PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Tiger tees off, Justin Rose making a move, Charley Hoffman leads

Jordan Spieth chasing history

Jordan Spieth was on fire, and had a real chance of matching (or breaking) 63 on Thursday, the lowest round ever shot in a major. He Spieth was eight-under through 14 holes, before bogeying the 15th hole. He went on to shoot 64. Not bad for a 21-year-old...


__Even when he hits it in the trees, Tiger's keeping his sense of humor

After his terrible drive on the 9th hole, which flew so far left that it sailed onto the next fairway, Tiger kept it together pretty well. According to Geoff Shackelford, reporting from Augusta National:

After hitting his drop-kick drive off the 9th tee, Tiger's drive clipped a pine and finished in the 9th fairway. When he approached caddy Joe LaCava in the 1st fairway, he yelled out loud enough for all to hear: "It's a fairway hit, Joey." LaCava did not laugh but the crowd did. Woods salvaged an impressive bogey at the 9th to move to one-over-par on his opening nine.__

__Tiger's caddie shows off his true allegiance

Tiger's caddie, it turns out, loves the New York Rangers.

Tiger Woods' caddie is showing off his @NYRangers t-shirt at Augusta National

— Luke Kerr-Dineen (@LukeKerrDineen) April 9, 2015 __

__The race for low Watson

Tom Watson is 65 and hasn't won a major since 1983. Bubba Watson is 36 and is the defending Masters champion. On Thursday, both Watsons shot 71. If Tom makes the cut tomorrow, he'll become the oldest player ever to make the cut -- although that might be selling him short. If he keeps playing like this, he might find himself "Low Watson" by the end of the week.__

Outplayed my expectations today. So much for expectations! #TheMasters

— Tom Watson (@TomWatsonPGA) April 9, 2015 __Tiger's first chip

After a bogey on the first hole followed by a birdie on the second, Tiger drove his ball into chipping distance on the short par-4 third. Needless to say, everyone was pretty nervous.__

Tiger is just short of the green at number 3. The world awaits his 1st chip shot.

— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) April 9, 2015

🚿 Tiger chip shot coming up 🚿

— Trevor Reaske (@TrevorReaske) April 9, 2015

A critical test of Tiger's short game. Refreshing....Refreshing....

— Sam Weinman (@samweinman) April 9, 2015

Never been more nervous to watch a chip on a minimally animated shot tracking website before

— Tony Manfred (@tonymanfred) April 9, 2015

Tiger's chip goes...over to back fringe

— Michael Shamburger (@mshamburger1) April 9, 2015 __Tiger's off the tee . . . and he's way left

Well, he's back! Back struggling off the first tee. Tiger proves that he hasn't figured out how to hit one straight off the first tee. Tiger just teed off with Jimmy Walker and Jamie Donaldson on No. 1.

And apparently Tiger hooked it way left. But he found the green, hitting it to 40 feet. At least he won't have to hit a chip shot!

Tiger misses 1st fairway wide right with a 3-wood. And thus the saga begins...

— Ron Sirak (@ronsirak) April 9, 2015__

__A brief digression...

We'll get back to Masters stuff imminently, but it's worth pausing for a moment to appreciate this article James Hahn, who's in the field this week, wrote for The Players Tribune. It's titled "Letter to my younger self," and in it Hahn describes the long road he took to becoming a PGA Tour winner, which included as a shoe salesman at Nordstrom:

Being frugal earlier on in your career will help you more than you'll ever know. It's OK to have one pair of jeans. It's OK to have one pair of shoes. It's OK to stay at cheap hotels. When everyone else on the tour is out ordering Patron shots all night, opt to babysit your beer. You didn't grow up with a silver spoon in your mouth, so you can't afford to keep up with these people who did.__

__Philly Mick doing Philly Mick things

This is a fairly adequate way to play the par-3 eighth hole.

262 yards out into the green? No problem. Phil Mickelson knocked it to two feet for a routine eagle. He's back to 2-under par.


__Justin Rose making his move

What do they say ... horses for courses, right? Rose is playing in his 10th Masters, and has never missed the cut. That's pretty amazing.

Rose just drained a huge birdie at the 10th hole to move to 4-under. He's now one back of Charley Hoffman.

With seven finishes in the top 25 at Augusta National, experience is on Rose's side, for sure. And we know how much that matters at ANGC.

Here's a cool shot of Rose playing the 12th hole in the third round of the 2004 Masters:

Phil Mickelson: Off to a hot start!

Lefty said before the Masters started that he's finally making more birdies, so he liked his chances. Usually with Phil, it's not the birdies that are issues. It's the bad bogeys!

But Mickelson has two of them already on Nos. 2 and 3. It's a sight we're used to seeing -- Mickelson up on top of the leader board.

Rory making a mess of the par-5 second hole

This is painful to look at. Twitter freaked out that Rory's second shot went four yards. But he took a drop from the miniature water hazard to the left of the second. Still, not good. He'll do well to make a par here.

Rory mentioned in his presser he needs to play the par-5s better. This is not what he wanted.

— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) April 9, 2015

The coolest GIF of the day

The big three, then and now. Golfing royalty if there ever was such a thing.

1965 to now: Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus at the Masters.

— Adam Sarson (@Adam_Sarson) April 9, 2015

Rory's pretty good at golf

Fourth? FOURTH?! Come on, Rory. Not good enough.

Rory McIlroy's position on the leaderboard after his last 8 Major rounds: 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 4th, 1st, 1st, 1st.

— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) April 9, 2015

Naming your baby Magnolia Lane? That's the ultimate

If your last name is Lane, and you live in Augusta, this has to run through your mind. Regardless, naming your baby Magnolia Lane is the ultimate Masters fan move.

Kudos to the Augusta Chronicle's Twitter for discovering. Apparently they call her Maggie for short. This photo of her with a mini Masters putter is gold.

Tyler Lane, Maggie's dad, said he beat out his brothers to having the first girl so he could name her Magnolia. The pride of the family!

Magnolia "Maggie" Lane is ready for her first @TheMasters!!! @AUG_Masters #Masters2015

— Tyler Lane (@TylerLaneBHS) April 9, 2015

Ian Poulter vs. @BarstoolTrent__

__On Wednesday, this happened:

Hey @IanJamesPoulter I have you missing the cut. #USA

— BarstoolTrent (@BarstoolTrent) April 9, 2015 Then shortly after, this happened:

He's so missing the cut. All up in his head. #USA

— BarstoolTrent (@BarstoolTrent) April 9, 2015 Then, on early on Thursday, this happened:


Tiring himself out early. He's in big trouble. #USA

— BarstoolTrent (@BarstoolTrent) April 9, 2015 'What Is This Black Magic?!'__

Does Darren Rovell not know what shot tracker is? Great spot by @NoLayingUp:

Next time Rovell tries to report on golf I'll try to remember that he didn't know shot tracker existed until today

— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) April 9, 2015 Johnny Miller Watches Arnie's Opening Tee Shot

Johnny Miller came to watch the ceremonial opening tee shot for his first time on Thursday. Asked why by's editor Sam Weinman, Miller said that it was the spectacle of Arnie that drew him there:

__"You don't know how long Arnie's going to be around," Johnny Miller said of Arnold Palmer, whose participation in the ceremony was questionable after a series of health troubles over the winter. "I knew he's fallen a couple of times, you can see his balance isn't very good. But it was pretty gutsy for him to get up there and hit."

Ever the analyst, Miller noted Palmer's tee shot was a "low, quick hook that almost hit some people."

And he wasn't the only one. __

Fowler, Bubba and Keegan were all out on the first tee watching the Big 3. Pretty cool. Also, Fowler's girl.

— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) April 9, 2015 Inspirational Tweet Of The Day

__Two-time heart-transplant Erik Compton, who finished T-2 in the 2014 U.S. Open, helped put things in perspective as this year's Masters kicked-off.

I drew this when I was a kid, and now the day is here. It was worth the wait! @TheMasters #DonateLife

— Erik Compton (@ErikCompton3) April 9, 2015 __

__Honorary Tee Shots

The 2015 Masters is officially underway! What a beautiful sentence. The big three -- Arnie, Jack and Gary -- got the tournament underway by each hitting their honorary opening tee shots.

The Big Three hit their tee shots as Honorary Starters. The 2015 Masters has officially begun. #themasters

— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 9, 2015Only one thing left to do now...

— Ashley Mayo (@AshleyKMayo) April 9, 2015