Crenshaw joins 40-something friends on sidelines At 7-over, he becomes first defending champion since 1989 to miss cut

April 13, 1996|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The second round of the Masters was not kind to the 40-something Americans.

Ben Crenshaw improved three strokes to 74, but his 7-over total was well off the cut of 2-over, and he became the first defending champion since Sandy Lyle in 1989 to fail to qualify for the weekend. There is the matter of a green jacket ceremony, however, to see to tomorrow.

"I was frustrated," Crenshaw said. "I'm going to stay right here and be an innocent bystander."

Tom Watson shot even-par yesterday, but it wasn't enough to make up for his opening-round 75. His 3-over total missed the cut by a stroke, ending his record string of cuts made at 21. Sam Snead completed 24 straight Masters, but only the last seven came after the institution of the 36-hole cut.

Curtis Strange (4-over), Fuzzy Zoeller (3-over) and Tom Kite (8-over) also are going home, and Mark McCumber's 82 included 41 putts.

The guys from the Senior Tour fared better, as Ray Floyd (even-par), (1-under) and Hale Irwin (1-over) will be playing through the weekend.

None of the five amateurs made the cut, as Tiger Woods had his second straight 75.

"It's disappointing," Woods said. "The score didn't show it, but I played better this year than last year."

Scott McCarron, winner of the Freeport-McDermott last month, led the first-time participants at 4-under. Jim Furyk and David Duval also made the cut, but Paul Stankowski won't get a chance at his third straight win.

Stankowski, who won on the Nike Tour before gaining the last spot here with a win in the BellSouth Classic, went 8-over. He double-bogeyed No. 1 yesterday, eagled No. 2 and ballooned to a 78.

Inconsistent Couples

Fred Couples doesn't appear to be in contention, but he did make the cut thanks to a notoriously up-and-down 68.

The 1992 Masters champion won the Tournament Players Championship and $630,000 two weeks ago and tied for fifth at the BellSouth Classic last week, but he opened with a 78 Thursday. He chopped 10 strokes off that with 34's on the front and back nines, but had just six pars, two coming in.

Couples birdied No. 11, but put his 7-iron in Rae's Creek on No. 12 and double-bogeyed the 155-yard, par-3 hole. The sting didn't last, as he birdied 13 and 14. He had a three-putt bogey on No. 15, but birdied 17 and 18.

"It was pretty ridiculous out there for a while," Couples said. "I misplayed the wind on 12. The wind is swirling, and scores are going to go up unless the wind dies down."

Miscellaneous

Greg Norman's two-day total of 132 is one stroke off the Masters record set in 1976 by Floyd. That was five years before bent grass greens were planted here. . . . Both of Norman's major titles came in the British Open. Nick Faldo has three British titles, two Masters. . . . The three easiest holes of the day were par-5's, but the next easiest was No. 18, which surrendered 25 birdies and only 18 bogies. . . . Happy 32nd birthday, Davis Love III.

Pub Date: 4/13/96

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