Poulter goes the wrong way on Masters moving day
Ian Poulter made a move at the Masters on Saturday.
Only it wasn’t in the right direction.
Beginning the day with a share of the lead, Poulter took a
tumble down the scoreboard with a 2-over 74. He’s at 6-under, six
strokes behind good friend and second round co-leader Lee
“Not obviously what I was after,” the Englishman said. “I’m a
few shots adrift of where I wanted to be. I’m not overly happy
Poulter once boasted he would rival Tiger Woods when he reached
his potential, and it seemed like that time had finally come in the
first two rounds. He played almost perfectly, bogeying only three
holes out of the first 36 and working his way around Augusta
National with calm confidence.
The only thing missing were his colorful – some call them loud
or garish – outfits.
But Poulter never got in a rhythm Saturday. He followed
back-to-back bogeys with back-to-back birdies and finished the
front nine at even par. He made bogey on 11 and double-bogeyed the
par-3 12th after a terrible lie in the bunker.
“I really had no shot,” Poulter said. “There was no sand at
the front of the bunker. I’m on the downslope and I had no
He did birdie 13, but couldn’t make up any more ground on
Or anyone else, for that matter, with Phil Mickelson, Tiger
Woods and even the seemingly ageless Fred Couples making charges
“I’ve got a chance,” said Poulter, who is tied for sixth.
“You saw what guys were doing on the golf course today. There was
roars all around the golf course, eagles are being made, second
shots being holed. This golf course can give up eagles quite
easily. I’m just going to have to go out there and play well.”
COMING AROUND: Jerry Kelly was just telling his wife Friday
night that he knew his game was about to come around.
Boy was he right.
Kelly shot a 67 on Saturday, matching Phil Mickelson for low
score of the day. It was Kelly’s lowest score in 25 rounds at
Augusta National, besting his second-round 69 in 2007.
“I feel like I’m two shots better than I used to be. Not like
you’re going to play two shots better everywhere, but if I make
some putts, I’m going to be able to shoot some lower rounds than I
ever have in all the different spots,” Kelly said. “I told my
wife last night, ‘It’s coming. One of these weeks, something really
good’s going to happen.’ So it’s working in the right
Back problems forced Kelly to withdraw from the Sony Open
earlier this year. He returned three weeks later and missed the cut
at the Northern Trust Open, and has been trying to get his game
back where he wanted it ever since. He’s had some low scores – he
shot 65 in the second round at the Honda Classic – but has yet to
finish in the top 10.
But he felt good all day Saturday, and made six birdies in an
“I just feel great about my game,” Kelly said. “It’s still
loose compared to what I know can happen throughout an entire day,
butt it’s showing me more and more all the time, which is
PLAY IT AGAIN: Y.E. Yang had the best seat in the house for Phil
Mickelson’s show at the Masters.
Yang was paired with Mickelson on Saturday, the fifth straight
round they’ve played together, going back to last weekend in
Houston. Mickelson made up four shots on Lee Westwood in just two
holes, making an 8-foot eagle putt on the 13th and holing out a
wedge on the 14th.
“I’ve gotten used to him. … He makes players comfortable,”
said Yang, the PGA champion. “Fortunately for me today I was in a
good area, good seat, to watch him play some incredible golf. So I
was in spectator mode today.”
It might have inspired Yang a little, too. After a bogey on 12
left him at 3 over for the day, Yang worked his way back to even
par, closing the round with a 33-foot birdie putt.
Yang is tied for ninth at 5 under, seven shots behind leader Lee
“The goal is still the same,” Yang said, “finish in the top
YANI VISIT: Yani Tseng is emotionally exhausted from picking up
her second LPGA major last week at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
What better place to recharge the batteries than Augusta
Yani drove up from Orlando, Fla., to watch the third round of
the Masters. She was a popular figure under the oak tree behind the
clubhouse, doing a number of interviews with Asian television.
“I like to spend time here, just sit on the grass. It’s so
beautiful,” Yani said.
She first came to the Masters last year to support fellow
Taiwanese player Lin Wen-Tang. She is pulling for everyone this
week, although her loyalty lies with her home club in Orlando –
Lake Nona – so give the nod to Ian Poulter.
Her biggest hope is to return to Augusta National with her golf
“I really want to play here,” she said.
STAR POWER: Actor Mark Wahlberg was riding around Augusta
National when he spotted swing guru Butch Harmon.
“Want a ride?” he called out.
“No,” Harmon said initially. “Aren’t you a little young to be
sitting your butt in a golf cart?”
Wahlberg chuckled and Harmon relented, climbing onto the back.
The teacher had been following student Phil Mickelson on the front
nine, and after watching Lefty tee off on No. 8, Harmon rode as far
as No. 9 before hopping off and heading toward the green.
“We’ve been working together,” Wahlberg said.
Some of that work was in preparation for Wahlberg’s appearance
in the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge. The actor will join hockey
legend Wayne Gretzky, Super Bowl-winning New Orleans Saints
quarterback Drew Brees and the magazine’s contest winner in trying
to break 100 at Pebble Beach ahead of the U.S. Open in June.
DIVOTS: Phil Mickelson joined Dan Pohl (1982) and Dustin Johnson
(2009) as the only players to make consecutive eagles at Augusta
National. Pohl went on to lose to Craig Stadler in a playoff, and
Johnson finished in a tie for 30th. … Ernie Els will likely go
another year without winning a green jacket. He’s at 3 over after a
75 on Saturday. … Chad Campbell couldn’t sustain the momentum
from Friday’s round, when he rallied to make the cut with a 68. He
shot 80 on Saturday.
AP Sports Columnist Jim Litke and AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson
contributed to this report.