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 Post subject: The US Masters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:34 am 
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England's Paul Casey believes he has his best ever chance of winning a major as he prepares for this week's Masters.

The 31-year-old has risen to a career-best sixth in the world rankings after securing his first PGA Tour victory at the Houston Open on Sunday.

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"This is huge. I love the Masters and I feel it's my best opportunity of a major," said Casey.

"The course is set up very well for me and winning [in Houston] isn't a jinx like winning the par-three contest."

The Masters par-three competition takes place on the Wednesday before the tournament proper gets under way.

But players have begun to view success in the event as something of a curse, with no player ever winning both the par-three and the Masters in the same year.


It is relatively rare for a player to win the Masters after finishing at the head of a field in a regular tournament the previous week, but Casey is drawing inspiration from two stars who did just that.

"Phil Mickelson has won the week before and gone on to win at Augusta, and Sandy Lyle has done it as well - and it would be nice to be another Brit to do that," he said.

Casey has an excellent track record at Augusta, finishing no lower than joint-11th in his three appearances there.

"Self-belief is a very difficult thing to explain and to work on because you don't want to be arrogant," he added.

"You don't want to be cocky but you have to have belief in yourself. For me it's just been a lot of hard work, playing a lot of golf, and a bit of time.

"Hopefully I'm not any different than I was as a kid growing up.

"I now have that belief when I step onto the golf course. I'm looking to beat guys and not worry about the others. I just what to think about what I'm going to do to get around the golf course in as few shots as possible.

"It's time to start believing that I'm in that elite group and that I can be a top 10 player in the world - maybe I can be top five. We'll see when we get there."

Casey moved up to sixth in the rankings from 12th place, having started the year 41st and without a win in two years.

But this year he has won in Abu Dhabi and Texas and also reached the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play.

Tiger Woods retains the number one spot for a 200th successive week.

Former British amateur champion Michael Hoey has also benefited from a title win.

His first European Tour triumph, in Portugal, propels him 125 places to 148th spot.


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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:36 am 
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Rising star Rory McIlroy believes he is capable of challenging for victory on his Masters debut this week.

McIlroy says he's "just out to enjoy myself" at Augusta but he insists his relaxed approach and lack of experience doesn't mean that he will not contend.

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"If I can go out and play the way I have been playing, there's no reason why I can't go and try and win it," the Northern Irishman told BBC Sport.

"I don't have the bad thoughts or any negatives to think back on."

McIlroy soaked up the Masters atmosphere during his first official practice round on Monday and he was amazed at the size of the galleries so early in the week.

"It's only Monday but there were 30,000 or 40,000 people around the golf course. It's great to be here and I'm just going to enjoy every minute of it."

McIlroy has only played five professional events in the US but he is already a big name on the PGA Tour.

NBC golf commentator and former Open and US champion Johnny Miller said over the weekend that the youngster "has all the shots" and McIlroy has already become a favourite with the galleries on the other side of the pond.

"It's pretty cool. This is my fifth tournament over here and people have got to know me a little better.

"It's definitely a nice thing to be walking around the golf course and people shouting your name and wishing you good luck," added McIlroy, who claimed his first European Tour win at the Dubai Desert Classic in February.

The 19-year-old seems unfazed by the elevated company in which he is playing with this week.

World number one Tiger Woods has been the main inspiration for the Northern Irishman's rise to the top at such an early age.

Indeed, McIlroy says that he can "probably tell you every shot that Tiger hit" in the American's first Masters triumph 12 years ago.

"He was only 21 and you could sort of relate to someone that age. You think to yourself, 'Well, hopefully when I'm that age, I can do something like that'.

"It was definitely inspirational to see someone come out and make such a great start to their professional career.

"That's what I've always wanted to do. If I can play well enough this week, I might be able to emulate it."

McIlroy added he would love to face Woods in the final group on Sunday.

"It would be an occasion that you would relish," he said.

"That's what you've practised so hard for your whole life, to be able to play in the final group of a major with the best player in the world."


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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:42 am 
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Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, announced today changes that have been made to the grounds and golf course for the 2009 Masters.

“We are very excited about the progress made this summer with the construction of additional parking and other Tournament support facilities, which are part of our long range plans,” Payne said. “For 2009, there will be approximately 4,500 more parking spaces located west of Berckmans Road, and significant progress has also been made toward the completion of our new state of the art practice facility, which will be ready for the 2010 Masters. We also completed construction on our new tournament first aid and security facilities.”

Payne also said, “As we’ve done nearly every year since the inception of the Masters, we evaluate the golf course and make refinements we think are necessary. This year, only minor changes were implemented and all were made in order to provide greater flexibility in the event of adverse weather conditions, which we have experienced the last couple of years.”

Those changes for the 2009 Masters are:

Hole No. 1: Back of tee reduced 7 yards to improve patron circulation between the tee and the practice putting green. Tee marker relocated and Masters scorecard changed from 455 yards to 445 yards. Green rebuilt for agronomic reasons and a heating and cooling system installed.

Hole Nos. 5 and 6: Greens rebuilt for agronomic reasons and heating and cooling systems installed.

Hole No. 7: Significant landscaping completed on the rear of the tee to reforest a large area which was left open due to the removal of a tournament storage building in 2005. An additional 10 yards added to the front of the tee without necessitating a change in length to the hole.

Hole No. 15: 8-9 yards added to the front of the tee, and a couple of trees removed on the right side of the fairway. Scorecard yardage remained 530 yards.


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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:11 pm 
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Would sex wee if Tiger or Padraig win it :winkkiss:


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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:51 pm 
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World number one Tiger Woods believes he can repeat his feat of a Grand Slam of majors and he intends to start with victory at the US Masters.

Woods, going for a 15th major win, tees off alongside Stewart Cink and Jeev Milkha Singh at 1852 BST on Thursday.

"Well, I know I can do it - I've done it before (in 2001)," said four-time Augusta winner Woods.

"It's just a matter of winning the right four at the right time, so hopefully it will start this week."

And asked if he expected to win at Augusta this week, the American simply said: "Always."

Defending champion Trevor Immelman will begin his campaign 11 minutes earlier while Padraig Harrington, winner of the last two majors, starts at 1534 BST with Mike Weir and Ryuji Imada.

USPGA and Open champion Harrington is halfway towards a Grand Slam but Woods has warned the Irishman of the size of his task.

"It's not going to be easy," he said. "I remember trying to do it myself and it's hard to peak four straight times.

"There are a lot of factors that go into it. Having your game come together, playing well at the right time and on top of that getting the right breaks.

"People don't realise, just one gust of wind here or there is a shot that you don't think could cost you the tournament on Thursday, but sometimes it does."

Woods is searching for his fifth Masters victory in his first major appearance since recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.

The 33-year-old underwent the operation after a brilliant play-off victory over fellow American Rocco Mediate at the US Open at Torrey Pines in June, despite playing through severe pain.

Woods underlined his prospects for a 15th major title after victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill last week in only his third tournament of the year.

"The week at Bay Hill was great, to feel that rush and see how my body would react," said Woods. "After months of rehabilitation, it felt great to hit shots.

"It's nice to have a little momentum going into the Masters. The win at Bay Hill validated all the hard work after my knee surgery."

Harrington himself has cooled talk of a hat-trick ahead of Thursday's opening round.

"It's certainly adding a bit to the story but it's gotten to the level that adding any more on doesn't make any difference in how I feel," said Harrington.

"It's a chance to win another major. It's a chance to win the Masters. All of those things bring their own pressure, (but) it doesn't make the pressure any different to turning up at any major and trying to win it."

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy tees off in the last group at 1903 BST while Englishman Oliver Wilson is alongside Spaniard Sergio Garcia and Australian Stuart Appleby who tee off at 1556 BST.

And Garcia says that despite Woods' lack of match practice, he is still the player everyone should fear.

"Tiger is always the man to beat, wherever and whenever he plays. I need to regain a little bit of confidence at The Masters and then we will see if I can get it going again," he said.

"Last year I played better but didn't putt great. I was just at the beginning of my work with Stan Utley, my short-game coach, and Augusta's greens are not the easiest when you're just starting on some new things.

"Maybe I was trying to guide the ball too much to ensure I was in the right spots off the tee. It's better to be a bit loose and that's what I'm going to try to do this year.

"If you try to change your game for Augusta, that is when you start going south. We'll see how it goes, but I'm certainly looking forward to playing it again."


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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:07 pm 
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Hate the fact its easter weekend and i dont get to spend all weekend in front of the tv watching it :winkkiss:


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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:08 pm 
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gracey wrote:
Hate the fact its easter weekend and i dont get to spend all weekend in front of the tv watching it :winkkiss:


Hate the fact I'm at the mother in laws on Sunday night instead of watching it.


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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:10 pm 
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Ooooooo at least I wont be there :P Sky plus for me.....not the same though :thumbdown: :winkkiss:


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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:51 pm 
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gracey wrote:
Hate the fact its easter weekend and i dont get to spend all weekend in front of the tv watching it :winkkiss:


Love the fact its easter weekend and i do get to spend all weekend in front of the tv watching it

:buzzin:

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:56 pm 
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Chad Campbell :ohohoh:


-9 through 14


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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:16 pm 
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he's ripping up the course

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:09 am 
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mr stew wrote:
he's ripping up the course


Won't that make it awkward for the players behind him? What if their ball lands in the damaged areas? :shrug:

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:00 am 
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Sheasy's Bum Hamster wrote:
mr stew wrote:
he's ripping up the course


Won't that make it awkward for the players behind him? What if their ball lands in the damaged areas? :shrug:


:D

would they be allowed to take a drop shot without a penalty

will be interesting though, he's gone down to only one ahead over night, can see there being some more tricker pin positions today, course was very favourable yesterday

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:04 am 
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weather and course conditions yestreday did make it quite an easy day for a lot of them, like you say a tweak in pin position today and hopefully a bit more of a breeze would make it a bit more interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:13 am 
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conditions were bang on yesterday, will be good to see some of yesterdays early starters playing this evening, hopefully the weather stays good for young mcilroy, he didn't seem to get much coverage yesterday even though he was in the last group

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:25 pm 
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woohoo, mcilroy has just birdied the 3th and 4th, 2 under, tied for 15th

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:03 pm 
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woohoo, 2 more birdies, 4 under, tied for 6th, just cleared the 13th, com on live coverage

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:26 pm 
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its all just gone wrong for mciloy, just hit a triple bogey on the 18th, has finsihed in the club house at 1 over, makes the cut though, and he's here for the weekend,

good luck for the final two rounds mate

:thumbup:

3 hours of live coverage just beginning on the beeb

:yaay:

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:43 pm 
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is ken annoying anyone else at this stage, any time he comes on now to do one of his reports on the beeb i'm nearly cringing

:sos:

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 Post subject: Re: The US Masters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:45 pm 
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:ohmy:

mcilroy is being investigated by the rules commitee over an incident at the 18th, after a bunker shot he was seen to kick to sand before taking a second bunker shot, it could be seen that he was testing the sand and there fore its considered penalty shot, if this is the case, he would be disqualified as he signed his card with out the penalty being declared

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