Masters notebook: Amateur keeps cool after triple-bogey on 18

John Zenor
Associated Press
Amateur Bryson DeChambeau walks off the 18th hole after his triple bogey during the second round Friday of the Masters golf tournament.

Augusta, Ga. — Bryson DeChambeau says he didn’t get flustered when his tee shot on the 18th hole went into a holly bush, or when his do-over was even worse.

The U.S. Amateur and NCAA champion put his philosophy of execution over emotion to a strenuous test on a disastrous finish at Augusta National on Friday.

One shot off the lead and trying to polish off the day’s best round, DeChambeau went for a low drive so it wouldn’t get waylaid by the wind.

Instead, the ball went left into the shrubbery and was unplayable. He went back to the tee and sent it even farther to the left, near a green fence and well off the fairway.

He and a rules official had to hike through a woodsy area and weave their way through tables to take a drop next to a road, some 40 yards from where the errant ball landed. The end result was a closing triple bogey and an even par round left the 22-year-old tied for eighth, four shots behind playing partner Jordan Spieth.

A par on No. 18 would have had left him one shot off the lead, tied with Rory McIlroy for second.

DeChambeau’s said he never lost his cool.

“Even when I duck-hooked it twice, I was like, ‘You know what, it’s just a good opportunity to show my character and good grace as well,’” he said.

In other words, be professional when it would be easy to behave otherwise.

Jordan Spieth sputters, holds Masters lead

A professional is exactly what DeChambeau will be after the Masters, his final event as an amateur.

DeChambeau, playing in a Ben Hogan-style cap, had six birdies in his second straight even-par round, including two on Amen Corner. He did that in front of huge throngs of fans following his group, which included Spieth.

“He’s not scared of the moment,” Spieth said. “Doesn’t matter what the moment is. It was just one bad swing away on 18 from being the one that’s (tied for second) or even tied for first… Look for him on the weekend to be a contender.”

Watson says goodbye

Tom Watson missed the cut and said “Adios” to Augusta National as a competitor with the same flair he used to win two green jackets among his total of eight majors.

Not surprising, he got a standing ovation from the gallery.

On his last competitive hole at Augusta National, Watson, 66, split the fairway with his tee shot at No. 18 and nearly made birdie there. He had just enough time to check his emotions before family members — led by his son and sometimes-caddie Michael — poured onto the green.

In a quirky tribute to the late Bruce Edwards, his close pal and longtime caddie, Watson left an egg salad sandwich on the bench at No. 13.

Mickelson misses cut

Phil Mickelson rolled a 22-foot birdie putt just below the hole at No. 18, his last miss on a day packed end to end with wasted opportunities.

When it was finally over, Lefty signed for a 7-over 79 — his worst round ever at the Masters in 24 appearances, giving Mickelson as many missed cuts as green jackets. The cut was at 6 over par.

Mickelson shot even-par in his opening round and looked like a lock to make it into the weekend. But the second round began with a strong breeze and gusts up to 30 mph and that touched off a series of what he called “just stupid things” beginning at No. 7. The miscues began piling up — a ball left in a bunker, several missed short putts, and two approach shots dumped into the drink at Nos. 15 and 16 — which produced back-to-back double bogeys.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” Mickelson, 45, said afterward. “I just threw away a lot of shots. I just made a lot of poor shots in the wrong spot. This is the worst I’ve managed myself around this golf course.”

Woosnam no more

Ian Woosnam, who won the Masters in 1991, won’t compete at Augusta National again.

He made the announcement after a second round 81. On the 18th hole, he hooked his drive off an ice machine in the concession stands left of the fairway, took a drop near the eighth tee box and saved par.

After failing to break 80 for the second straight day, the 58-year-old Welshman told a small group of reporters he wouldn’t tee it up at Augusta anymore. As a winner, he has a lifetime exemption.

Woosnam said the course had become too long and his bad back seized up as soon as he started walking the hilly layout.

Leaderboard

With Friday’s score and two-round total:

The leaders

Jordan Spieth, 74, -4

Rory McIlroy, 71, -3

Danny Lee, 74, -2

Scott Piercy, 72, -2

Brandt Snedeker, 72, -1

Soren Kjeldsen, 74, -1

Hideki Matsuyama, 72, -1

Others

Sergio Garcia, 75, even

Dustin Johnson, 71, even

Jason Day, 73, +1

Bubba Watson, 75, +6

Missed cut

Phil Mickelson, 79, +7

Rickie Fowler, 73, +9