The Masters: Justin Rose dithers as the boys charge

  • April 10, 2021
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The Masters enters the third round today with a congested leaderboard after 36-hole leader Justin Rose’s lead was cut to one stroke. Big guns defending champion Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy were sent packing yesterday while rookie Will Zalatoris is causing ripples at Augusta.

Here are the five things that stood out after yesterday’s round.

Better golf or friendlier course conditions?

Seventeen players shot sub-17 scores at Augusta yesterday compared to three on the opening day. According to the weathermen, Augusta experienced cloudy and calm conditions unlike the high winds on the opening day. The course has been dry with firm greens and the players will be looking forward to rain today according to forecasts. Saturday is christened the “Moving Day” an occasion when players charge up the leaderboard  with the weatherman  forecasting 60% chance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon but the party might be  spoilt by strong winds predicted at 20-25 mph around the same time. “When the greens are firm, the precision, the course management, the angles, the leave where the ball is left, all of this stuff becomes incredibly important in your ability to play this course effectively. When the greens are soft, it’s irrelevant because you can fly the ball over all the trouble. Angles don’t matter. However, when the greens are firm, those small sections are very hard to hit and you’ve got to really strategize on where you leave it. That’s the whole defense of the golf course,” three time Masters Champion Phil Mickelson told CBS Golf in an earlier interview. Will the leader(s) race to double-digit numbers?

Will Justin Rose sustain the momentum?

Justin Rose takes a one shot lead to today’s third round at Augusta. The Englishman’s lead was cut by three strokes after a conservative level par round yesterday, on a day the chasing pack upped their game to keep the 36 hole leader within sight. Rose was a pale shadow of the player who carded a brilliant 65 in the opening round shooting three over par on the front nine yesterday before recollecting himself to card 3-under in the final 11 holes. Interestingly, Rose has been in this position four times before at Augusta but failed to complete the job. “I was joking that the finger was heading toward the panic button a little bit. I’m not brimming with confidence right now, so today was always going to be a challenging day,” he said at the close of the second round. Will the hugely experienced Rose stay focused in the remaining two rounds to finally don the Green Jacket?

Zalatoris chasing the rookies’ 42 year old dream

Not much had been expected from Will Zalatoris, one of the six rookies making their debut at Augusta. But his performance over the last two days has set tongues wagging as he bids to become the first Masters rookie to win a Green Jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. The 24 year old American shot 68 yesterday after a respectable 70 in the opening for 6-under to close the day T2 one shot behind the leader. He has been in fine form in the last two years climbing to position 46 in the World Golf Ranking from 2006th in 2019.

Dustin Johnson: Courtesy Supersport

Dustin Johnson fails to match repeat winners record

Dustin Johnson reign will go down in the history of The Masters as the shortest ever after he failed to make the cut yesterday. DJ’s stint at the top lasted for only five months following his record breaking victory late last year when the tournament was delayed till November in the wake of coronavirus.  Pundits had tipped DJ to match the feat last achieved by Tiger Woods, 2001/02 but the world No.1 surrendered the title meekly after carding three over par 75 yesterday. Failure to master the greens at Augusta cost him dearly as DJ’s registered six three-putts during the two rounds. This is only the second time DJ has missed the cut in 11apperances at The Masters.

Rory McIlroy Grand Slam dream deferred again

The pressure of making it happen at Augusta seems to be weighing down heavily on Rory McIlroy. The Irish man will always look back with regret at what happened 10 years ago when he let his most realistic chance of winning The Masters slip away after surrendering a healthy lead on the final day. If 2021 was the year to put the Augusta ghosts to rest, McIlroy’s game plan failed him. Not only did he miss the cut, he was nowhere near the top of the leaderboard exiting The Masters prematurely on his 13th appearance carding six-over par gross. His career grand slam dream will have to wait for at least one year as he seeks to add to his US Open, The British Open and USPGA Championship trophies collection to join the high table currently occupied by Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Catch all The Masters 2021 action live on DStv or stream matches on the DStv App.

The Masters broadcast details

Saturday 10 April

17:15 EAT: Day 3, 2nd feed – LIVE on SuperSport Golf and SuperSport Variety 2

22:00 EAT: Main feed – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Golf

Sunday 11 April

17:15 EAT: Day 4, 2nd feed – LIVE on SuperSport Golf and SuperSport Action

22:00 EAT: Main feed – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Golf

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