Another exciting day at Augusta National on Friday, and the wind played a bigger role than Thursday. I spent some time at both the 10th green and the 18th tee, both tower positions that afford the best view at either location. With a big camera at 10 and now a small camera and a 3D camera at 18, no one gets a better view.
On 10, the pin was probably at it’s easiest position of the tournament, the middle left side of the green. There were a number of birdies made and truly no catastrophes in the entire time that I was on the tower. In fact it was a pretty quiet day. Tomorrow’s pin position will determine most of the results, and having been on the hole for eight years now, I know it may not follow precedent. Today should have been on the front of the green!
After the last group went through the 10th green, I went to the tower on 18 tee and helped bring in the last eight or nine groups. My main job is to tell the broadcasters who is NOT using driver (today it was Schwartzel and Tiger) and to let our spotters know who is hitting on the tee. The reason the broadcast seems to know everything is that there an army of us feeding information, and I am merely one of the foot soldiers.
The 18th tee saw a number of bad drives in the last few groups, but the highlight by far was Ian Poulter. Before he got to the tee. In the 45 minutes leading up to his arrival, I couldn’t help but notice a young man who was probably about 12 years old dressed and from head to foot in bright orange. He was obviously a huge Rickie Fowler fan and, Rickie was in the last group today. Ian Poulter arrived at the tee having already missed the cut. He proceeded to hit a poor drive into the trees on the right and then walked over to the young man and said “Happy Christmas” and handed him the driver. For the next 15 minutes the young man looked stunned. We filmed him during the broadcast and may well show the clip again this week. Ian made this young man’s year and proved to be a good guy!
In summing up, the real highlight of the day was a 14 year-old boy making the cut. I cannot begin to explain this to anyone who doesn’t play golf. Watch Liang on the weekend and be truly amazed.
Tomorrow is moving day. Tune in for more from Augusta.
Ian Grant is a PGA teaching professional and a member of the teaching faculty of the PGA of America. He can be contacted at Oak Brook Golf Club 630-990-3032 in the summer and White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville 630-422-1060 in the winter. You can contact Ian directly at 708-917-8951, or at Iansgolf@aol.com.