Paul Casey (Pocketwiley/Flickr)
Playing on an Augusta National course softened by rain, Tiger Woods did what he needed to do on Saturday. Woods shot a moving-day 68 and, at one point, pulled within a few shots of the lead.
But somebody forgot to tell Trevor Immelman and Brandt Snedeker that they were supposed to fold like a pair of chaise lounges. Neither have the kind of Masters resume that would suggest they’re ready to slip into a Green Jacket. (Of course, the same could have been said about Zach Johnson.)
And what about Steve Flesch? Can you tell me five things you know about him? I’ll even spot you one. Yeah, he’s left-handed. Flesch looked as comfortable as he would be playing in the Reno-Tahoe Open (one of his four wins).
The talented Paul Casey is also in the hunt after firing his second consecutive 69.
Meanwhile, many of the vets retreated on Saturday. Phil Mickelson fumbled, battled back, then fumbled again, carding a 75. Ian Poulter also shot himself out of it with a 75. Retief Goosen treaded water with a 72, but realistically has no chance.
Immelman and Snedeker, on the other hand, were impressive. Immelman’s machine-like shot-making reminded me of Nick Faldo. (Split the fairway, hit the green. Split the fairway, hit the green.) His putting held up, too. And when the affable Snedeker got bogeyitis at Amen Corner, I thought his Green Jacket run might be over. Then “Sneds” birdied 14, 15 and 18. Sweet.
It’s supposed to be windy tomorrow afternoon. Birdies will be hard to come by, which leaves us with a few questions tonight.
Can Tiger make up six shots? Will Trevor Immelman go wire-to-wire? Is Steve Flesch channeling Mike Weir and Phil Mickelson? Will the freckle-faced Snedeker be grinning no matter what happens? I got that one: Yes.
−The Armchair Golfer