Saturday, April 12, 2008

Masters Live Blog: Round 3

If you're looking for a professional and informative live blog from Augusta, well, you're in the wrong place (for that, check golf editor Jason Sobel's work here).

While I'm not a big golfer (my best round ever was an 88 and that came with a couple of mulligans), there are a few things in life that I love -- the Commodores, Tiger Woods and procrastination -- which makes watching the Masters the perfect Saturday afternoon activity, so feel free to join me. Don't forget to hit that refresh button and leave comments at the bottom.

CBS' coverage begins at 2:30 CT, right about the time that Vandy grad Brandt Snedeker is set to tee off. Make sure to check out today's Commodore Banter for some great links about the 2007 PGA Rookie of the Year, who is 7-under and one shot off the lead.

2:30 p.m.: Tiger Woods is 1-under through seven holes today and is 2-under for the tournament, which puts him in a tie for 14th place. When will he make his charge?

2:35 p.m.: Who is Brandt "Sneds" Snedeker? A few notes from his official PGA Tour profile:
  • Graduated Vanderbilt in 2004 with a Communications degree
  • Born December 8, 1980, in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Finished ninth on the 2006 Nationwide Tour money list to earn PGA Tour card
  • He's played in 50 events and made 36 cuts with nine top-10s and one victory
  • He's already earned a healthy $3,588,115 on tour
  • Snedeker's 168th in driving distance (274.0), but 48th in GIR (66.9%) and 66th in putting average (1.781)
2:45 p.m.: Check out Vanderbilt men's golf coach Tom Shaw's fantastic journal from Augusta. He had the privilege of caddying for amateur Michael Thompson, his former player at Tulane. Thompson nearly made the cut, and deserves even more credit for calling a penalty on himself.

2:50 p.m.: It will be interesting to see how youngsters Trevor Immelman (2006 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year) and Snedeker will handle the pressure of playing in today's final pairing.

2:55 p.m.: Snedeker just drained a long birdie putt on No. 2! How's that for nervous? Immelman, meanwhile, missed his, and Sneds is tied for the lead.

3:04 p.m.: Woods just birdied to move to 3-under and his name has now moved onto the leader board, which prompted the announcers to talk about the well-documented "Intimidation Factor." I'm not buying it. Sure, guys tend to play worse when they're paired with Tiger, but I doubt that he's in anyone's thought process right now. For example, while Snedeker is probably nervous as hell, the last thing on his mind is what Tiger made on the 10th. He's got too many other, more important things, to worry about.


T1. Immelman -8
T1. Snedeker -8
3. Flesch -7
T4. Casey
T4. Mickelson -6
6. Poulter -5
T7. O'Hair -4
T7. Cink -4
T9. Woods -3

3:25 pm.: Immelman, who has looked tense from the opening tee, just bogied No. 4, which means Snedeker is in the lead all by himself. Not sure if that's a good thing, however. In Sobel's blog, he received an e-mail from Jeremy, who played college golf at North Carolina:
Something to watch today: I've known Brandt a long time and played a good bit with him in college, etc. He loves chasing the lead, but it's a lot tougher for him to protect a lead or a good round. He only knows one way and one speed. Great player and a better guy.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

3:45 p.m.: I've been a little distracted by the Yankees-Red Sox game on FOX, but Snedeker remains steady at 8-under, holding a one-shot lead over Casey, Flesch and Immelman. Poulter and Mickelson are three shots back, while one Eldrick Woods is tied for seventh at 4-under.

4:00 pm.: Paul Casey just joined Snedeker atop the leaderboard at 8-under.

4:02 p.m.: You've got to love Snedeker's poise and demeanor. He doesn't seem to be fazed by the pressure as his up-and-down from the front bunker on No. 7 just proved. In an interview with Jim Nantz, last year's Masters champ Zach Johnson said he was impressed with the former Commodore's "nothing to lose" attitude.

4:07 p.m.: Ian Poulter just looked like me out on the course, shanking his second shot on No. 9. I blame it on the hideous plaid pants.

4:18 p.m.: Snedeker just birdied No. 8, while Casey missed his birdie putt on No. 9, which means Snedeker is all alone in first place at 9-under. A very frustrated Mr. Woods is five shots back. And the Yankees just took a 2-1 lead in the sixth.

4:28 p.m.: Snedeker finished with a bogey-free, 2-under 34 on the front nine. Looks like he's not going anywhere.

4:41 p.m.: Tiger just tapped in for birdie on No. 17, which puts him in fifth place at 5-under, four shots behind Snedeker. I can't wait for Sunday.

4:51 p.m.: Woods continues to amaze me, hitting a shot through the trees and onto the green, and ended up making a par to finish with a 4-under 68.

5:00 p.m.: In his post-round interview, Woods said he "hit the ball well all day" and had "a lot of putts that were just a touch off." There's no question that he's put himself in great position for tomorrow.

5:10 p.m.: Snedeker just picked up his first bogey of the day on No. 11, and dropped back into a tie for first with Casey and Immelman. His tee shot on the par-3 12 went far left, so he'll have a difficult up-and-down to save par.

5:20 p.m.: Snedeker has now recorded back-to-back bogies to fall to 7-under, one stroke behind Casey, Flesch and Immelman. Woods is in the clubhouse in fifth place all by himself, now just three shots back.

5:32 p.m.: Snedeker just bogied again, dropping to 6-under. Let's see if he can keep himself together down the stretch because there's plenty of golf left to be played. And it's not the worst thing in the world for Snedeker to fall behind a little bit. Can you imagine the attention he would've received had he entered the final round in the lead? And as Jeremy pointed out earlier, the ex-Commodore plays better when he's chasing.

5:43 p.m.: How's that for mental toughness? Snedeker bounced back in a big way, picking up a birdie on No. 14.

5:45 p.m.: LEADERBOARD

1. Immelman -10
2. Casey -8
3. Flesch -7
4. Snedeker -7
5. Woods -5
6. Cink -4
7. Mickelson -4

5:54 p.m.: Get excited for a Woods-Mickelson pairing tomorrow. According to Jason Sobel, it will be the first time that the two have ever played together in the final round of a major.

5:58 p.m.: Snedeker stuck his approach close on No. 15, while Immelman's shot came dangerously close to rolling back into the water. I still don't get how it stayed up, but Immelman knows he got very lucky there as one more turn and the ball was gone.

6:04 p.m.: You've got to love Snedeker, who just picked up another birdie to move into sole possession of second place at 8-under, two back of Immelman. Casey and Flesch are three back at 7-under.

6:22 p.m.: We've got a 9-way tie for seventh place at 2-under. It'd be tough to imagine any of these guys winning the green jacket.


That means we've got six golfers in contention on Sunday:

Immelman -10
Flesch -8
Snedeker -8
Casey -7
Woods -5
Cink -4

6:37 p.m.: Quite a day for Snedeker, who followed up three consecutive bogies with three birdies to post a 2-under 70. He's 9-under overall, two back of Immelman. The two youngsters will be in the final pairing tomorrow and I can't see either of them getting much sleep tonight. It's going to be a day that they'll never forget.

6:41 p.m.: That's all I've got for tonight. I'm heading to Friday's for some dinner, but I'll be back tomorrow for one of the most enjoyable days in sports. The fact a former Commodore is in the hunt makes it even better. As for Tiger, six shots is a lot to overcome, but of course you can't rule him out. Thanks so much for reading and have a great night.

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