Augusta, Ga. -- One of the many quaint Masters traditions is that the previous year's four major winners occupy the top four slots on the leader boards around the golf course regardless of how well some of those starting earlier have done. As PGA champion, Y.E. Yang's name occupied the fourth spot. As of this writing, it still does -- except Yang is actually tied for first place, his five-under-par 67 knotting him with Tom Watson, Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson, with whom Yang was paired.
The 38-year-old Yang hasn't done much on the PGA Tour this year outside of a third-place showing at the Waste Management Open. But he found his game today at Augusta National, hitting 14 greens in regulation and needing but 29 putts.
"I was just trying to make even today," said Yang. Given his track record at the Masters, that seemed almost a lofty goal. In six previous Masters, Yang had a 74.67 stroke average in six rounds, with no score better than 73. But the 65 had people projecting other thoughts.
Y.E. Slam anyone?
"I never really thought about it that way," said Yang of the possibility of winning back-to-back majors. "It would be nice, yes, but I really don't have a conscious feeling of trying to win back-to-back majors."
-- E. Michael Johnson