No winner of the par-3 tournament has ever won the Masters in the same year, and it looks like the tradition will continue.
Sandy Lyle, the 1988 champion, won Wednesday’s family-friendly par-3 tournament with a 5-under-par score. The 61-year-old hasn’t made a cut at Augusta the past four years.
Devon Bling, a UCLA sophomore and U.S. Amateur runner-up, finished in a three-way tie with Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer for second. Bling was one of four players to make an ace.
Bling three-putted the final hole to lose his chance.
Don’t expect Augusta National to allow cell phones anytime soon.
Masters chairman Fred Ridley said Wednesday that fans and players appreciate the fact cell phones are banned at the Masters, and there are no plans to change the policy.
“I know that we have now become an outlier, if not the only outlier in golf, as well, at allowing cell phones,” Ridley said. “But I think it’s part of the ambience of the Masters.”
Ridley cited comments made earlier in the week by Rory McIlroy about it being nice to see people actually watch shots instead of trying to take videos or pictures.
“I don’t believe that’s a policy that anyone should expect is going to change in the near future, if ever,” Ridley said. “I can’t speak for future chairmen, but speaking for myself, I think we got that right.”
Jon Rahm says he’s a work in progress when trying to control his emotions on the golf course.
That applies to the interview room, too, at least when he’s asked about his tempermental outbursts.
“I’m going to try to think a different way to answer that question for the 10,000th time,” Rahm said. “I really, really don’t know what to say.”
Actually, Rahm had a lot to say.
“It’s just the way I am. I’m a very passionate person in everything I do, for the good and the bad,” he said. “It’s very enjoyable when I win, and I really don’t like it when I lose.”
Rahm said he learned something at the Player’s Championship about controlling his temper, after ignoring his caddie’s advice and hitting it into the water in the final round while in contention. Rahm angrily hit his club on the ground and shouted an expletive.
Still, the Spaniard said, having some emotion on the golf course isn’t always such a bad thing.
“There’s something about people like me where things get difficult and the pressure’s on, those emotions help,” he said. “This is much more in mind to remember than what was going on, so having those emotions helped.”
Augusta National is building a golf club which Bobby Jones might not recognize.
This year players found the tee on the fifth hole pushed back 40 yards, the fairway regraded and the green flattened out. Fans may not notice the difference, but players say they are hitting hybrids at times to the green when the wind is blowing against them.
Next up? Well, how about a tunnel under the main road that fronts the golf course?
Masters chairman Fred Ridley said the tunnel is under consideration, and can be constructed without closing down Washington Road, which is lined by restaurants and other businesses. On the other side, he said, would be a large broadcasting compound and possibly more.
The move is just the latest in a series of revisions to the club over recent years, including a new driving range, press center and merchandise area.
WOODS MOVING UP
Tiger Woods is moving up the leaderboard at the Las Vegas sports books.
Woods had been a 14-1 pick to win his fifth Masters — and first since 2005 — but is now a 10-1 pick along with Dustin Johnson to win the green jacket at the Wililiam Hill books.
That’s behind Rory McIlroy, the favorite at 7-1. The odds on Woods shifted after a bettor put $85,000 on him at 14-1, which will be a payoff of $1.19 million should he win.