Sports / Golf

Chip shots

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-14 07:14


NO SYMPATHY: Rory McIlroy birdied three of his final four holes in the third round, shooting a one-under 71, but was beaten by his amateur playing partner. Jeff Knox, one of the best US amateur golfers - who happens to be a member at Augusta National - was selected to serve as a non-competing marker because an odd number of players made the cut. Knox showed McIlroy a thing or two about Augusta by shooting two-under 70, despite bogeying No 18.

GENTLE BEN: Ben Crenshaw first showed up at the Masters as a 20-year-old amateur out of Texas. Next year will be his 44th consecutive appearance - and his last one. Crenshaw told The Golf Channel he has decided 2015 will be his final year playing Augusta. He won his first Masters in 1984, memorable for that 60-foot putt he made on the 10th hole. Even more special was 1995, when he won the Masters after starting the week as a pallbearer at the funeral of his longtime coach, Harvey Penick. Crenshaw last made the cut at Augusta in 2007.

RATINGS GAME: The TV ratings continue to be down at the Masters, where Tiger Woods is absent for the first time in 20 years. ESPN said its live telecast of the second round earned a 1.8 household rating (2.5 million viewers), which was down 40 percent from last year's 3.0 rating (4.2 million viewers) for the second round. That 3.0 last year was the highest for a Friday since ESPN began airing the Masters in 1998. Over two days, the rating was down 36 percent.

STANDING ROOM ONLY: Amen Corner is more crowded than a church on Easter. Augusta National's famed three-hole stretch - named in honor of Arnold Palmer - is packed with hundreds of spectators at most parts, leaving little room to walk between the 11th and 13th fairways. Everyone there was treated to a lengthy wait on Saturday, too. There was about 40 minutes before Jason Day and Joost Luiten arrived after Rory McIlroy and a marker played through, so fans stood, sat, lounged, drank, ate and chatted.

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