Woods Off To Tough Start On Masters Day 3

Saturday is the third day of the Masters golf tournament.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

REBECCA ROBERTS, host:

Welcome back to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Rebecca Roberts.

And I'm just down the street from our studios in Washington at the Verizon Center, where the teams are warming up for the final game of the Frozen Four tonight. It's college hockey's national championship.

The contenders: the Boston University Terriers and the RedHawks of Miami. That's the Miami in Ohio. BU is a perennial hockey powerhouse, although the Terriers haven't won the title since 1995, but Miami has never won a national championship in hockey or any other sport for that matter.

We'll get back on the ice in just a few minutes. First, though, to an even bigger sporting event going on this weekend in a place that's a lot warmer, a lot greener and a lot quieter.

(Soundbite of golf drive)

(Soundbite of applause)

ROBERTS: That's a polite, little golf-clap there for NPR's Tom Goldman, who deserves the applause for accepting such a tough assignment this weekend. He's in Augusta, Georgia, covering the Masters for us. Not exactly the main streets there, Tom.

(Soundbite of laughter)

TOM GOLDMAN: Let me tell you how tough it is, Rebecca.

ROBERTS: Yeah, but you have to throw some elbows if you're going to trail Tiger Woods.

GOLDMAN: Oh my goodness gracious, yeah I am pretty exhausted today. Dealing with the Tiger Woods gallery is like being on the LA freeway at rush hour times 10, except there are no cars, just lots of kind of sweaty people in shorts and lots of suntan lotion, and it's a real art to figure out how to watch him.

If you stop and watch every shot, you're going to get choked back with the rest of the people, and you're going to probably miss a hole. So you have to watch quickly and walk quickly - there's no running at Augusta National - to the hole ahead. So I feel very accomplished for having seen pretty much all of his shots today.

ROBERTS: And how is he holding up?

GOLDMAN: He'd actually did pretty well. He ended up two under par for the day, which makes him four under par for the tournament, but he had a very, very rough start. He had a double bogey on the very first hole -that's two over par - prompting one angry Tiger-watcher I was standing next to to say I didn't pay money for this bleep. And I can guarantee you that Tiger was saying the same thing to himself, although he makes money for this bleep.

So, but anyway, Tiger - he got himself back into it. At the end of 18 exhausting holes, he said he was proud of himself that he fought his ass off to get back into the tournament. Those were his words. And all it really depends on now is what the leaders do.

And right now, the people at the top, Kenny Perry, Chad Campbell, Angel Cabrera, they're maintaining a good lead. If they slip back, though, you know, and as Tiger said, if they come back to the rest of us, we have a chance. I found that ironic that he now considers himself among us. Usually Tiger Woods is separated from the rest of the golf world.

ROBERTS: Well, as everybody tries to read the crystal ball and see whether Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry can hold on for tomorrow, the weather's always a factor. There were tornados across northern Georgia last night. Is it affecting the play?

GOLDMAN: Yeah. Well, you know, the timing was perfect. It didn't hit when the play was going on. It rained very heavily last night, and that's only a good thing for the players because what it does is soften up the course and soften up the greens a little bit to make them a little slower, a little more puttable, and you see that. You see the scores continuing to go down today. The weather was very nice today, a little wind, not as much as on Friday. So the conditions were really quite ideal.

ROBERTS: And I understand there is a rumor afoot that the golf gods of Augusta have actually loosened up a little bit this year. Can it be true?

GOLDMAN: Well, let's talk about your terminology there. Nothing is loose at Augusta National, Rebecca.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GOLDMAN: I guess the word we want is a pretty tight group here. But the word we want to use, I guess, is relent. There was a tremendous amount of criticism about how they lengthened the course in recent years and how it was taking the character out of the course.

Well, this year, they went ahead and placed the pins, the flags in more advantageous places for the players right off the bat. They also moved some of the tee boxes up, so the distances weren't so great. And I think what came as the result of that, combine with the good weather, we've seen some pretty low scores.

ROBERTS: NPR's Tom Goldman, trudging through the rough at the Masters. Tom, thanks for taking it for the team.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GOLDMAN: My pleasure.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.