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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 236
COUPLES DEFIES HIS AGE...AGAIN SCOREBOARD TRADITION TO S TAY SOMETHING happens to Fred Couples when he drives down Magnolia Lane. It’s like his Fountain of Youth. At 57, he was again in the mix through three rounds, even vying for the lead at times during the second round. The 1992 Champion, playing his 32nd Masters, finished with an even par 72, missing adding a 12th top-10 Masters finish to his resume by just three shots. THE Masters Committee is very quick to embrace new technologies off the golf course, but on the course they prefer tradition. The large manual scoreboards dotted around Augusta National are in no danger of being replaced for electronic digital versions with big screen TVs, at least while Billy Payne is Masters Chairman. This is a good thing, as the suspense that a slow scoreboard change builds is part of the joy of watching the Masters on course. SPIETH HATES GOLDEN BELL JORDAN Spieth carefully negotiated the par-3 12th with pars for each of the first three rounds. But the ‘Golden Bell’, where he capitulated in the final round of the 2016 Masters with a quadruple seven, would hurt him again. He had already seemingly dropped out of contention but when he put his tee shot into Rae’s Creek again at 12, he was done. He double-bogeyed and was only back in the red numbers by day’s end courtesy of three birdies in the final four holes. “I only have to play that hole for another 50 years,” he said after his round. THE Augusta National committee can control about 99.9 per cent of what happens within the grounds of their beautiful course. But they cannot control the weather. Mother Nature blew a fierce wind for the opening two rounds, with wind gusts up to 50km an hour whipping through the Augusta pines, which
GA Express 235
GA Express 237