Friday, April 6, 2007

Temperatures Down, Scores Up at Masters

In the first round of this year's Masters, only two players managed to break 70, and only nine were under par. Par indeed was a good score yesterday as a firmer course along with colder than normal temperatures made for difficult scoring conditions - the median score was a four over par 76.

Today is cut day, so be watching closely. Defending champ Phil Mickelson was amongst those to struggle to a 76, with birdies on two of the final four holes just to get there. Tiger Woods had it to one under on 16 and then bogeyed the final two holes to end with a one over par 73. As for the day one leaders, those would be the unheralded Brett Wetterlich and the promising European tour player, Justin Rose - each of whom opened with three under par 69's.


In other sports news, you can't help but feel sorry for the Washington Wizards... in one week they lose not one, but two of their star players! On Sunday, guard Caron Butler went down with a broken finger - he's out approximately 6 weeks. Yesterday, the franchise, Gilbert Arenas, was fallen for three months by a torn left lateral meniscus. While the 39-35 Wizards have all but locked up a playoff spot, it now appears that a first round exit is probably in their future.

For most of the season, the NBA injury bug seemed to be squarely centered here in L.A. as the Lakers and Clippers both have been hit repeatedly by it. For the Lakers, starters Lamar Odom, Luke Walton and Kwame Brown have all lost significant time to injury. Center Chris Mihm and 3-point specialist Vladimir Radmanovic are both done for the season. The Clippers lost starting guard Shaun Livingston due to torn knee ligaments and a dislocated patella a month and a half ago. All-Star Guard Sam Cassell has been bothered by back spasms for more than two weeks now, only playing 16 minutes total in the Clippers' last eight games. Consequently, both L.A. teams have had a very difficult time getting into any sort of consistency or rhythm this year... the only saving grace has been having the privledge of watching Kobe Bryant just take over a few games and will the Lakers to wins... Unfortunately, I'd say both L.A. teams will be making a first round exit in the playoffs - assuming they make it in. Yes, baseball season couldn't have come soon enough for us here!

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