Saturday, April 10, 2010

Masters Winners And Losers After Two Days

As the third round begins at the Masters, let’s take a moment for a mid-tournament determination of the winners and losers to this point:

Englishmen: Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood shared the lead after 36 holes, doing the Union Jack proud. Both are ranked among the top 10 in the world and showed why.

“We’re not there by mistake,” Westwood said Friday of the rankings.

The only down side was Paul Casey’s missed cut, costing England a third man among the leaders.

Tiger Woods: He’s two shots out of the lead and it feels as though the scandal that has haunted him for months has become an afterthought. He spent 10 minutes with the media Friday afternoon and wasn’t asked about anything but golf. That’s how quickly things have changed.

Y.E. Yang: He’s proving the PGA Championship victory wasn’t a fluke.

Good manners: Other than a plane flying over Augusta National Thursday afternoon pulling a couple of snide banners about Woods’ troubles, the crowd behavior has been good enough to make Miss Manners smile.

Allergy sufferers: Early in the week, the pine pollen was so thick you could almost write your name in it the way it painted surfaces. An overnight thunderstorm Thursday helped but the only selling fasters than Masters-logo souvenirs in Augusta is Claritin,

Padraig Harrington: Thought by many to be one of the handful of tournament favorites, Padraig missed the cut, giving him a quick start on the trip home to Ireland.

The banner plane: After getting noticed by everyone on Thursday, it was nowhere to be found Friday despite reports it had planned to continue its aerial heckling. Some things just aren’t allowed at the Masters.

Khaki pants: They’re not what professional golfers wear anymore. They’re all about style now.