013 Masters.
Australian Marc Leishman is the surprising story of the opening round of the 2013 Masters after firing a 6-under par 66 to finish the day in a tie for the lead with Spaniard Sergio Garcia.
Dustin Johnson was briefly also in a  tie for the lead with Leishman and Garcia but made bogey at the par-4 17th hole to end the day just a shot behind the leaders.
Just four Australians are in the field for the 2013 Masters but all four shot good opening rounds.
You could be forgiven for thinking Adam Scott wasn't having a great round due to the lack of coverage from the ESPN/Masters TV broadcast (via Network Ten). Just the one shot was shown from Scott's 3-under par round of 69 that sets himself up nicely for a shot at the green jacket.

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2013 US Masters: Live Scores and last minute stuff

Looking for live scores to the Us Masters? They're right here:

We are now under a day away before Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer hit the opening honorary tee shots to begin the 2013 Masters.
No doubt you're all chomping at the bit for the tournament to begin (Australian TV Broadcast Times) having read about the four Australians in the 2013 Masters field and cleared the couch in readiness for four long mornings watching azaleas golf.
In case you need more to satisfy your fix across the weekend here are a few more links that should enhance your Masters viewing experience.

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The full list of Australian winners at The ‘top-notch’ Masters

Number of Australians who have won The Masters: Zero.

Another year and another week before The Masters where we cross our fingers, toes and  in the hope that we may see the first ever Australian winner of the US Masters.
We’ve had out chances claim a green jacket of course. An Australian has finished second on six occasions with the most memorable being Greg Norman’s last day capitulation in 1996 after leading the tournament by six strokes going into the final round.
Several Australian golf writers have suggested But in 1950 perhaps the curse began when Jim Ferrier blew a four stroke third round lead to finish two shots behind American Jimmy Demaret. Ferrier made the turn five strokes in front of Demaret but closed with a 41 on the back nine.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported it like this:
Ferrier, leader for two days and through most of the final round, “blew up” towards the end and finished with a 75, against Demaret’s 69.
This is a top-notch event to which only 36 players receive special invitations.
Demaret is on the club committee.
A top-notch event it certainly is, but not one an Australian has tasted victory at yet.

Most Top-10’s by Australians at The Masters
9 Greg Norman
7 Jim Ferrier
6 David Graham
5 Bruce Devlin

Most consecutive Top-10s by Australians at The Masters
4 Greg Norman (1986 – 89)
3 Jim Ferrier (1946 – 48) (1950 – 52)
2 David Graham (1977 – 78) (1980 – 81) (1984 – 85)
   Bruce Devlin (1967 – 68) (1972 – 73)
   Adam Scott (2011 – 12)

List of Australian runners-up at The Masters

2011 Jason Day, Adam Scott
1996 Greg Norman
1987 Greg Norman
1986 Greg Norman
1980 Jack Newton
1972 Bruce Crampton
1950 Jim Ferrier

5 things you can’t do at Augusta National

Tread softly inside the grounds of Augusta National. The Masters is no ordinary golf tournament.

I have yet to call myself a 'patron' at The Masters but attending the greatest run sporting event on the planet is still very much on my bucket list. But when I finally do make my way down Magnolia Lane there are a few things I know that are forbidden at this very unique golf tournament.

You cannot move an unoccupied chair
One of the great unwritten rules at Augusta a patron's right to place their chair beside the 18th green at the start of the day, and expect it to still be there, unattended when they wish to return there later.

Reportedly, the fast shoe shuffle (no running) from patrons making there way through the gates each morning to place their chairs beside the 18th green would make a great viral video. But alas, there are no cameras or phones allowed on the course.

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Chalmers makes a hole-in-one in Texas: video

Greg Chalmers finished on a high at the Velero Texas Open this week making this hole-in-one at the 16th hole (his seventh this morning) at TPC San Antonio.

The hole is well known for the bunker placed in the middle of the green. On this occasion the hole was placed just back and left of the bunker that Chalmers managed to find with a perfectly executed six-iron.
Chalmers finished the day with a 4-under par 68 and in a tie for 37th place for a tournament. Chalmers had missed the cut in his previous two tournaments so let’s hope Snake has his mojo back and can build on what was a reasonable start to the year.

2013 US Masters: Your guide to the Aussie four pack

Australian golf fans have every reason to feel a little ripped off this year; there are only four Australian golfers in the field for the 2013 US Masters.

Every time I buy a packet of chips these days it feels like there are less and less in them. But somehow I'm still paying the same amount, if not more.

The finely tuned, finely mowed US Masters will be no different for Aussie golf fans in 2013 with just four Australian golfers in the field to tee off at Augusta National this Thursday (Friday morning Australian time).

Six Australians took to the fairways of Augusta National in 2012, but the 2013 US Masters will feature John Senden, Adam Scott, Jason Day and Marc Leishman as the four Australians attempting to become the first to claim a green jacket.

The last time just four Australians played in the US Masters was back in 2002 when Tiger Woods won his third green jacket. The field is also notable for the absence of Australia's last major winner Geoff Ogilvy who fell out of the world's top-50 players last week and will miss out on his first major championship since 2005.

Interestingly, Ogilvy has made just five cuts in his last 12 majors.

Of the four Australians in the field, can we hope any of them will break the drought? My feeling is it's unlikely given their current form… but golf's a funny game. Let's take a look at all four players in a little more detail.

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Golfer gets a bad break, then a good one

PGA Tour player Shawn Stefani got a bad break on the final hole of his opening round of the Valero Texas Open this morning.

Stefani played what looked like a safe second shot to the fairway but it got a bad bounce off of a sprinkler head and ricocheted into the water hazard. 
Amazingly, the ball came to rest on top of a small ledge and Stefani was able to play the shot and eventually make par.