Please can we have some back-9 drama this Masters Sunday?

John Shortt

The big oak tree stands guard the the Clubhouse at Augusta National Golf Club,

John Shortt

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It’s Masters Sunday, but not as we know it. Weather has played its part and we don’t yet know what other roles will be played by the various protagonists. But we’re hopeful for play to start on time and a champion can be named today.

As it stands it looks like a bit of a one-man show with Brooks Koepka sitting on a four-shot lead but It could all very interesting very quickly with Koepka facing a fairly lengthy putt for par on the 7th and Rahm an 8-10 footer for birdie on the same hole which could see a two-shot swing and the lead reduced to just two shots.

Could it be written in the stars for Rahm? A Masters win on what would have been Seve’s 66th birthday? It would be poetic for sure!

But what about Augusta? How’s the weather? Well everyone saw the rain yesterday and of course play was suspended at 3:15pm local time. The rain continued though the evening and well into the night here in Augusta with the roads to Augusta National still showing signs of flooding in areas early this morning as I came to there course.

With no-one allowed onto the course until the gates open for patrons (7am local time) we don’t know what the players will be facing yet but there’s no doubt the legendary sub-air system has been working overdrive through the night along with the maintenance crews, to get it just right for what hopefully will change from being a Brooks Koepka parade to the Butler Cabin to being the back nine on a Masters Sunday that we all want to see.

Will there be a joker from the pack? Maybe Cantlay who is at 5-under par through 13 holes, Matt Fitzpatrick is on the same score through 11 and you can’t discount the Morikawa / Hovland dynamic as they are also on 5-under but only through 7 holes.

And what of Sam Bennett? His story has been well documented this week and his comment yesterday were very telling, “I’m just going to try to have fun.” Who can blame him. The amateur teed off in the final grouping on Masters Saturday alongside Koepka and Rahm. He’s held his own and, ok he’s 2-over for the day, but he’s 6-under in total so while he may not get into the final pairing for the final round (they’re scheduled to go out in twos at 12:30), he’s done himself proud and certainly announced himself on the world stage.

As for the Irish hopes. Well Shane said he didn’t think he was out of it and at T17 you’d never say never but he’s currently 11 shots off the lead with 9 holes to play in his third round. Anything can happen around here but that might be a bit of a stretch.

Seamus Power will be looking to better his first Masters result of T27 in 2022 and he’s currently at T40 on 2-over par through 9 holes.

So ‘long’ is the operative word today. It’s going to be a long day, on a long wet course but it’s all to play for still of course and we’re hopeful that Easter Sunday can prove exciting at Augusta National.


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