Chat Masters with Jason Sobel!
Sobel will be live blogging during the tournament, but will be chatting every two hours right here. At 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET Sobel will pop over here to take your questions!
Among his many other duties, Sobel also writes a weekly column, the "Weekly 18."
Send your questions now and join Jason on Thursday throughout the day!
Jason Sobel (10:03 AM)
Back from the blog ... will be here for a few minutes, then back over there. Catch me if you can. Fire away ...
Glenn (Cedar Rapids)
Hey Jason, Seems to me that Tiger's putting has gotten better in the last three events as he's worked toward greens closer to Augusta (forget the match play, for instance). I think he's ready to putt much better than the last few years. What do you think?
Jason Sobel (10:04 AM)
Tiger has never seemed like a guy who gets hot with the putter and stays hot. It's more like each week is a singular instance in itself. I'm not sure that the momentum of Bay Hill will carry over to this week, though I suppose it couldn't hurt, either.
What's going on with our favorite golf alum, Sneds? We understand he's going through some equipment or swing changes? He seemed to play well in his last tournament... Any chance he channels some of the 2008 magic this week?
Jason Sobel (10:05 AM)
I'd love to see it happen, but I'm wary. His stats are plain awful so far this year. Snedeker has never been a pure ball-striker, so if his putting isn't dead-on, he's got no shot. He went back to an older putter a few weeks ago and fared much better. Perhaps that will carry over to this week, too.
Trevor, College Station, TX
What was served at the Champions dinner ? Had to be some sort of wild african game - cudu, black buck, heartabeast, zebra ? Has the Augusta Chef ever refused to make a dish ? How about if Paddy wins - next year HAGGIS all around !
Jason Sobel (10:06 AM)
Immelman served Babotie, chicken sosaties, and Melketert for dessert. And yes, former champs may elect to eat a meal off the menu if they'd rather not partake in the reigning champ's selection.
Jake Webb City Missouri
Do you think any of the early leaders will be around come Sunday?
Jason Sobel (10:08 AM)
I actually like Ross Fisher's game. I don't think he'll win this week, but I did write this while blogging the Match Play two months ago: "Nice wedge into the 10th green by Ross Fisher. Dude looked like a superstar at the Match Play. If that was a stroke-play event, I'd bet he would have led by 3 or 4 strokes before being overtaken by Geoff Ogilvy on the weekend. He's a guy to watch out for and will definitely get into contention at a major this year."
Jason, other than Tiger, I'm a HUGE Anthony Kim fan. From your expertise, any chance we will see a weekend showdown between AK and TW?
Jason Sobel (10:09 AM)
Just seems like a lot of stuff going wrong at an inopportune time for AK. He's been hurt, sick, hasn't played well ... not a very good combination when heading to your first career Masters. I don't see him being a factor, though it certainly wouldn't be a shock if he put it all together.
Jason Sobel (10:10 AM)
OK, thanks for the questions. Back to the Live Blog ...
Jason Sobel (12:09 PM)
And ... we're back. Hope you've been enjoying the blog. A few quick rapid-fire questions in here. Let's go...
Are the greens similar to those we saw on the Par 3 contest, and if so who does that favor most?
Jason Sobel (12:11 PM)
Actually, yes, they do keep the par-3 greens very similar to those of the main course, speed-wise, but there's not nearly as sloped. I remember talking to Augusta native Charles Howell III a few years ago -- he would go to the par-3 course and work on his short game. That's basically what the course was built for.
Jason, if Tiger does what he seems to enjoy most (start slow at the Masters)will it cost him again or will good scores be hard to come by on this course and Tiger can hang around with shooting 72? Thanks!
Jason Sobel (12:11 PM)
He's won here four times without ever shooting better than 70 in the opening round, so there's no reason to think he needs to go low today. He'd rather be under par, but a 72 is fine for the first round.
Hey Jason, I heard John Daly is selling merch outside of the golf course. Any word on the going price for a T-shirt?
Jason Sobel (12:12 PM)
Not on the golf course, but outside the venue on Washington Road. And from what I've read, it's jewelry not t-shirts this year. Strange. Very strange.
how is the hype surronding tiger with this being his first major back!whats the anticipation like?
Jason Sobel (12:13 PM)
Honestly, since he's already played three events this year, I don't think the fact that this is his first major since the Open has hyped it up any more. He's got enough hype surrounding him anyway.
Conor (Kansas City)
Okay, who of the early leaders so far is going to post the low number, and then promptly fall of the wagon and miss the cut, or sink on the weekend?
Jason Sobel (12:14 PM)
Well, Angel Cabrera is 3-under through seven and though he kills the ball off the tee, he's always been iffy around the greens. I could see him falling back to the pack in a hurry.
Brian from Charlotte, NC
I took Adam Scott at 50:1, I feel like its just a matter of time before he breaks through.... or should have i just locked in tiger at 4:1 and called it a day??
Jason Sobel (12:15 PM)
It is just a matter of time for Scott, but that time isn't going to be this week. If you can get TW at 4-to-1, take it. And tell some friends. I heard he was 2-to-1 -- and that was before even winning Bay Hill.
Alan, Hurricane, WV
Dude, you HAVE to show us the outfit. It can't be that bad....or can it?
Jason Sobel (12:16 PM)
There is video coming. Unfortunately. Will post when it's ready.
Jason Sobel (12:16 PM)
OK, back to the blog. You know where to find me...
Jason Sobel (2:06 PM)
I'm here. Let's do this...
Campbell is 5 under through 5.... whats the most birdies to start a round?
Jason Sobel (2:08 PM)
This is it. The Masters record book doesn't list the most birdies to start a round, but it does list everyone who has made at least seven or six birdies at one point in their rounds, and none have done so starting on No. 1. FYI, two players have made seven straight (Steve Pate and Tiger Woods) and three have done six in a row (Johnny Miller, Mark Calcavecchia and David Toms). Looks like Campbell won't join them; he just made par on No. 6.
Wondering if you did the Masters Best Ball challenge and if so who your foursome was.
Jason Sobel (2:09 PM)
I did. Went with a very European Ryder Cup-ish squad of Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell. No idea how I'm doing, but I'm guessing it's not good.
Larry Mize is at -2 and the Shark is at -1. Wouldn't it be great if later on they somehow got paired together?
Jason Sobel (2:09 PM)
Unreal. As I wrote in my rankings, do you think Norman wakes up in a cold sweat each night muttering, "Larry Mize ... Larry Mize ... Larry Mize ..."
What is going on with woods
Jason Sobel (2:10 PM)
Routine par on No. 1. Hit the fairway, hit the green, two-putted.
Brandon (St. Louis)
How is the wind in Augusta today? Amen corner looking as ominous as usual?
Jason Sobel (2:11 PM)
Literally no wind. I mean, I don't think there's even a 5 mph breeze to cool things off a little. Perfect day. Almost like this place is in a dome. 72, very few clouds and no wind.
Melissa (Berkley, MI)
What happened to Michael Campbell in the last 4 years?
Jason Sobel (2:12 PM)
The last few years he's really struggled. Felt like he was getting his game back at one point last year, but injured his shoulder pulling luggage off a baggage carousel at the airport last summer. That's really slowed him down.
Do you think Tiger is "too" patient in early rounds of majors? Seems like he's always pleased with right around par in the first/second rounds when most others are 4-5 under par... meaning he's often coming from behind on Sundays, granted with notable success. (HA)
Jason Sobel (2:13 PM)
Umm ... questioning Tiger's strategy? After he's won 14 majors? I think I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and let him keep doing what he's doing.
Steve (Bridgewater, NJ)
Jason, With the conditions you have seen today, what type of number do you think Tiger will post?
Jason Sobel (2:13 PM)
I'll go with 2-under 70. Not great, but certainly good enough to be in the mix, maybe 10th or so at the end of the day.
Jason Sobel (2:14 PM)
OK, back to the blog. See you there...
Jason Sobel (4:08 PM)
OK, five good minutes. Let's go...
Bob (Denver, CO)
Zach Johnson is off to a hot start too. He's proven his way around this track before and hopefully will get his second. But 5 birdies in a row is lights out.
Jason Sobel (4:09 PM)
It's funny. Most days at Augusta, guys make five birdies in a row and we wouldn't stop talking about 'em all day. Zach does it today and it's just sort of like, ho-hum, another five-birdie-in-a-row stretch. I mean, this place is playing so easy that Todd Hamilton is 4-under...
Jason, did the tour listen to the players whining that Augusta was getting too hard and softened it for them? seems like some nice scores so far, even if the weather is ideal.
Jason Sobel (4:11 PM)
First off, has nothing to do with the tour. This place is self-governed. The greens are soft from rain over the past week or so, but I've gotta believe they'll try to suck out any moisture in them over the next few days and let this course play faster and firmer as we continue..
Melissa (Berkley, MI)
Have you made a cut-line prediction yet??
Jason Sobel (4:12 PM)
No, it's still way too early. I won't even guess until about noon tomorrow -- and even then it will just be a guess. With everyone within 10 shots of the leader reaching the weekend, things can change so much.
No big numbers for the old guys, what gives?
Jason Sobel (4:13 PM)
We've always known that experience matters so much at the Masters, but that's really ringing true this time around. John Merrick, at 4-under playing the last hole, is the only player in the top-nine who hasn't played here before.
Kate Hudson (Hollywood, CA)
How is my boyfriend looking right now?
Jason Sobel (4:14 PM)
So far, so good. Adam Scott is 2-under through eight. Compared with what he usually does at majors, he'll take it.
Jason Sobel (4:15 PM)
OK, back to the blog...thanks for the questions...
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