Masters Diary: It’s 1999 again as four amateurs cut it

Not since 1999 has The Masters witnessed amateur dramatics on this week’s scale. Four players from the non-paid ranks made the cut – the most in 20 years. Step forward Viktor Hovland (Norway), Takumi Kanaya (Japan), Devon Bling (US) and Alvaro Ortiz (Mexico). Keep an eye on them in years to come. The quartet from 1999, after all, included Sergio Garcia, pictured, and Trevor Immelman, both of whom went on to claim Green Jackets.

Devon Bling reacts after his putt on the third hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament. Pic: AP/Matt Slocum

Johnson gets a free hit after practice slip-up

It was freaky Friday, for sure. Tiger Woods was almost taken out by a security guard as he collided with the four-time major winner after slipping. Earlier, Zach Johnson accidentally hit his ball taking a practice swing on the 13th tee. “That was a first,” he admitted, having escaped a penalty under the new rules. “I thought I had done it all by now, but now I know I’ve done it all!”

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Fifth amendment toughest of all to take, says Watson

It is golf’s ‘fifth amendment’. The par-4 fifth hole at Augusta National was extended by 40 yards to 495 this year. It’s a brute, proving the most difficult on course in the second round, playing to a 4.345 stroke average, with only five players making a birdie. “I’m going to give you a little tip,” said two-time winner Bubba Watson, pictured. “It’s going to be the toughest hole every year, every tournament that we play here.”

Fan cops it after trying 
to steal bunker sand

Good behaviour by fans is a feature of this event and trying to steal the pristine white sand from bunkers is certainly not tolerated. Clayton Baker did that in 2012 and ended up in a local cell before charges of disorderly conduct were dropped. “You dirty piece of shit,” one of his arresting officers said to him.