Big names miss the cut

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Leader, Bubba Watson, after 36-holes

After the ceremonial tee shots from Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus the 78th Masters Tournament officially got underway on Thursday. The field made up of 97 players got off to a hot start, especially Bill Haas who was in the lead after the first day posting a 4 under 68.

But the story of the second round at this year’s Masters was Bubba Watson. The 2012 Masters Champion shot a 4 under 68 to take a 3 shot lead over John Senden heading into the weekend. Bubba carded 5 birdies in a row starting on hole 12 and continuing until he made par on hole 17.

The cut this year, included 51 players at 4 over or better for 36 holes. A few notable names in the top 51 include the lone amateur, Oliver Goss, 54 year old, Fred Couples, 1st time Masters participant, Jordan Spieth, and many more.

The other 46 players didn’t have the luck on their side this week; lets take a look at 5 notable players that missed the cut this year.

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Sergio Garcia

#5. Sergio Garcia. Many picked Sergio to win this year’s Masters because he is due for a major championship. Coming off a T-8 in last year’s Masters, the Spaniard won’t be playing on the weekend this year. He missed the cut by 1 after bogeying his final two holes on Friday en route to a 3-over 75.

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Patrick Reed

#4. Patrick Reed. After winning at the Cadillac Championship in March named himself as one of the top-5 players in he world. But this week Patrick Reed never got it going, opening up the tournament with a 73 followed by a 79 to miss the cut by 4 shots.

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Ernie Els

#3. Ernie Els. The four time major champion winner missed the cut in a major for the second straight time after failing to reach the weekend at last years PGA Championship. Els carded 10 bogeys at this year’s Masters missing the cut by 1 stroke.

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Jason Dufner

#2. Jason Dufner. The 2013 PGA Championship winner miss his first cut in a major since 2011, by a wide margin. Missing the cut by 6 shots after carding a quadruple bogey on No. 13 on Thursday en route to a first round 80.

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Phil Mickelson

#1. Phil Mickelson. The lefty found himself behind from the start after carding a first round 76. Making matters worse, he tripled the par-3, No. 12, on Friday after going bunker to bunker to put himself right over the cut line. He made quite the charge with birdies on three of his final five holes on Friday, but it wasn’t quite enough.

Other notable players to miss the cut include Hideki Matsuyama, Graham Delaet, Matteo Manassero, Keegan Bradley, and former Masters champions Angel Cabrera and Trevor Immelman.

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Today marks the start of the 2014 Masters Tournament

It is officially Masters week. Today marked the start of the best week of the year for many avid golf fans. This is a busy week for Augusta National, with tournament play beginning on Thursday for the 91 professionals and 6 amateurs.

Lets take a look at the top 5 stories of the 2014 Masters.

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Craig Stadler (left) and son Kevin Stadler (right) talk to media

#5. 2014 is the first Masters that both a father and son have been in the field. Over the 77 years of Masters play, there have been many father and son duos to compete in the tournaments but never in the same year. This year the 1982 Champion, Craig Stadler, will return to the field, thanks to a life time exemption, and will be joined by his 34 year old son Kevin, whose win at the Phoenix Open in February secured his spot for this years Masters.

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The famous Eisenhower Tree

#4. The 17th hole at Augusta has a new look; the 65 foot high loblolly tree, a little over 200 years from the tee, is no longer there. The “Eisenhower Tree” was damaged in a February ice storm causing it to be removed from the fairway; the absence of the tree remarkably changes the look of the par four.

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Adam Scott, 2013 Masters Champion

#3. Can Adam Scott win the green jacket for consecutive years? Only 3 players, Jack Nicklaus (1965-66), Nick Faldo (1989-90), and Tiger Woods (2001-02) have been able to maintain the green jacket for two years in a row. After making history last year, becoming the first Australian to win the Masters, could he become the fourth player to win back-to-back green jackets?

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Adam Scott (left) shakes hands with Henrik Stenson (right)

#2. The race to emerge from the weekend with the title “The World’s Best Golfer” is on. Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson could become the No. 1 in the world based on their finishes at Augusta. Scott needs to finish at a two-way tie for third or better, while Stenson needs at least a two-way tie for second, to have any shot at becoming No. 1.

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Tiger Woods

#1. No Tiger Woods, but the show must go on. Tiger set the stage for excellence at Augusta National winning the 1997 Masters by a huge margin for his first of 4 green jackets. It won’t be the same this year, thanks to recent surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back, Tiger has to miss his first Masters since he started back in 1994.

Who did you pick to win this years Masters tournament?

There will be no green jacket for Tiger Woods this year

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I am writing this post while tears well up in my eyes, knowing that the best time of the year for me, as a golfer, just took a turn for the worst. With only 8 days until the eve of the first round of the Masters Tournament an upsetting announcement was made stating that Tiger Woods will not be playing in the 2014 Masters due to a back injury.

This will be Tigers first time missing the Masters since that start of his career back in 1994. He is a four-time Masters Champion winning his first Masters during his first year as a professional by an incredible margin of 12 shots marking it his first of fourteen major championships.

Tiger Woods underwent back surgery on Monday to fix a pinched nerve in his lower back that has been hurting him for some time. The microdiscectomy was performed by neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Rich in Park City, Utah. Woods will begin “intensive rehabilitation and soft-tissue treatment” within a week, and the goal is for him to return to competition “sometime this summer.”

In a statement Tiger was quoted saying, “After attempting to get ready for the Masters and failing to make the necessary progress, I decided, in consultation with my doctors, to have this procedure done. I’d like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters. It’s a week that’s very special to me. It also looks like I’ll be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation and getting healthy.”

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It is unclear as if Tiger will even be ready for the third major of the year, The Open Championship, which will be held at the Royal Liverpool July 17-20.

After multiple injuries causing him to miss all 4 majors now, Tiger still remains positive about the future. Tiger said in a statement, “It’s tough right now, but I’m absolutely optimistic about the future. There are a couple [of] records by two outstanding individuals and players that I hope one day to break. As I’ve said many times, Sam (Snead) and Jack (Nicklaus) reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine.”

The Masters begin on April 10, and the field will not be the same without Tiger Woods. All we can do now is hope that the headlines next year read, The 2015 Masters Champion: Tiger Woods!!

Something is Missing at Augusta National

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The Eisenhower Tree, possibly the most famous tree in golf, sits on the 17th hole of Augusta National. But with the huge ice storm that hit Georgia and Augusta National, with only 2 months until the start of the 2014 Masters Tournament, has forced the tree to be taken down because of damage from the storm.

The loblolly pine tree, that sat about 210 yards off the left of the 17th fairway forced players to aim right and away from the tree or made players become a little more creative and shape the flight of their ball from right-to-left to avoid it.

The tree made one of the members so mad because he hit the tree so often that he campaigned to have it removed and proposed the idea to Augusta National that it should be cut down. The idea was over ruled but because of this they eventually named the tree after the member — former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

After hearing the news of the 65-foot tall tree, many tour players on the PGA had mixed feelings towards it. Curtis Strange, two-time U.S. Open champion, says that the tree got in his way so it doesn’t hurt his feeling seeing it be removed. While David Duval, who has contended for four green jackets was stunned, and quoted saying, “Are you kidding me? That tree made you really pay attention to where you’re driving it. It made for a very narrow tee shot. You either had to go up over it or around it.”

With the ice storm that hit, it caused the tree to lose a significant amount of major limbs, and the club had used cables to hold the pine together in recent years but they were unable to save it this time.

Club Chairman, Billy Payne, made sure to specify that no other damage was done to the course and Augusta National will not be affected in its preparations for the Masters, which start on April 10th.