The Loop

Don't Expect Many Really Low Rounds

April 11, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. -â¿¿ There was no round below 68 on Thursday, a day with seemingly ideal scoring conditions--little wind and soft fairways. Compare that to the first round in 2001, when there were six rounds below 68, including a 65 by Chris DiMarco.

Since the lengthening of the course in 2002 there have been only five first-round scores below 68. There appear to be low scores available Friday--Steve Flesch has already shot a five-under 67, leader Trevor Immelman a 68 and Brandt Snedeker is three under for the day on the 18th hole.

But the days when a player can close with a 65 on Sunday the way Jack Nicklaus did when he won in 1986 might be gone. The lowest final-round score by a Masters winner since the changes in 2002 is 70, although DiMarco did shoot a 67 in 2005 before losing in a playoff to Tiger Woods.

--Ron Sirak