Player of the Game Golf - 2018 ATG Masters Tournament

BillS - Mar 01, 2018 - 03:53 PM
Post subject: 2018 ATG Masters Tournament
This will be the 5th annual ATG Masters Tournament on my tabletop. Defending champion Tiger Woods will be joined by 27 other greats to battle for this year's green jacket. Woods won last year in a playoff against Byron Nelson after both golfers overcame Arnold Palmer's fast start. Woods also won the first ATG Master Tournament in 2014, followed by wins by Gary Player and Greg Norman in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The amazing field includes past winners Player and Norman, along with last-year's also-rans, Palmer and Nelson. Jack Nicklaus will tee off for his 5th consecutive ATG Masters and hopes to have better luck than he has had in the previous 4 tournaments, as the Golden Bear has failed to make the cut the last two years.

After 2 rounds, the field will be trimmed to just 20 golfers. As usual, I predict very high scores from these golfers, as the ATG Masters course card is extremely challenging.

I will post the results of the First Round tomorrow morning.
Jeff Nicholson - Mar 01, 2018 - 06:02 PM
Post subject: RE: 2018 ATG Masters Tournament
Great reading each year. Looking forward to your posts.
BillS - Mar 02, 2018 - 07:41 AM
Post subject:
First Round

In a scene reminiscent of last year's tournament, Arnold Palmer again came out and dominated the field on this first day. Palmer scored 67, -5, with his scoring coming largely from the Par 3 holes, where he made birdie on each of Augusta's four Par 3 holes!

Only 6 other golfers finished the day under par. Among those were Greg Norman and Gary Player, both of whom have won this tournament before. Tiger Woods came in with a 72, Even par round, poised to defend his crown.

Augusta's putting greens took several casualties this day, however. Both Johnny Miller (79, +7) and Raymond Floyd (78, +6) could not find their putting stroke. It is likely that both will fail to make the cut.

Jack Nicklaus finished with a respectable 73, +1 on the day, hoping to make the cut and continue to play on the weekend.

The top of the Leaderboard is as follows:

Arnold Palmer 67 -5
Lee Trevino 71 -1
Greg Norman 71 -1
Ken Venturi 71 -1
Billy Casper 71 -1
Gary Player 71 -1
Tommy Armour 71 -1
Seven golfers tied with 72, E.
BillS - Mar 02, 2018 - 10:35 AM
Post subject:
Second Round - Disaster for Tiger

Defending champion Tiger Woods completely fell apart today, shooting a round-worst 80, +7 after bogeying many Par 4 holes. Woods never seemed to find either the fairway on his drives or greens on his approaches over the course of the day. As a result of this performance, the most dramatic moment of the day, Woods failed to make the cut!

Byron Nelson's round was almost the mirror image of that of Tiger, as Nelson finished with a round-best 69, -3 after scoring well on Augusta's Par 4 holes. Tournament leader Arnold Palmer turned in a strong 71, -1 to maintain a three-shot lead over Billy Casper, who came in at 70, -2. Both Gary Player and Greg Norman continue to play well and remain in the hunt for their second green jacket on my tabletop.

The top of the Leaderboard after two rounds looks like this:

Arnold Palmer -6
Billy Casper -3
Byron Nelson -3
Gary Player -2
Phil Mickelson -2
Greg Norman -1
Ken Venturi -1
Lee Trevino E
Tommy Armour E
Ben Hogan +1

The cut score after two rounds was 149. 21 golfers remain in contention. Jack Nicklaus made the cut, after missing the last two years, with his 147, +3 for the tournament. Missing the cut were such notables as Ben Crenshaw and crowd favorites Chi Chi Rodriguez, and Payne Stewart.

All eyes will be on Palmer, who finds himself in a position very similar to last year's tournament as the leader after two rounds. His first-round score of 67 remains the best round of the tournament. Can that score and consistent play carry him to the championship?
BillS - Mar 05, 2018 - 09:49 AM
Post subject:
Third Round - Deja Vu All Over Again

For the second consecutive year, Arnold Palmer suffered a complete breakdown in the third round of the Masters after holding the lead for the first two rounds. On this day, Palmer found trouble all over Augusta and could not overcome it. He finished with a 78, +6 which effectively erased his 3-stroke lead. The good news is Palmer remains in contention with a 217, +1 for the tournament going into the final round.

The day belonged to Bobby Jones, who shout a round-best 69, -3 to catapult him into the lead. Jones also found trouble all around the course, but, in dramatic fashion, he extricated himself from several difficult situations in the bunkers and rough leading to birdies on many of those holes.

Palmer was not the only golfer to find the course particularly difficult on this day. Both Lee Trevino and Ken Venturi 3-putted several holes. Gary Player and Byron Nelson, among the tournament leaders coming in to the day, could not find their strokes today, each finishing with a 77, +5 for the day. And Phil Mickelson's collar seemed to tighten particularly on Augusta's Par 3 holes, as he suffered bogeys and double bogeys on a few Par 3 leading to his 78, +6 score.

The full scoreboard is as follows:

Bobby Jones -1
Billy Casper E
Arnold Palmer +1
Greg Norman +1
Tommy Armour +1
Byron Nelson +2
Gary Player +3
Ben Hogan +3
Phil Mickelson +4
Ken Venturi +4
Vijay Singh +4
Tom Watson +4
Nick Faldo +4
Lee Trevino +6
Jack Nicklaus +6
Tom Kite +6
Sam Snead +7
Seve Ballesteros +7
Bernhard Langer +8
Fuzzy Zoeller +8
Craig Stadler +8

With the leaderboard so tight, it remains anybody's tournament.
BillS - Mar 05, 2018 - 03:22 PM
Post subject:
Final Round - Singh Forces Playoff

Vijay Singh had a huge day on the Par 4 holes, coming home with a 69, -3, to force a playoff with Bobby Jones. Jones shot an uninspiring 74, +2 for his final round, as Singh came back from 5 strokes back. Singh's round was the best of the day, one shot better than Jack Nicklaus and Bernhard Langer, who both scored 70, -1 on the day.

The top of the leaderboard coming into the final round produced no scores under par. Billy Casper was a disappointing +4 for the day after being so consistent over the first three rounds. Arnold Palmer found some trouble on the course which inhibited him from taking advantage of Jones's and Casper's mediocrity.

The final scoreboard looks like this:

Vijay Singh +1
Bobby Jones +1
Arnold Palmer +3
Billy Casper +4
Greg Norman +4
Jack Nicklaus +4
Tommy Armour +6
Gary Player +6
Ben Hogan +6
Nick Faldo +6
Bernhard Langer +6
Tom Watson +7
Byron Nelson +8
Lee Trevino +8
Phil Mickelson +10
Ken Venturi +10
Tom Kite +10
Seve Ballesteros +10
Sam Snead +11
Craig Stadler +11
Fuzzy Zoeller +13

The playoff will be sudden death. Jones and Singh will tee off on the 18th Hole and then to the 10th Hole, if necessary.
BillS - Mar 06, 2018 - 10:42 AM
Post subject:

It took 2 extra holes, but at the end of the day, Vijay Singh took home the trophy in this year's ATG Masters Tournament.

The sudden death round began with Singh and Bobby Jones teeing off on Augusta's 18th Hole, a 465 yard Par 4. Singh had been scorching the Par 4 holes all day during the final round and his tee shot showed why. He sent his first shot long and straight down the fairway. Jones's tee shot was not as good, finding some rough to the left of the fairway. His second shot, however, found the green and settled 8 feet from the hole! Meanwhile, Singh deposited his second shot on the green as well, just outside Jones's ball at 13' from the hole. Singh sank the 13-footer and put the pressure on Jones to make his putt. Jones cooly made his putt and the golfers moved on to the 10th Hole.

The 10th Hole is another Par 4, but much longer at 495 yards. Neither golfer found the fairway with his tee shot. Singh's tee shot was a little longer, so Jones stepped up first for his second shot and left it short of the green. Singh blasted his second shot out of the rough and onto the green, this time 12 feet away. With his pitching wedge in hand, Jones lofted his third shot onto the green 10 feet from the hole and waited for Singh to putt. Singh stood over his ball and, hearing a noise from the excited crowd, backed off. He stepped up again, looked at the ball and then the cup and back at the ball. His smooth stroke followed through the ball and the ball landed at the bottom of the cup for his second consecutive birdie in sudden death, earning him the right to a brand new green jacket!!!

Vijay Singh is your 2018 ATG Masters Champion!!!!
DaveP - Mar 07, 2018 - 08:23 PM
Post subject:
Great tournament, Bill!

Vijay isn't one of the names I would have thought of as a top contender in this group, but his card is really pretty competitive, especially if some of the big names falter.
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