13/07/2024

Following Fargo's Tom Hoge at the Masters

Domingo 10 de Abril del 2022

Following Fargo's Tom Hoge at the Masters

The course is tricky but there are birdies available, as Hoge proved today. Here's a hole-by-hole recap.

The course is tricky but there are birdies available, as Hoge proved today. Here's a hole-by-hole recap.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Good afternoon from Augusta National.

Just followed Fargo's Tom Hoge for 9 holes. It's a beautiful day, growing warmer by the hour, should be 75 mid-afternoon. The course is tricky but there are birdies available, as Hoge proved.

Hole by hole for Hoge:

  1. Good drive left side of fairway, approach spins back, long lag putt, missed par put, bogey.
  2. Drive down the middle, approach ends up short of the right bunker, skillful chip that rolls to within 6 feet (unofficial, my guesstimate), makes birdie putt. He birded the 2nd hole every day.
  3. Goes with hybrid off the tee on the short par 4, but again ends up in the right rough. His approach bounces to the back of the green and he ends up with a tap-in par.
  4. Fades his hybrid, missing the green right. Nice chip correctly assesses the slope of the green, leaving him an uphill par putt, which he makes.
  5. Drives into the fairway bunker on the left side, lays up, pitches, misses par putt, tap-in bogey.
  6. The pin is back right, with only a thin slice of the green on the same level as the pin. Hoge hits a beautiful 7-iron pin-high, eight feet to the left of the hole and makes the birdie putt.
  7. Hoge drives into the right rough, fades a wonderful approach around the tree branches, leaving himself a slick 8-footer downhill for birdie. He barely touches the ball and it rolls in for a second straight birdie.
  8. After driving into the bunker on the right side of the fairway on Saturday, he carves a fade down the left side and into the fairway. Strong fairway wood leaves him with a pitch to a back-left hole location on a downhill slope. Pitches to 8 feet and misses birdie, tapping in for par.
  9. Strong drive down the middle, iron to the front of the green, lag putt, tap-in par.

I'll be following Hoge's finish, then turning to the leaders. Should be a fun day of watching golf on TV. I'll have a column and sidebar in the Monday paper and at startribune.com.
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Good morning from Augusta National. It's cold (38 degrees) and sunny and will warm up nicely this afternoon by the time the leaders tee off. Should reach 75 or so.

The final pairing of Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith will tee off at 1:40 p.m. Central.

Fargo's Tom Hoge will tee off at 10:20 a.m. and play with Sepp Straka of Austria. Tiger Woods will tee off at 9:50 and play with Jon Rahm, who teasingly complained earlier this week about Woods giving all of his course knowledge to Justin Thomas and not him.

Woods struck the ball well but had perhaps his worst putting day ever on Saturday to fall to 7-over, which is why he's teeing off before Hoge, who is 6-over.

Right now Hoge is ahead of not only all the quality players who didn't make the cut, but also Adam Scott, Tyrell Hatton, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa, Bubba Watson, Tiger, Rahm, Russell Henley, Daniel Berger and Harold Varner III.

Hoge has birdied the par-5 second hole in all three rounds.

This will be the first time since 2010 that there will be two top-10 players in the world in the final pairing at The Masters.

Scheffler is trying to become the first player since Arnold Palmer in 1960 to win three tournaments in a season before winning The Masters.

Scheffler and Smith are fascinating because they never seem to show negative emotions, at least not for more than a second following a bad shot. Both are cool and composed in interviews, and they are the two best players in the world this year.

Both are excellent putters. Both are mentally tough.

This will be fun.

For the Sunday Star Tribune, I wrote about the final pairing and Hoge's up-and-down Saturday.

This is my morning post. I'll check in again after walking with Hoge for his first nine holes, and then I'll have another column and sidebar in the Monday Star Tribune and at startribune.com.

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