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Masters Notebook By David Scott

Mickelson off to a shaky start

Phil Mickelson had a day he’d rather forget Thursday at the Masters.

Mickelson, a three-time champion, had a triple-bogey 7 on the par-4 seventh hole and a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 15th on his way to a 4-over par 76. That was good enough for a tie for 67th with seven others.

“I’ve got a lot of work to do (Friday) just to make the cut,” said Mickelson. “I’ve got some issues.”

He said he actually didn’t play that badly, but he hasn’t played a lot in recent weeks because of a sprained back and that rustiness hasn’t totally worn off.

“That’s probably a sign right there of making these kinds of mistakes,” said Mickelson. “When I’m competitively sharp, those mistakes you just don’t make. You don’t throw those shots away out there.”


In 2012, Watson won the Masters by beating Oosthuizen on the second playoff hole.

Since then, Oosthuizen, a South African who won the 2010 British Open, has struggled with a back injury.

“Some days it’s good, some days it’s not,” said Oosthuizen, whose 3-under 69 is tied with Watson and Adam Scott. “I’m managing it pretty good, knowing what I should and shouldn’t do.”

One thing he said he needs to avoid is picking up his toddler daughter Sophia when she runs to him.

“That’s tough not to do,” said Oosthuizen. “But, yeah, I just need to manage it some.”

“I was probably better at hockey when I was younger than golf,” said Blixt, who briefly led on the front nine Thursday. “And then I played golf totally. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Why the change to golf?

“I grew up,” Blixt said.

“Can a 50-year-old win here?” Couples said. “I think so. I’m one of them.”

Couples said 50-somethings Bernhard Langer and Sandy Lyle are also capable of winning.


Mostly sunny Friday with a high of 79. No chance of rain; humidity expected to be about 50 percent.


“We have all competed hard against each other. Even a tee shot like this, the question was asked, who hit it farther.” – Jack Nicklaus, after hitting his ceremonial opening tee shot with fellow legends Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

“Par. I made par. Give me some credit, man.” – Brandt Snedeker when asked about what a reporter thought was a bogey when Snedeker took a penalty on the 13th hole.

“It was nothing out of the ordinary.” – Kevin Stadler on seeing his father Craig’s name on the scoreboard.