with Bryan Angus

Thanks for joining me today. I look forward to your comments . They are always welcome here on FairwaysPlus. Bryan Angus bryanangus4@gmail.com

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Rose battles back to keep his lead.. Connors, Hughes in contention... Saturday at the Masters..

 Masters Saturday leaderboard here tee times here.

The breeze is up on a hot humid Saturday morning, there is rain in the forecast for the afternoon

Justin Rose overcame a slow start for the second day in a row to maintain his position at the top of the leaderboard after 36 holes at the 2021 Masters Tournament.

Justin Rose

The Englishman had battled back from two over on day one to pick up nine shots in ten holes and lead by four in difficult conditions at Augusta National.

That lead had evaporated inside 12 holes of round two despite conditions being more favourable, with Rose sitting at three over for the day.

He had spoken on Thursday evening of how pleased he was to have kept his head after a slow start, and his mental toughness shone through for a second consecutive day as he picked up three birdies to get back to seven under after a 72.

That left him a shot ahead of American duo Brian Harman and Will Zalatoris and two ahead of Australian Marc Leishman and 2015 champion Jordan Spieth.

American Tony Finau and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger both fired rounds of 66 to sit at four under alongside World Number Two Justin Thomas, another American in Cameron Champ, South Korean Si Woo Kim and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.

Rose has an excellent record at Augusta, with two runner up finishes and just one missed cut in his previous 15 appearances, and he revealed he went into match play mode on the back nine to keep his nose in front.

"I was joking, the finger was heading towards the panic button a little bit," he said.

"I had a little talk with myself on eight and said 'you're still leading the Masters', and I just changed my mindset a little bit and started to play match play against the golf course.  

"I scratched a line on my scorecard and told myself I was three down and could I go ahead and beat the golf course from that point on. I had a putt on 18 to win my match one up but unfortunately it just slipped by. But an honourable draw. 

“It was a tough start today, poor tee shot on number one and had to chip out sideways, and then from that moment on, for the first six or seven holes I just kept leaving the ball on the greens but in really tough spots.

“I felt like I really hung in well and weathered that period of the round. Just little things were going wrong but didn’t hit the panic button and really pleased to turn it around."

Zalatoris finished his round with three birdies in a 68, while Harman made gains on the 17th and 18th in a 69.

Leishman carded a 67 and Spieth a 68 as he made three birdies in his final six holes.

Wiesberger made seven birdies with a single dropped shot, while Finau carded an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.

American Collin Morikawa was in the group at two under, a shot clear of Norway's Viktor Hovland..

Canadians : With a -3 69 Corey Connors is T13 this morning -2 and 5 shots off the lead. He plays today at 1.10PM with Colin Morikawa. " It was a solid round much like yesterday except for #13 where I made a 7, today an eagle 3. Overall a solid day, drove it well, good irons, just tried to keep pressure off myself"

Mac Hughes 72 72 E T21 is off today at 12.30pm with lefty Robert MacIntyre. After birdies at 2 and 3, he made 5 bogey's by the time he got to 11, but showed his grit, making 3 birdies coming in. "I knew I was right in it, tried to stay patient and knew there were par 5's coming up. Fortunately  I managed the last 7 holes -3 including a great iron stiff into 18"

Bryan Angus (europeantour.com)

Friday, April 9, 2021

Prince Phillip has passed at 99, Rest in Peace Sir....My memories

We knew it was coming but still I was saddened to hear the Prince hadn't woke up from his sleep last night and passed peacefully in his bed  at Windsor Castle.

photograph of Prince Philip

In my early years as Assistant Manager at the Commonwealth Games stadium I met him and the Queen on several occasions, at the Silver Jubilee, the Gathering of the Clans and Commonwealth/World track meets amongst others.

He was always a treat to meet with, even in limited walkabouts. He always had a twinkle in his eye, his enjoyment meeting with the public was obvious and he carried that on for all his years as he served the Commonwealth so well.

On one occasion at the Paraplegic Games I introduced him to an Australian weight lifter who had lost both his legs and was doing a demonstration bench press lying flat on his back.

The Prince asked him how he'd lost the legs, and the Aussie said. "They were no bloody use to me, so I had them cut off" The Prince said " that must have been awful, I commend your bravery" The Aussie said " thanks your highness , but I really just did it so I could make this lighter weight category

Without missing a beat, Prince Phillip said, "jolly good, now let me help hold you while you try this weight" and immediately strode across and sat atop his lower body to hold him down.

Although he spent 73 years at the Queens side, he was a character, his own man. He is beloved around the Commonwealth especially by my generation  and will be sorely missed, no more than by his wife and family.


Bryan Angus

Rosey's the "rabbit" after round 1 at the Masters, Hughes, Connors in contention... Friday TEE TIMES / leaderboard

Masters live Friday scoreboard  here , Friday tee times here.

In the world of track and field a tactic often used in the blue ribbon event, the mile, or 1500 meters was to run the first of 4 laps at top speed, one that could not be sustained, but one that would open up a lead of 100 yards, and one you hoped you could hang on to as the field closed on you as the finish line approached. It was called "being the rabbit" in reference to the electronic rabbit used in grey hound racing for the dogs to chase after...

Justin Rose  produced an astonishing run of scoring to card a 65 and take a four shot lead after day one of the 2021 Masters Tournament as he became the rabbit.

Justin Rose

Augusta National was proving an incredibly tough challenge for the first Major Championship of the 2021 Race to Dubai, with firm and fast conditions meaning just three players managed to break 70 in Georgia.

Rose did not look like he would be one of them at two over after seven holes but an eagle on the eighth proved to be the turning point and he would birdie seven of his next nine holes to get to seven under and open up a commanding lead.

It meant that the Englishman led or co-led the Masters for the sixth time in his career, the most by any player to have not won the event.

But he has come close, with a lost play-off to Sergio Garcia in 2017 and another second in 2015 to go with three other top tens and just one missed cut in 15 appearances.

His tie for second at the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers is his only top ten since last year's US PGA Championship but the former World Number One - who now sits 41st in the Official World Golf Ranking - looked truly back to his brilliant best as he goes in search of a second Major Championship.

I guess the good news is I don’t know what happened, that’s often when you play your best golf and get into the nice rhythm or flow,” Rose said.

“I didn’t panic being two over through seven. I knew this was a day not to play yourself out of the tournament; the course had a lot of teeth to it.

“The pins were relatively fair so good golf shots could be rewarded and to be nine under for my last 11, you can never quite see that coming here at Augusta National.

"I've competed in these big tournaments quite a few times and I've got one of them to my name but we're looking for more.

"But I've had some situations in my career that should stand me in good stead. I think to keep the expectations relatively low even in this situation is not a bad thing for me for the remainder of the week and just keep it one shot at a time, keep committing on this golf course you can never get ahead of yourself on, we've seen it many times around here."

Canadians: Meanwhile Corey Connors (12.24 1st tee) made the turn -2 but came home in +3 which included his one big mistake, a double bogey 7 at the par 5 13th, when after a perfect drive and 225 left, he in his words "got a bit greedy and put it in Rae's creek, then compounded the issue with a poor pitch after the drop"

Mackenzie Hughes

I watched every shot on the fantastic Masters website, he drove the ball very well, his iron play was also very good, and especially on the front nine with Augusta's greens right on the edge, he made several 5-10 foot par saving putts, although he missed a few, particularly a 3 putt from 16 feet at the par 3 16th. His +1 73 T 20 will stand him in good stead as will a solid E 72 T13 for Mac Hughes  (8.24am 1st tee). Mike Weir +6 78. (8.36am 1st tee)

Bryan Angus (europeantour.com)


Thursday, April 8, 2021

85th Masters begins, Hughes, Connors legit contenders.. Live scoreboard

 Masters Thursday LIVE scoreboard / tee times  here 

Gary, Jack and Lee Elder have completed the ceremonial opening shots under sunny skies and this years Masters is underway.

It's not often I can say a Canadian is a legit contender, this year there are two, with all due respect to Weirsy who was that guy for years when he won it all in 2003. Mind you he made it to the weekend here in November, T51.

Mac Hughes and Corey Connors are in great form, and more importantly are now well established amongst their peers as guys who can win any week. Their confidence is high, and that is everything, and they both have the experience around Augusta which is crucial.

Corey is a career high #43 in the world, and could have won both the Arnold Palmer 3rd, and the Players 7th and he was 10th here in November.

Mac went right through the Dell Matchplay where he lost on the 17th green in the round of 16 to Sergio Garcia. 

Mike Weir played the practice round pictured above and had this to say afterwards.

 .“I told them out there, I said, you guys are ready. You’ve got the experience now. You’ve been out on tour long enough. You’ve played enough big tournaments. You’ve got to have that self-belief,” said Weir.

“I think they’re both ready to do it. They’re both swinging well. They’re both coming in with good form. Their confidence has got to be high. I hope for good things for them,” 

Both guys expressed confidence in themselves. None of them expect scoring to be low, as Augusta's greens are playing firm and fast, conversely I heard Woosy say the fairways were playing softer in practice, in order to counteract the extraordinary length so many of these guys have off the tee.

As I mentioned yesterday Corey is off at 9.12am and Mac at 11.30am. Mike is at 11.42am with another lefty, young Robert MacIntyre from Scotland.

" I think -10 to -14 would be a really good winning number" was Weirsy's assessment.

Bryan Angus

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

French Open postponed due to COVID surging in France

As pictures beam around the world of the sunshine and Azeala's in bloom from Augusta as the 85th Masters gets underway, seemingly oblivious it must be said as America continues to lead the world in deaths and active COVID cases, news minutes ago that the French government has postponed their national golf championship due to new  Covid restrictions now in place.

Here is the @EuropeanTour press release.

The European Tour and the Fédération Française de Golf (FFG) today jointly announced the postponement of the Open de France hosted by Grégory Havret, scheduled for May 6-9, 2021 at Le Golf National.

Le Golf National

The decision follows the extension of COVID-19 restrictions across France announced by President Macron last week. Both the European Tour and the FFG will continue to work together in an effort to reschedule the Open de France later in the 2021 schedule.

Organizing any European Tour event sees hundreds of people – players, caddies, TV production personnel, staff and media – traveling to the venue from more than 25 different countries on average. Given this, and the current overall health situation in France, the European Tour and the FFG took the decision to announce the postponement.

Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said: “It is clearly disappointing to have to postpone the Open de France, particularly after all the hard work and collaboration between ourselves, the FFG and the many stakeholders involved to stage the tournament in May. But we feel it is the responsible decision.

Pascal Grizot, President of the Fédération Française de Golf, said: “We have worked very closely with the European Tour staff and various French authorities over the last couple of months and, through this involvement, have been able to overcome many obstacles.

“However, despite this, we feel that in the current climate it is neither reasonable nor responsible to stage the event in May. We will keep on working hand in hand with the European Tour in order to try to find an alternative date for the Open de France, that could allow us to host spectators and patrons.”

The European Tour is currently looking into all options available in an attempt to fill the now vacant May 6-9 slot on the calendar.

Bryan Angus

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Masters TEE TIMES , including Weir, Hughes, Connors...

 2021 Masters Thursday TEE TIMES  here 

Corey Connors is the first Canuck to tee off on Thursday at The Masters at 9.12 with Si Woo Kim and former champion Charl Schwartzel.

Mac Hughes is off at 11.30 with Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (Cheeseberger) and Mexican Carlos Ortiz.

Mike Weir is paired 11.42 with Scottish lefty Robert MacIntyre and CT Pan 

Bryan Angus

Brooke Henderson 2 time defending champion at LOTTE Championship

This week the LPGA flies over to Oahu in Hawaii for the LOTTE Championship where Brooke Henderson is the two time defending champion, the 2020 event was postponed due to COVID.

When you look up Brooke Henderson's Canadian record 9 professional LPGA wins you see :

Cambia Portland Classic 2015

KPMG Women's PGA Championship 2016 (Major)

Cambia Portland Classic 2016

Meijer LPGA Classic 2017

McKayson's New Zealand Women's Open 2017

Lotte Championship 2018

CP Women's Open 2018

Lotte Championship 2019

Meijer LPGA Classic 2019

After a disappointing opening 75, Brooke rallied with rounds of 69, 68, 70 -6 T19 at the ANA Inspiration, so is in good form arriving at the Kapolei GC just west of Honolulu where the event will be played for the first time. From 2012-2019 it was held at nearby Ko Olina where Brooke won both her titles.

Full tee times will be posted when they are available.

Bryan Angus