The Loop

Calling Captain Corey Pavin

April 06, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- While most of the patrons were still being mesmerized Tuesday by the presence of Tiger Woods, who went off for his second Masters practice round at 8 a.m. sharp with close friend Mark O'Meara, their myopia caused them to overlook the powerhouse foursome in the following group.

Two-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson made his first appearance at Augusta National GC, and joining him on the tee was a likely trio of U.S. Ryder Cup teammates in Sean O'Hair, Hunter Mahan and Dustin Johnson. Mickelson got the crowd -- at least what remained at the first tee while most everyone else stalked Woods -- applauding when his high-fading drive split the fairway, but it was Johnson, winner earlier this year at Pebble Beach, that drew gasps with a mammoth drive. (No wonder some think he's got a green jacket in his future.)

We're sure U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin will hear all about their four-ball soon enough.

An interesting dynamic to the early Tuesday proceedings occurred just before the foursome got going. Mickelson's caddie, Jim Mackay, actually proceeded onto the tee a few minutes before, while Woods and O'Meara were preparing to play, and he even shared a laugh with Woods. Mickelson stayed behind on the practice putting green. So did Butch Harmon, Mickelson's swing instructor, who, by the way, used to be Woods' coach.

-- Dave Shedloski