Pate: 'Woods better than everyone else playing game' Leader's repertoire wows '76 U.S. Open champion

Masters notebook

April 13, 1997|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Augusta National; Guinness Golf Records, Facts and Champions. Pub Date: 4/13/97 SUN STAFF

AUGUSTA, GA. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ARTICLE. — AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Jerry Pate has watched from a distance throughout the week, waiting for Tiger Woods to come through Amen Corner. He can relate to Woods, not so much in terms of talent but in what it means to win a major championship at such a young age.

It was 21 years ago that Pate, then 22 and fresh out of the University of Alabama, won the U.S. Open in Atlanta. They talked about him as the next Jack Nicklaus. But injuries wiped out much of Pate's promise, and he would not win another major.

"If I had 10 first-round picks in a pool for this year's Masters, I would pick him every time," Pate said before Woods widened his lead from three shots to nine in the 61st Masters with a 7-under-par 65. "He's got it. I think he knows he's got it."

Pate was able to come from behind to beat John Mahaffey and win at the Atlanta Athletic Club, a 5-iron from the fringe of the 18th fairway setting up the clinching putt. Hitting middle irons was Pate's forte; Woods barely uses them.

"He plays such a different game than anybody else out here, or anyone has who has come before," Pate said. "In the last 22 years, I've never seen anyone as self-assured. I've never seen anyone with the shots he has. Tiger Woods is better than everyone else playing the game right now."

Funk seeks top 24

Fred Funk is playing better than in any of his three previous trips to Augusta National. After a 3-under 69 yesterday, Funk, a former University of Maryland coach, is at even-par 216. He needs to finish among the top 24 and ties to insure a trip back next year, something he has not previously done.

"The difference is that my attitude's a lot easier than it's been before," said Funk, whose best previous finish was a tie for 38th in 1994. "I'm even playing a lot better than I'm scoring. [Automatically qualifying] is a big goal of mine. I'd love to get back."

Green critical of Floyd

Ken Green, who has often gotten in trouble with his mouth during an up-and-down PGA career, found himself in the middle of two separate controversies yesterday.

First, Green took a sip of beer from a friend's cup in the gallery during the Friday round he played with Arnold Palmer, then he made disparaging remarks about former Masters champion Ray Floyd.

"I always wanted to have a beer with Arnie on the golf course," said Green, who faces a possible fine from the tour. It is against PGA Tour rules to consume alcohol on the course. However, the Masters is not an official PGA Tour event.

Palmer even joked about it when it happened, saying to Green, pTC "Why didn't you bring me one?"

But it was his comments about Floyd that will likely get Green into more trouble.

Green, who is under treatment for a chemical imbalance that causes depression, called Floyd a "dirtball and a cheater" for an incident that he alleged took place during the 1987 Doral Open in Miami, Floyd's hometown. Green said Floyd took an illegal drop during the tournament.

Floyd, who like Green missed the cut here, declined to comment.

Sifford thrilled

Charlie Sifford, 74, never played in the Masters, but he said he is doing the next best thing this week in watching Woods on television.

"I am watching my grandson," Sifford said from his home in Kingwood, Texas. "That's my grandson. I sent him a fax the first part of the week."

The first African-American to play the Masters was Lee Elder in 1975. Jim Thorpe and Calvin Peete followed and Woods is the fourth.

Sifford was a two-time winner on the PGA Tour after he turned pro in 1954 at the age of 32, including the 1969 Los Angeles Open, but the Masters invitation rules were different then and neither victory enabled him to play the Masters.

"This is a kid who's doing what I wanted to do but never could. It makes me feel like a newborn baby."

Nicklaus vs. Woods

A comparison of Jack Nicklaus' 64 in third round of 1965 Masters, when he set tournament-record 271 later matched by Ray Floyd, and Tiger Woods' 65 yesterday (N-Nicklaus; W-Woods). Although Woods has wowed fans with his length, he used similar clubs on approach shots to Nicklaus, who was 25 at the time:

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Score .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Irons used

Hole .. .Yds ...Par ..... .. ...N..W .. .. .. .. .. ...on approaches

1 .. .. .400 .. ..4 .. .. .. ...4 .4 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-SW; W-SW

2 .. .. .555 .. ..5 .. .. .. ...4 .4 .. .. .. .. ..N-bad drive; W-9I

3 .. .. .355 .. ..4 .. .. .. ...4 .4 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-PW; W-PW

4 .. .. .220 .. ..3 .. .. .. ...2 .3 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-4I; W-8I

5 .. .. .450 .. ..4 .. .. .. ...4 .3 .. .. .. .. .. .. . .N-6I; W-PW

6 .. .. .190 .. ..3 .. .. .. ...2 .3 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-6I; W-8I

7 .. .. .365 .. ..4 .. .. .. ...3 .3 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-PW; W-SW

8 .. .. .530 .. ..5 .. .. .. ...4 .4 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-3I; W-2I

9 .. .. .420 .. ..4 .. .. .. ...4 .4 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-PW; W-SW

10 .. ...470 .. ..4 .. .. .. ...4 .4 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-8I; W-8I

11 .. ...445 .. ..4 .. .. .. ...4 .3 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. N-8I; W-9I

12 .. ...155 .. ..3 .. .. .. ...3 .3 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-8I; W-8I

13 .. ...475 .. ..5 .. .. .. ...4 .5 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-5I; W-4I

14 .. ...420 .. ..4 .. .. .. ...4 .4 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-7I; W-SW

15 .. .. 520 .. ..5 .. .. .. ...4 .4 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-5I; W-6I

16 .. ...190 .. ..3 .. .. .. ...2 .3 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-6I; W-8I

17 .. ...400 .. ..4 .. .. .. ...4 .4 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-8I; W-SW

18 .. ...420 .. ..5 .. .. .. ...4 .3 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...N-PW; W-SW

In 3,495 36 33 33

Out 3,485 36 31 32

Ttl 6,980 72 64 65

CODE: SW--sand wedge; PW--pitching wedge; 4I--4-iron; 5I--5-iron; 6I--6-iron; 7I--7-iron; 8I--8-iron; 9I--9-iron.

NOTE: Some holes may have played to differing lengths depending upon tee setup but course remains basically the same.

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