Slogging players do a slow burn

`It was over the line,' says Cink in battling standing water on green


The Masters

April 13, 2002|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

AUGUSTA, Ga. - The second round of the 66th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club was a day only a mudder could love.

What started out as a soggy day in Georgia turned sunny for a short time in early afternoon before a late-afternoon thunderstorm turned this hallowed piece of property into a gaggle of gloppy fairways and mushy greens.

"If this was the PGA Tour, we wouldn't have played," Brad Faxon said after slopping his way to a 3-over 75 for a two-round total of 2-over 146. "It was bordering on laughable the first three holes."

Said reigning PGA champion David Toms, whose 2-over 74 left him at 147, "It's the wettest I've ever seen the golf course and not play lift, clean and place. There was casual water on every hole. It wasn't mud. It was splat."

Even former champion Sandy Lyle, who is used to such conditions in his native Scotland, said, "I had to wait 20 minutes while they [sponged] water off the fifth green."

Stewart Cink was steamed despite shooting 2-under 70, putting him at even-par 144 for the tournament.

"When you have standing water on the green, that's above and beyond what we should do in a major championship," said Cink. "It was over the line. No question."

Tournament officials had no comment, but the rules committee had deemed the course suitable for play after examining it on several occasions.

A sinking feeling

Tom Watson had trouble with the water on the par-3 12th hole - the kind you hit your ball into. Watson put his tee shot into the Rae's Creek's tributary fronting the green, then put his shot from a drop area into the pond, as well.

It led to a disastrous, quadruple bogey 7 for Watson, who was 2 under at the time. He finished with a 4-over 76, leaving the two-time champion at 3-over 147.

Asked about the quad, Watson said, "Have you seen the movie Alien`? That's where the thing comes out of your chest. Well that's what it feels like on No. 12 when that happens."

Native daughter

Frances Taylor has been coming to the Masters since she was a girl growing up in Augusta. When she was in college at the University of Florida in the early 1970s, she applied for tickets of her own.

"I had no clue how special it was," Taylor, now a Baltimore attorney, recalled yesterday. "I went on the waiting list in about 1973 or 1974 and forgot about it."

She kept coming to the tournament by using her family's tickets. Finally, in 1991, Taylor wrote Augusta National to see how far up the waiting list she had climbed.

Two years later, she got a letter saying that she could buy tickets.

"It was amazing," she said. "The one good thing I did in college - aside from going to college - was applying for my Masters tickets."

Taylor has come nearly every year with her British-born husband, Simon, and now with their two daughters, 10-year-old Katherine and 8-year-old Emma. It's an opportunity for Taylor to visit her stepmother, who still lives in town.

"It's a good excuse to have a nice family trip," said Taylor.

And then there were 2

Frank Lickliter, who won last year's Kemper Insurance Open, withdrew from the tournament before yesterday's second round with a hand injury. Lickliter, who shot 73 on Thursday, became the second player to pull out because of an injury, following former PGA champion Hal Sutton (back).

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