It’s moving day at the Masters. While the term “moving day” is used pretty much everywhere, it means so much more playing in Augusta. The wording invokes that players are positioning themselves for the final day, so must keep within shouting distance of the leaders if they want to have a chance; or players try to jump ahead and get into the overnight lead; or players move down the leaderboard and kill any hope of securing a Green Jacket.
The field cut was 4 over par, 148. This is the top 50 players and any else within 10 strokes of the 7 under par lead. Luckily for us, all three of our former Bulldogs made the cut and will be playing all weekend.
Keith Mitchell had an adventurous day. It started plain enough with 6 straight pars, but then he holes out for eagle on the par 4 7th hole, birdies the 8th, bogeys the 9th and 11th, then bogeys the 14th, 17th, and 18th holes to give back all the goodness. Thankfully had a few shots to play with, but his +2 total is 9 off the lead and lots of players between him and the top.
Bubba had a much more boring day. He birdied #2 but bogeyed 5 and turned at even par. A bogey at 12 from the front bunker was offset by an eagle on the par 5 13th hole. The rest pars other than a late bogey on 17, so he finishes where he started... level par for the round and tournament.
Kevin Kisner had a round in 3 stages. He pars the first 5 as a steady stage, then gets loose in the middle of the round and bogeys 6, 9, and 11 to fall back to even par (and escaped with par at 13 after hitting a ball in Rae’s Creek). The last several holes were steadying the ship, and timely birdies at 15 and 16 put him back in red numbers. His 73 on the day leaves him at 2 under par.
There were good scores to be had, at least if you’re one of the best golfers in the world. Francesco Molinari shot 67 to move to 7 under par and a share of the lead. Aussie (and oft-injured) Jason Day did the same. Brooks Koepka birdied the first, double bogeyed the 2nd but somehow got back to 7 under par to join the others at the top. Phil played a very Phil round - he was in the pinestraw more than the fairway but scrambled his way to a 73. Dustin Johnson had a bland day, but his 70 moves him to 6 under par and just one off the lead.
Oh, and Tiger Woods is just a one shot off the lead. I didn’t think you’d heard.
You really couldn’t ask for a better leaderboard. Of the 5 players tied for the lead, all of them have won at least one major. Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods just one shot back, Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm just one more back, Phil sitting 3 off the lead, and Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler lurking just 4 off the pace. Truly, this is a dream situation for CBS and ratings.
Keith Mitchell tees off at 10:05 am ET, paired with Aaron Wise (Oregon).
Bubba Watson starts at 11:25 am ET, and he will play with Keegan Bradley (St. Johns).
Kevin Kisner is scheduled for 12:45 pm, and his playing partner will be Thorbjorn Oleson (Denmark).
Weather is going to be an issue this morning, with scattered thunderstorms. There may be a delay, but with only 65 players making the cut, they have some breathing room to get all the golf in.
TV Coverage begins at 3:00 pm on CBS, and CBS Radio starts at 2:00 pm ET, and there continues to be top-notch streaming at Masters.com
Enjoy Saturday at the Masters, and as always...