Not So Fast Tiger

Tiger Woods is the definite favorite at Augusta this year, but this week won’t be his week.

Thrash TalkMasters week is finally here! It’s one the greatest weeks of the season for golf fans worldwide. Everyone has been talking about the course changes, potential favorites, dark-horse picks, etc. That being said, it’s time to get the show on the road. Enough talking, let’s play some golf! I’ll be glued to the television for four straight days, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

The staff here at The Sand Trap made their Masters predictions already, but I’m going to go a little more in-depth with mine. I’ll talk a little about the course, since it gets nearly as many headlines as the players themselves. I’ll also talk about some contenders, pretenders, and sleepers to watch for. I’ll end with a couple random thoughts for the week.

Volume Fifty-Three

I do have to thank several companies for their great products which made my 94 possible.

Hittin' the LinksIt is with great pleasure and admiration towards the Golf Gods that I had a great showing this past weeked. I know that it may not mean much to most of you out there, but it was the first time I shot under 100. (Yes, I played 18) I finished with a 94 in fact and I felt solid throughout the whole four and half hours. It was great to be out there and really feel good.

Of course, I do have to thank several companies for their great products which made my 94 possible. Below are just a few suggestions that I would make to those looking to crack that 100 number.

TaylorMade Gets Back in the Ball Game

TaylorMade’s new TP Red and TP Black golf balls are the latest premium balls to hit the market, and they feature some unique technology.

Bag DropTaylorMade Golf is using the eve of the Masters Tournament to make a major move back into the golf ball market. The company introduced the new TaylorMade TP Red and TP Black golf balls at an exclusive media event on Sunday at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia, and The Sand Trap was there to get you all the details.

While there have been rumblings for a few months that TaylorMade would bring golf balls to market, many people assumed the product would be a rebranded version of current Maxfli products like the BlackMax ball – an assumption based on the fact that TaylorMade owns the Maxfli brand. Those assumptions are wrong, as were rumors that the new balls would be called the “Tour Arrow.”

Mickelson Demolishes Field at Bellsouth Classic

On his way to victory, Phil Mickelson was one stroke away from the PGA Tour record for a 72 hole event at 260. With an amazing eagle, Webb gets into a playoff she would eventually win for the first LPGA major of the year.

An eagle on the 72nd hole was the perfect way to cap off Mickelson’s magical week. Lefty was on fire all week, opening on Thursday with a 63 and following that up with three more stellar rounds – 65-67-65. His opening round 63 earned him a share of the course record and added to his already impressive collection of course records (TPC Scottsdale, TPC River Highlands, Spyglass Hill Golf Club). He also joins David Duval and Davis Love III as the only players to shoot four consecutive rounds in the 60’s at TPC Sugarloaf. This victory marks his 28th career PGA TOUR victory in 314th career professional starts. Lefty’s numbers were off the chart: he averaged a ridiculous 1.594 putts per greens in regulation, of which he hit 88.9% of the time (this number is somewhat misleading because although he technically missed the green, many of his misses made the fringe), and averaged 309.1 yards off the tee. It goes without saying that Phil’s chances next week are looking very good.

Karrie Webb Wins Kraft Nabisco

It looked like Lorena Ochoa had it locked up, but thanks to a miraculous 116 yard pitch that found the hole Karrie Webb would have a chance to win the women’s first major of the year in a playoff. Webb was so stunned by the final hour of the Kraft Nabisco Championship that she lost her way after completing an amazing comeback Sunday. Even after holing out with her wedge, Webb had to watch Michelle Wie try for an eagle chip and the win. She wound up with a par to finish one shot behind. Lorena Ochoa recovered from a back-nine collapse in time to hit a 5-wood onto the island green at the 18th, then made a six-foot eagle putt to force the first playoff at Mission Hills in 14 years. Webb won with a seven-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole.

UPS to Unveil ‘Damaged Contents’ Zone

The FedEx Reliability Zone: an April Fool’s Day joke played out upon us despite the changing calendar.

Package delivery company FedEx, title sponsor of next year’s “FedExCup” on the PGA Tour, has gotten an early jump on things this year with the “FedEx Reliability Zone.” If you’ve watched televised golf this year, you’ve no doubt seen the “FERZ.” Displayed on par 4s and 5s, the FERZ is a purple shaded area about 270 yards to 310 yards from the tee and spanning the entire width of the fairway. Roughly the size of smaller states such as Vermont, announcers use the FERZ as a means of displaying just how important it is to find the fairway. Oftentimes, the purple haze is used to illustrate stats such as these:

Location            Scoring Average
From Inside Zone        3.87
From Outside Zone       4.12

Fedex Reliability Zone

Golf Talk Podcast Update

Due to technical troubles, Episode 019 of the Golf Talk Podcast will be delayed one week. We will, however, be bringing you a special edition podcast within the week!

PodcastUnfortunately, staff member and Golf Talk host Jeff Smith suffered some computer issues this past week, so we’re unable to bring you this week’s podcast. Had we been able to record our show, we’d have talked about the list of topics below.

If you’d like to be on the Golf Talk Podcast, you can read the instructions and find out when we’ll be recording each show in this thread in our forum. Basically, you need a free Skype account and 30 minutes on a Friday to participate. Opinions are a welcome bonus. 🙂 If you can’t join us live but you’d like to submit a question to us, send an email to

By the way, you can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or via iTunes by clicking here.