Archive for the ‘Golf / Masters’ Category

I’ve moved — let me show you my new neighborhood…

Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are seeking a little redemption. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan hope to be doing this Sunday. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are so excited because the the AJC has a new digital platform!

OK, not really. But we have moved. You can still find my old blogs on this site. But for the new ones, please go to ajc.com/weblogs/jeff-schultz.

Hopefully we can get through this transition period with a minimal number of hiccups. Also, please note that readers commenting on blogs now need to register first. Just go to my latest blog (about the Falcons) for all of the info.

Thanks for reading, Jeff

Continue reading I’ve moved — let me show you my new neighborhood… »

VIDEO: I was passed over again by Augusta National

Hootie Johnson never much cared about the "point of a bayonet." (AP photo)

Hootie Johnson never much cared about the "point of a bayonet." (AP photo)

(So there was a little hiccup at Cinesport headquarters with the machinery. Here’s a video recap of Augusta National’s decision to add two women members. Just consider this like an NBC Olympics broadcast.)

Augusta National never comments on membership and certainly never had welcomed a woman into their membership before. But the club broke both practices on Monday when it announced former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and financier Darla Moore as members. It was a great and long overdue move by club chairman Billy Payne and Augusta National members, who forged right ahead into . . . well, the 1900s. I spoke about the historic decision with Cinesport’s Noah Coslov (and also told him my shocking recommendation for the potential third woman member).

Some recent typings (no charge)

– MLB’s drug policy too soft — teams should be docked wins

– If Braves serious about East, they need to beat Nationals …

Continue reading VIDEO: I was passed over again by Augusta National »

Happy Georgia ending: Bulldog named Bubba wins Masters

Bubba Watson hugs caddie Ted Scott after winning the Masters in a playoff. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Bubba Watson hugs caddie Ted Scott after winning the Masters in a playoff. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

AUGUSTA – The Georgia feel to it all was slow in coming. There might have been a couple of audible, “Go Bubbas” at the first tee, but certainly no barking, no “Go Dogs,” not even a single Bobby Petrino joke.

But as Sunday at the Masters unfolded, it was easy to wonder, “Wait, are those azaleas or hedges?” Which way to Broad Street? Where’s the Varsity? Augusta National seemed to morph into Sanford Stadium. The galleries were covered in Callaway and FootJoy, not Bulldogs football jerseys, but there were two guys who gave an Athens feel to things when one turned to his friend shortly after Bubba Watson teed off and said: “OK, now. We’ve got five hours. I figure it’s about two to three beers an hour.”

Think Uga in a green jacket.

A Bulldog named Bubba just won the Masters. Who knew Georgia-South Africa could stir the emotions like Georgia-Auburn?

VIDEO: Bubba Watson won the 2012 …

Continue reading Happy Georgia ending: Bulldog named Bubba wins Masters »

Forget the tease — Tiger Woods still pedestrian after all

A picture tells a thousand (curse) words: Woods drops his club after missing birdie putt on No. 15. (AP photo)

A picture tells 1,000 words: Woods drops his club after missing birdie putt on No. 15. (AP photo)

AUGUSTA – Expect the traditional Sunday red shirt. Just not the traditional Sunday drama.

This is when everybody who got drunk off that one victory at Bay Hill (guilty, as charged) has reason to wonder: Will Tiger Woods ever be really great again? Will he ever string together tournament wins like candy beads. Will he ever win another major?

It was Day 3 at the Masters on Saturday. This was the day Woods had to be Woods again. He started the day at 3 over, with a humbling third-round start time of 10:45 a.m., and needed to post a solid red number to make him relevant before the tournament’s final 18 holes. He needed something other than pedestrian, which is what he gave us.

If golf balls were pastel-colored eggs, it looked like an early Easter. There was Woods, hiding his golf ball in pine straw, in sand, behind trees. He made some great shots. But more often than not, all they …

Continue reading Forget the tease — Tiger Woods still pedestrian after all »

If Fred Couples is so old, how did he shoot a 67 at Masters?

Fred Couple's 67 was the best score of the Masters' second round. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Fred Couples' 67 was the best score of the Masters' second round. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

AUGUSTA — A lot can change in 20 years. When Fred Couples won the Masters in 1992, he wasn’t 52, wasn’t ending interviews with, “OK, I have to go now, my back hurts,” wasn’t like one of those old guys in “Cocoon,” peering into the mystical waters of the swimming pool and dreaming of doing a swan dive back to youth.

Also, Rory McIlroy was 2 years old.

But Augusta National has long been a magical place for Couples. He shares the Masters record with Gary Player for making 23 consecutive cuts. Injuries finally ended that streak. But in 2010 he was back and, at age 50, he shot a 66 in the opening round and finished sixth.

Pablo Picasso once said, “Youth has no age.”

Couples said Friday, “I feel like I’m very young when I get here.”

That was apparent again Friday. Nine years removed from his last Tour win, Couples wasn’t merely the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters, he also shot the …

Continue reading If Fred Couples is so old, how did he shoot a 67 at Masters? »

Masters video blog, day 2 (sorry, nothing about Petrino)

Unfortunately, the folks at CineSport did not ask me any questions about Bobby Petrino. I guess they figured Lee Westwood was more interesting.

(Kidding. I love my VidChiefs.)

So here’s a video recap of day one and a look ahead to day two at the Masters. (P.S. It’s cold outside.)

By Jeff Schultz

Continue reading Masters video blog, day 2 (sorry, nothing about Petrino) »

Stewart Cink may have finally found his swing at Masters

Stewart Cink wasn't happy about his putting (like this one on No. 8) but shot a 1-under in the first round of the Masters. (AP photo)

Stewart Cink wasn't happy about his putting, like this one on No. 8, but still shot 1 under in first round of Masters. (AP photo)

AUGUSTA – Imagine being viewed for years as among the best in your field, then suddenly losing it. The swing goes, the confidence wavers, the fearless aggression of youth disintegrates.

“I was fearless,” Stewart Cink said Thursday of his younger days. “But this game gives you some scar tissue.”

Imagine being a professional golfer, surpassing $30 million in a career earnings, even winning the British Open, a career apex — yet believing down deep that magical week at Turnberry in 2009 was actually some aberration. Maybe not lucky, but certainly not an accurate gauge of where you believed things were heading.

“The Open week was kind of one off-week when I played really awesome,” Cink said. “I knew that even the shots I hit well, I was getting away with something. I could hit 10 in a row beautifully but in my heart I knew there was one that could go …

Continue reading Stewart Cink may have finally found his swing at Masters »

R.E.M.’s Mike Mills welcomed into our little Masters’ pool

Mike Mills is a full-time fantasy sports player. I think he also used to be in a band.

Mike Mills (with music industry veteran Mark Williams) used to be in a band or something.

AUGUSTA — Good morning and welcome to the first round of the Masters. More importantly: Go Phil Mickelson!

This momentary lapse in journalistic objectivity (work with me) stems from the AJC’s annual pre-Masters fantasy draft and steak fry. (I drew the third pick in the lottery and, with Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods gone, chose Mickelson with my first pick of, yes, the winning team.)

This year’s draft had an added celebrity presence. Long time musician and composer Mike Mills, a founding member of R.E.M., joined our disturbed little group. He and I became friends through musician Steve Wynn (”Dream Syndicate”), a pal of mine since high school days in Los Angeles. (I’ve written a few pieces on Wynn. Here’s a blog from when he brought his “Baseball Project” band to Atlanta in 2009. Here’s a longer one from Stomp and Stammer magazine.)

A peak into the war room of our annual Masters fantasy draft.

A peak into the war room of our annual Masters fantasy …

Continue reading R.E.M.’s Mike Mills welcomed into our little Masters’ pool »

Billy Payne struggles to keep focus on the Masters

Billy Payne gave a full update on landscape, but not club membership issues. (AP photo)

Billy Payne gave a full update on landscape, but not club membership issues. (AP photo)

AUGUSTA — All will seem well in the world again Thursday morning.

There will be a ceremonial start with three of golf’s museum pieces — Palmer, Nicklaus and Player. That will be followed by the parade of the sport’s current stars – Woods, McIlroy, Mickelson, et. al. The story will again be the Masters, one of the world’s premier events played at one of its more treasured venues, Augusta National.

The Masters is different because the course is so often a bigger story than the players. The Masters is different because even when a marquee name isn’t sitting on top of the leaderboard, there is Sunday back-nine drama, whether it’s Zach Johnson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, shooting a final-round 69 to win a major, or Kenny Perry melting into a pool of tears, or Rory McIlroy self-immolating and hitting a tee shot to somebody’s back porch.

The Masters, however, also is different because of what …

Continue reading Billy Payne struggles to keep focus on the Masters »

Your video Masters preview from Ron Burgundy (or me)

Spent a few minutes with the folks at Cinesport this morning.
OK, that’s enough of an intro . . .

Continue reading Your video Masters preview from Ron Burgundy (or me) »