The Loop

Gone with the wind

April 10, 2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Continuing our running theme that somewhere in the bowels of Augusta National there lies a control room where the green jackets can alter the elements, what to make of today's conditions?

After a record first day of scoring at the Masters, the wind is swirling, the pines are swaying, and the greens appear to be firming up (I say "appear" because shockingly, they didn't allow me to test them on my own this morning). Did someone flip a switch? Have the green jackets seen enough red (which our own ubiquitous Tim Rosaforte had hoped against)?

I'm going to venture out on a limb and say no, that even this is outside their control. But either way, the landscape has changed. And while plenty of other player have begun to suffer as a result (see amateur Drew Kittleson, who after eagling the par-4 11th, turned around with a triple bogey on 12) it makes the current run by Chad Campbell all the more impressive.

At 11 under, Campbell is five shots clear of everyone else, but is now heading into Amen Corner. Good luck with that.

-- Sam Weinman