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Masters Notebook: Gary Woodland matches mark

AUGUSTA, Ga. Woodland matches mark

Gary Woodland’s 30 on the front nine Saturday tied a Masters record set by four players – Johnny Miller (1970), Greg Norman (1988), K.J. Choi (2004) and Phil Mickelson (2009).

A former Division II basketball player at Washburn (Kan.) who transferred to Kansas to play golf, Woodland ended with a 3-under 69 for a three-day total of 216 and is five strokes behind leaders Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth. The highlight of his round was an eagle on the par-5 second hole.

“I was in a groove,” said Woodland. “I mean, I had it going.”

The back nine was another story, with Woodland shooting 3-over 39. He was visibly annoyed with himself after a bogey on No. 18.

Notes

• Rory McIlroy was the first player off Saturday morning. Since there were an odd number of players remaining, McIlroy was solo and played with who is called a “noncompeting marker,” in this case a local amateur named Jeff Knox, who isn’t in the tournament. Knox, a member of Augusta National, actually beat McIlroy, who had a 1-under 71 (he’s 3 over for the tournament), by a shot.

“I thought (Knox) was going to be nice and three-putt the (18th hole) and we would have a halve,” said McIlroy. “He obviously knows this place so well and gets (the ball) around. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone putt as well as he does here. I was thinking of maybe letting him read a few of my putts.”

• Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez is one of six players aged 50 or older who made the cut. And Jimenez – nicknamed the “Mechanic” – shot a 66 Saturday, the lowest round of the tournament.

“If you are 50, it doesn’t mean you cannot play well,” said the pony-tailed Jimenez, 50, who is known to enjoy a post-round cigar and glass of wine. “I’m still moving. I’m still flexible. I still hit the ball longer than ever. I’m competitive, you know.”

His advice for younger golfers?

“Enjoy what you are doing,” he said. “Make exercise to be healthy, not to get overdoing. (Don’t) get injured and smile, because you can’t forget to smile on the golf course.”

• It took a while for Brandt Snedeker to get off the green at the No. 4. That’s because he five-putted. Snedeker missed his first three putts from about 5 feet each, then got close on a 10-footer – that’s how far his third putt slid past the hole – before tapping in for a quadruple-bogey 7. Snedeker shot an 8-over 80 and is 13 strokes back with a three-day total of 224 (also 8 over).

• The Masters announced Saturday that this year’s total purse is $9 million, with $1.62 million going to the winner. Total last year was $8.1 million, with champion Adam Scott pocketing $1.44 million.

Weather

Mostly sunny with a high of 83 and a 10 percent chance of rain. Winds out of the Southeast at 10 mph.

Quoting

• “Not much bothers Jordan.” – Fred Couples, on 20-year-old co-leader Jordan Spieth, who is playing in his first Masters.

• “When you start firing at pins, you can cross the line from aggressive to stupid pretty easy.” – Jim Furyk

• “He definitely likes to play mind games.” – Rickie Fowler, on Tuesday practice partner Phil Mickelson, who jokingly gave him the wrong read on a putt.

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