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Tim Bourret’s Masters Blog – Friday, April 12

Tim Bourret’s Masters Blog – Friday, April 12

Glover Makes the Cut Thanks to 10-Shot Rule…and TigerLucas Glover carded his second consecutive round of 74 on Friday and made the cut at the 2013 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA. It is the third time in six career appearances at Augusta that Glover has made the cut. His best finish is 20th 2007.

Glover made the cut based on the 10-shot rule. He is in 55th place after the second round, one better than his position after the first round. The top 50 players advance to the third round, or anyone within 10 shots of the lead. The lead is held by Jason Day at six under par. Had Day made a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole on Friday, Glover would have missed the cut.

Glover had nine-hole scores of 37-37 on Friday after scoring 38-36 in the first round. Like the first round, Glover played the first 16 holes in even par, then made bogey on each of the last two holes.

You had the feeling Glover’s 74 on Friday was better than his 74 on Thursday because of the weather conditions, which featured rain on his first nine and wind on the second nine.

Like Thursday, he continued to strike the ball well. In fact, he hit 13 of his first 14 greens in regulation and is tied for fourth best in the field of 93 golfers in that category for the first two rounds with 26 of 36.

“I don’t feel like I deserve to make the cut, but I am glad to be here,” said Glover. “It is like getting some free baseball (extra innings). I was satisfied with my ball striking, I just need to putt better. That has been an issue here this week. I just have to make some and get my confidence.”

Glover has three putted four times and has 65 putts over the first two rounds, including 35 putts on Friday. He had 28 putts in his 14 greens that he hit in regulation on Friday. He did make a 20-footer on the par-four fifth hole for a birdie after he drove the ball in the right rough. It is the only birdie he has made after a drive in the rough over the first 36 holes. He followed that with a seven-foot putt for par on the par three sixth hole.

Glover made consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes to get back to even par for the day and two over for the tournament. He reached the par five 13th hole in two and two-putted from 25 feet for birdie. He then made a 10-footer on the 14th hole for birdie.

The native of Greenville had a two-putt par on the par three 16th hole, a putt that had a 20-foot break to the left. ” I didn’t have my back to the hole, but it was close,” said Glover. He hit his approach putt to within four feet, then made the par putt.

Playing against a strong wind, Glover hit his drives on 17 and 18 short and in the right rough. Both times he hit solid shots near the green, but could not get up and down, missing five footers in both situations.

“My drives were poor because of a combination of not striking the ball well and the wind. ” But, overall, Glover’s driving has been solid as he has found the fairway 19 of 28 drives.

In addition to Glover getting in on the cutline, 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson and 14-year-old amateur Tianlang Guan also advanced to the weekend.

Smart GolfGlover played smart golf in the windy and rainy conditions on the front nine on Friday. Three times he went to the “Lucas Layup”. That was never more evident than on the par four 350-yard third hole. Glover teed off with a three iron and hit the ball to the middle of the fairway, about 120 yards from the hole.

His playing partners Henrik Stenson and Bernhard Langer both hit driver, and while they were both within 30 yards of the green, they were too close to a trap on the left front of the green, and had no green to work with. They both hit there second shots over the green and made bogey, while Glover had an easy two-putt par.

Bring on SaturdayGlover has made the cut five times in his eight previous events on the PGA Tour this year. The relaxed feeling of making the cut has been good for Glover because he has a 68.8 stroke average in the third round so far this year, eighth best on the PGA Tour.Weather Was a FactorIn last night’s blog I felt Glover would have a good chance to make the cut at the 2013 Masters because the weather and corresponding course conditions would be in his favor with a 9:17 AM tee time. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, I don’t think anyone had an advantage from a weather standpoint all day.

When Glover teed off, there were threatening skies and windy conditions. Winds are usually calm in the morning at Augusta National and it is usually an advantage to have an early tee time. It is also usually a time of the day when the greens are softer than the late afternoon.

The greens were soft all right, but that was because it was raining off and on for most of Glover’s front nine. At 11 AM the players on the course were a combined 61 over par for the day.

Glover finally took his rain gear off after his second shot on the eighth hole. The sun came out for the remainder of the day around noon when he was just making the turn.

But, the winds continued and affected his tee shots on both the 17th and 18th holes. He made bogey on both holes to make his goal of making the cut tenuous.

The winds never died down after he was finished and as a result the lead is just six under par heading into the third round. The average score on Friday was 74.16, up from 73.05 on Thursday.

Roar Behind the Sixth GreenAfter Glover putted out on the sixth green, I noticed a noise coming from a small metal grate on the top of a mound.. The noise was caused by the extensive ventilation system underneath the Augusta National Course. It is called the Subterranean Turf Conditioning System and it is used to keep the greens and many other landing areas in the fairways from developing puddles due to heavy rain.

The company that developed this system is in Graniteville, SC, just 15 miles from Augusta National. It was first used at the course for the 12th hole. After it solved a moisture problem, it was expanded to the other greens and fairways.

Now 500 courses around the country use the system and some baseball stadiums, including the New York Mets Citi Field, have had it installed.

ACC Well RepresentedThe ACC is well represented at this year’s Masters. Nine of the 93 players in the field played their college golf at ACC schools. The ACC and the SEC have the most representatives with nine apiece, while the Pac 12 is third with seven.

The nine ACC players are Lucas Glover from Clemson, Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar and Larry Mize from Georgia Tech, Carl Pettersson and Tim Clark from NC State, Bill Haas and Webb Simpson from Wake Forest, and Kevin Streelman from Duke.

Kuchar and Haas are in the lead of the ACC Masters Tournament with scores of one under par 143, good enough for 20th place, while former NC State Wolfpack players Clark and Petterson are tied for 37th at 146. Glover is the fifth former ACC player to make the cut and is in a tie for 55th place.

2001 NCAA RevisitedIt is always interesting to look at old golf results when many of today’s stars were in college. Four players in the 2013 Masters played in the 2001 NCAA Tournament at Duke University.  Those four were Lucas Glover, Nick Watney from Fresno State, Graeme McDowell of UAB and Bill Haas of Wake Forest.

Glover was the top finisher at the NCAAs that year among the 2013 Masters players with a 285 total, good enough for 11th place. Watney was 13th with a 286 score, while McDowell was 16th at 287. Haas, then a freshman at Wake Forest, finished 66th at 301.

Haas Staying at Home of Clemson GradSpeaking of Bill Haas, he has rented the home of Clemson graduate Andy Ronemus for the week. Ronemus was on my first student SID staff at Clemson in 1978. He is currently in sales for a company in Augusta, but will be moving to Clemson this Spring, so this will be the last year he rents his home to a Masters participant. He will have two children at Clemson next year.

And Haas, who last played at Wake Forest in 2004, will be staying the entire week as he made the cut with rounds of 71-72.

Congrats to Mark CarlsonOne of the people I ran into in the press room this week was Mark Carlson, the longtime director of Broadcasting for the USGA. Carlson retired from that position after 17 years of service on April 1. He will continue to serve in an advisory capacity through the US Open.

Carlson was also the PR director for CBS Sports prior to his time with the USGA, including the 1988 football season when the Clemson vs. Florida State game, the famous “Puntrooskie Game,” was televised by CBS. He was in Death Valley that day. Prior to that he was the sports information director at Florida State.

Carlson was very helpful when Lucas Glover won the US Open, the USGA’s top event, in 2009.

A Proud Clemson GraduateLucas Glover finished his playing career at Clemson in the spring of 2001. He began pursing a professional career and delayed finishing his degree requirements. But, to his credit, he took some courses on line and finished up in 2005.

He was not going to go through graduation ceremonies until he received an offer from Clemson President Jim Barker that he could not refuse.. Glover had missed the deadline to order a cap and gown, but Barker offered his so Glover could go through the ceremony. So Glover went through the ceremony in Barker’s vestments.

Glover is one of many former Clemson athletes to come back to school to earn a degree. Former Clemson All-America football player Keith Adams is finishing up this year while he serves as a student coach under Dabo Swinney.

Former All-America gridders Michael Dean Perry and Levon Kirkland came back to get their respective degrees years after they finished their NFL careers. Former Clemson basketball great Greg Buckner got his degree two years ago after finishing his NBA career, and Trevor Booker did the same thing recently.

I was happy to hear this week that former All-ACC guard Terrell McIntyre will be starting the process this summer, as is all-time leading scorer Elden Campbell.

It is never too late to get that degree and it is good to see these former Clemson greats come back to school. Glover might have started the recent trend.

What a Difference a Year can MakeThat could be the theme for Lucas Glover in 2013. Last year, Glover ranked 214th on the PGA Tour money list with $67,112. This year he has already earned $303,182, back among the top 100 on Tour. He had 122 birdies all of last year in 16 events. This year he has 103 through the second round of the Masters, his ninth event of the year. A year ago he was 190th on tour in total driving and this year he is 15th. His scoring average has improved from 72.14 to 71.20.

Why the improvement? “I am healthy,” said Glover after Friday’s second round. “Last year I had issues with my knee and ribs and it affected my game. Now I have confidence from a physical standpoint and that makes all the difference in the world.” He injured his knee in January in Hawaii in a water sport accident, then hurt his ribs while playing in the Masters last year. He eventually needed surgery on the knee.

Glover also has had some positive occurrences off the course. He was married to his wife Krista last year and they are expecting their first child in the coming months. Congrats to her for walking all 18 holes on Thursday and the back nine on Friday in her pregnant condition.

Glover’s Gallery TodayGlover’s gallery today included former Clemson football player Will Merritt, the color commentator on the Clemson Football Radio Network. Merritt is not just some former Tiger who came across a Masters ticket, he and Glover have been friends for a long time.

In fact, they were in school the same years, with both entering Clemson as freshmen in 1997. We always used to say that Lucas had a football mentality even while playing golf. He was friends with as many members of the football team as golfers during his career that spanned 1997-2001.

In fact, when Glover played in the NCAA Tournament at Duke in June of 2001, Merritt and former Clemson All-America center Kyle Young, drove to Durham and spent the weekend following Glover. I didn’t have to follow Glover much that weekend because Merritt and Young served as my on course reporters for any shot Lucas took.

It is only fitting that Glover had a close relationship with the Clemson football players because his grandfather, Dick Hendley was a Clemson Hall of Fame player for Frank Howard in the 1950s. Hendley and Glover are the only grandfather-grandson Hall of Fame combination in Clemson athletics history.

The CutlineYou will have to excuse me for making a mistake in my Thursday blog. The cutline for the 2013 Masters is the low 50 players and ties, or players within 10 shots of the lead. It was changed this year, announced just this past week, and I missed the announcement while I attended Clemson football practices. (Dabo takes priority, even over the Masters.)

But, it had been the same cut rule since 1962, so forgive me if I assumed there was not a change. There was no cutline at all for the Masters from 1934 through the 1956 Masters. Then, from 1957-61 it was low 40 players and ties. Then in 1962 it began the rule low 44 and ties and within 10 shots of the lead.

For the record, Jack Nicklaus has the record with 37 made cuts, seven more than Gary Player had. But, Fred Couples is catching up. The 1992 Masters Champion made his 27th career cut this year with rounds of 68-71 at five under par, good enough for second place behind Jason Day.

The lowest score for the cutline in history is 145, set six times, including as recently as 2011. The highest score for the cut is 154, 10 over par, in 1982. There were a lot of storms that year in the first two rounds, making the conditions difficult.. The average cutline score for the Masters historically is 148.55, so this year’s cutline of 148 is right on the average.

Slow Play Rule has Tie to ClemsonTianlang Guan, the 14-year old amateur from China, was assessed a one stroke penalty for slow play on the 17th hole today and had his score changed to a three-over par 75 and a 148 total for the two days.

It has been 17 years since a player on the PGA Tour was assessed a penalty as Glen Day was given a one-stroke penalty in 1996. But, prior to that the last player had been former Clemson All-American Dillard Pruitt, a native of Greenville, SC. Ironically, Pruitt is now a rules official on the PGA Tour.

Guan made the cut on the cutline, which should make this ruling a footnote in history. It could have been quite a controversy.

It was also interesting to see the glee on the part of the foreign media when Day did not make a birdie on the 17th or 18th holes. Two more days of stories about the 14-year-old phenom to the homeland.