2017 Masters: It’s Been a Tough Two Days at the Office (Video)

2017 masters
2017 masters /

It’s been a tough 2 days at the office for the 2017 Masters field.

The 1st and 2nd rounds of the 2017 Masters Tournament presented some unique challenges. Not everybody in the field was up to them, and some of the guys who missed the cut were real surprises to me.

Augusta National isn’t an easy track. No matter how many times you’ve played it, you don’t ever really dominate it. The greens are notoriously devilish under the best of conditions, and nobody would describe the 1st and 2nd round playing conditions at the 2017 Masters as optimal.

The golf course got a good soaking on Wednesday, so good, in fact, that the annual Par 3 Contest was cancelled; and while the rain was gone by Thursday the wind was swirling and gusting and magnifying every error the players committed. The leaderboard reflected the challenges.

Birdies were very scarce on Thursday and Friday, bogeys (and more – 487 on Thursday and 413 on Friday) far more frequent than anybody in the field had wanted.

To be sure, Jordan Spieth’s 9 on the par 5 15th was an outlier and as much the result of flawed course management as the difficult playing conditions. Nevertheless, there’s no question about it: from the top of the leaderboard to the bottom, everybody was challenged and everybody struggled.

If you’re gasping at the +6 cut line for the 2017 Masters, take a deep breath and relax. The cut was also +6 last year, +2 in 2015, +4 in 2014 and 2013, and +5 in 2012. Augusta National is a demanding test of golf skills.

Notable Missed Cuts

Still, it’s been a tough two days at the office for defending champion Danny Willett. He opened his 2nd round with a quadruple bogey and just couldn’t climb out of the hole he’d dug for himself.

And Willett doesn’t get to fade gracefully into the background. He has Sunday afternoon obligations.

Two time Masters champion Bubba Watson (2012, 2014) missed his first-ever Masters cut this year, despite his ball skipping demo on the 16th hole.

Bubba’s correct. It’s far easier to write about golf than to play golf, but the pay differential, especially in Bubba’s case, let’s me lift at least one eyebrow at his missed cut.

More from Pro Golf Now

Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, will be limping home to St. Simon’s Island and Henrik Stenson, one of the finest players in the field to never have won the Masters, is probably on his way back to Orlando.

Tommy Fleetwood, Patrick Reed, Shane Lowry, and Rafa Cabrera-Bello – all expected to make strong showings at Augusta National this year – will be sitting out the weekend battle.

And yet, there are many happy faces tonight in Augusta. Curtis Luck may be sporting the biggest smile of all.

The 20-year old Aussie, 2016 US Amateur and Asia-Pacific Champion has made the cut. It’s going to be an interesting summer for the guy who doesn’t exactly look like a golfer. He’ll also be teeing it up in June at the US Open at Erin Hills and then in July at The Open at Royal Birkdale.

Next: 2017 Masters: Five Bold Predictions

Lefty and Spieth are paired for the 3rd round – there’s some splendid golf to be played this weekend! Here are the 3rd round pairings and tee times.