Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club

They said it

Masters 2023: AimPoint daggers, a sad Tiger take on No. 13, JT's sneaky switch and the other best quotes and topics from Tuesday


Ross Kinnaird

AUGUSTA, Ga. — As much as we'd all like it to be Thursday morning already, Masters week is the rare one where the leadup is just as enjoyable as the tournament itself. Tuesday, normally the forgotten day of every single week we roam this planet, features a CVS-receipt-length press conference list, this year's schedule including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, among others.

With so much material to parse through and dissect, we decided to pluck some of our favorite quotes and topics from a full day's worth of chit-chat. Superlatives, anyone?

Best random dagger: Rory McIlroy on AimPoint

If you were perusing Golf Twitter on Sunday, a video of a Drive, Chip and Putt contestant going through the now-infamous AimPoint routine during the putting portion of the competition went viral, and let's just say the comments were colorful. The topic was broached during McIlroy's press conference, leading to a telling exchange between McIlroy and a reporter.

Q. When you work with Brad Faxon, you do games, not drills, on the putting green, and you had these kids out there the other day on 18 hitting putts at Augusta National --

RORY McILROY: I saw some of them AimPointing, like, oh my goodness. (Laughter).

It should be noted that during this answer, McIlroy did a literal, exasperated face palm. Nothing else needed to be said, though he elaborated afterward.

"Bob Rotella tells me all that time. When you were 6 years old, did you read a putt?" McIlroy added. "No, you went purely on instinct. And usually instinct is … as you proceed to get smarter and get more wisdom, you start to question that instinct more and more. But every time you go back to it, it seems like that instinct is the right answer at the start."

I'm normally not one to sing Rory's press conferences praises (enough people do that already), but this is brilliant stuff. We should all be encouraging the youth to emulate McIlroy's pace of play, and while we're at it we should ban AimPoint similar to how MLB banned the shift.

Most "I need to better myself" moment: Max Homa on ... AimPoint

This is half an excuse to use a Homa quote from a question I asked, and half an excuse to stay on the AimPoint topic. Much like the situation with a Drive, Chip and Putt contestant, a video of Homa doing the AimPoint express at the WGC-Dell Match Play went viral. In typical Homa fashion, he actually chimed in on the video and said he'd "work on" speeding up his process. I asked him what that entailed Tuesday.

"I'm going to change up the fact that I turn around a bunch," Homa said. "I noticed I was walking in my own line. I understand that it's just not great to look at, and in the grand scheme of things, I'd like to just make it look like I'm going faster."

Homa went on to explain that he's seen data that shows he's actually not that slow, which is just about the most tour-pro thing I've ever heard. But hey, at least he acknowledged the issue and is going to make the effort to speed it up. That said, he also thinks NBC did him dirty.

"For me looking at that video, I understand this is an entertainment product, I'd like it not to feel you're watching paint dry, and it looked like, when I watched it, it was watching paint dry," he said. "Would have been nice if NBC would have clicked away for 10 seconds and not made me look awful."

Most shoulder-sagging comment: Tiger Woods on No. 13

One of the biggest topics of discussion this week is the lengthening of the 13th hole, which, theoretically, was supposed to bring the true risk-reward factor back to the iconic par 5. Unfortunately, the more you hear from players, the more it sounds like it's now a snoozy three-shotter. The greatest to ever do it all but confirmed that with one crushing comment for fans of the usual chaos and carnage 13 provides.

"I think there will be more … there will be less 3s and 7s on 13 and there will be more 4s and 5s. I think that's probably the best way to describe the hole," Woods said.

Well, that sucks. While we'll admit "Azalea" essentially became a par 4 for the truly long hitters, at least eagle 3s still felt big and there was enough trouble on and around the green to bring big numbers into play. Now it sounds like a ton of guys, Dustin Johnson among them, will be laying up and trying to make birdie and settle for par at worst. It would be a shame to see less "momentous" second shots into that hole this week, which seems very likely with the weather forecast on the weekend.

"Guy you're going to bet after reading this quote" quote: Justin Thomas

Apparently JT switched out putter grips this week, and, naturally, he loves it. Sounds like every other golfer ever.

"In terms of the putter grip, yeah, it's a grip … actually I played with Rory last week, and he had it," Thomas said. "And I've seen it. It's very similar to a grip I've used and won with quite a bit. And my dad had it as well. We played on Sunday, and I picked his up and I said this does feel pretty good. I've traveled with an identical backup every single week, and I just threw it on there to see how it felt, to be perfectly honest, and feels pretty good, so why fight it."

OK, guess I'm adding JT to my betting card now. Why fight it.

Most thoughtful answer that Golf Twitter will hate: Patrick Cantlay on the rollback

The know-it-all blue checkmarks on Golf Twitter have made their stance on the USGA and R&A's rollback proposal very clear: it's the best move for the future of the sport at the professional level, and if you disagree you're an idiot and should not be allowed to speak on the matter ever again. In other words, Patrick Cantlay is an idiot who should never be allowed to speak on the rollback matter ever again, at least based off the rollback take he offered up on Tuesday.

"I see a lot more problems with it than I see good that will come out of it," Cantlay said. "It's a rule that to me seems to primarily affect professional golfers, and I don't see any positives for professional golfers if this rule were to be implemented.

"I don't see how it's reasonable to have the manufacturers spend tens of millions of dollars on creating a golf ball for people whose livelihood depends on the golf ball being as good as it could be and then have zero ROI on that golf ball. It just doesn't make any sort of sense to me, and I think that's the worst … I think that's the worst part about it."

He continued "And not only that, but if you're not going to make it for everybody; so it would be such a bad idea for the amateur golfer to do it, that then it's definitely a bad idea for the pros. It's hard for me to imagine that people that are thinking about this rule say golf is in such a good spot right now, we can't touch it for the amateurs, but we are going to do it for the pros? I mean, I think it's a very small amount of golf courses that the pros play and play tournaments on. And then for them to come out and say, you know, the game is under threat because guys are hitting it too far, I think, that's, you know, searching for a problem more than identifying a big problem for the game of golf. And bifurcation I don't think is good for anybody that plays the game."

Safe to mark Cantlay down as staunchly against the rollback, and he's hardly the only tour pro to have a similar sentiment.

Best "you did WHAT?!" comment: Scottie Scheffler

Scheffler, the defending champion, was asked about some fun things he did with the green jacket this past year. Apparently, earlier in the week, Jordan Spieth mentioned that the coolest thing about winning it is walking around with the suit bag that says "Masters Champion" on it. Sounds like Scheffler missed the memo on that one.

"I did bring it on an airplane once on a commercial flight, which was, I don't know if I'm breaking any rules with that, but it was hidden," Scheffler said. "It definitely wasn't in the "Masters Champion" bag going through the airport."

A commercial flight?! Stuffed in a suitcase?! Probably should have swallowed that one, Scottie.

"I had fun with it. I did the first pitch at a Ranger game," Scheffler added. "There's a really funny picture of me almost breaking the buttons off the jacket because I forgot to unbutton it and I was throwing out the first pitch. That was fun."

Damn, this jacket has been through the ringer.