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"You lose a lot more in golf than you win. So when you do win, you have to enjoy it. I'm going to go back home and enjoy it with my friends and enjoy it with my family and, yeah, I love being from Northern Ireland. I tell everyone how great it is. For me, it's the best place on earth. I'm obviously biased, but I love it back there and I love the people."

 

 

HINT: Look at the bottom of the page.

 

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Much has been made about how hard golf is. There are those that think the game would be well served if it could find a way to soften it up in order to attract a larger audience. The game certainly doesn’t discriminate from one player to another. Consider last year’s major champions didn’t find the first round at Augusta National very easy. Defending champion Adam Scott posted a score of 3-under par, despite making a double bogey. However, Jason Dufner, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson found Thursday to be quite challenging.

Dufner, the reigning PGA Champion, shot 80 at Augusta National that included making a 9 at the par-5 13th! The Open Champion, Mickelson recorded a triple bogey and a double to finish four over par. The only other time Phil Mickelson had two 7's-or-worse in the same major championship round was round three at the 1997 PGA Championship (T29). In other words, it happens! The US Open Champion, Justin Rose also made a double bogey en route to a four over par score of 76. Between the four major champions of 2013, the cumulative score was 15 over par. Adam Scott’s opening round helped to off set some of the damage inflicted by the others.

Former Masters’ Champ, Zach Johnson posted a score of 78 that left him in 80th place after the first round, while another former champion, Trevor Immelman was one higher at 79. Former world #1, Luke Donald, who has finished T3 in 2005 and T4 in 2011 at The Masters, also carded an opening round of 79, thanks in large part to raking up an 8 on the 9th hole. Former Masters champ and last year’s runner up to Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera opened with a 78 that included a triple bogey on the 11th hole.

It was also a harsh day for the beloved amateurs in the field at Augusta National. The low score was 76 (Fitzpatrick, Goss, Porteous), which put them in good company with Mickelson, Rose and Ian Poulter. However, the six amateurs were a combined +35 on the opening round.

If the game is still hard for the best of the best, professional or amateurs, how can be any other way for the rest of the world?

 

Courtesy of the PGA Tour and Shot Link

 

 

Courtesy of the PGA Tour and Shot Link

 

Courtesy of the PGA Tour and Shot Link

 

Matt Jones became the ninth Shell Houston Open winner from Australia and joins Bruce Devlin (1972), Bruce Crampton (1973, ’75), David Graham (1983), Stuart Appleby (1999, 2006), Robert Allenby (2000) and Adam Scott (2007) with that distinction. He started the day six strokes behind 54-hole leader Matt Kuchar and his come-from-behind win was the best come-from-behind victory since the event moved to the current course. The all-time record is seven by Mike Sullivan in 1989 and Payne Stewart in 1995 at TPC Woodlands. 

His previous best showing this year was a T12 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Was T14 in his most recent outing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. His best PGA TOUR career finish prior to his win came a year ago when he was T2 at The Greenbrier Classic. His victory earned him $1,152,000. 

 

Millions of golf fans will be adjusting their grip on the TV remote when DIRECTV’s newly enhanced Masters Experience, which debuts April 10 with live multi-screen, interactive coverage of the 2014 Masters Tournament. DIRECTV will once again team up with CBS Sports and ESPN to provide fans with expanded coverage of golf’s most prestigious event. The Masters Experience, which began in 2007, is offering its exclusive six-screens-in-one Masters Mix channel and an interactive TV app that delivers every statistic, scorecard and tee time at the touch of a button. And new for the app this year: HD graphics with higher resolution for easier reading; player bios and head shots; and the ability to navigate app features while still viewing the full broadcast video.

The Masters Mix (channel 701) will display the main CBS Sports/ESPN feed (702); two “Featured Group” channels (703-704); “Amen Corner” (705), complete coverage of the most famous stretch of Augusta National; holes 15 and 16 (706); and “Masters in Depth” (707), along with a continuously running leader board featuring live tee times, scoring and leaders’ locations on the course. “Fans love the Featured Group channels,” said DIRECTV spokesperson, Robert Mercer. Each extra channel is fully produced with its own announcers. This year, the video cells on the Mix will dynamically update – from six to four to two – as bonus channels go off the air later in the day, for a better view of all the late-round play.  The Masters Experience will be broadcast April 10-13 – Thursday and Friday from 3-7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday 3-7 p.m.  ET, and Sunday 2-7 p.m. ET.

“The DIRECTV Masters Experience is designed for golf fans who want to immerse themselves in the drama and beauty that is so much a part of the Masters tradition,” said Chris Long, senior vice president, Original Content & Production, DIRECTV.  “We’re proud to continue our association with Augusta National, CBS Sports and ESPN to deliver another unmatched Masters Tournament viewing experience for fans at home.” 

Viewers will have access to the following interactive menu of features alongside the broadcast video by pressing the red button on their remote: Leader Board, which also provides information on all golfers in the field, including each player’s hole-by-hole stats, and can be customized by selecting their favorite players to more easily track their scores; Scorecard, which displays scores, stats; Groups and Tee Times; Course Tour, Player Bios and Masters On Demand, which will show highlights packages of the previous rounds. “There's definitely a correlation between app usage and longer viewing duration,” siad Mercer. “We don't release the data we've gathered on these services, but since we've been offering interactive/mix channels for all the Grand Slam tennis and golf events we continue to see fans engaged with the event coverage longer than those who don't use the features.”

DIRECTV’s Tournament coverage will also include the 2014 Masters Preview Show premiering April 7 from 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. ET on its exclusive Audience Network.  CBS Sports golf announcers Jim Nantz and Ian Baker-Finch speak to past and present Masters players, including defending champion Adam Scott, three-time Masters champion and CBS Sports’ lead golf analyst Sir Nick Faldo, and 20-year-old sensation Jordan Spieth – only on DIRECTV.  The 2013 Masters Official Film also premieres on the Audience Network March 31 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. ET.  Through DIRECTV On Demand, viewers can download five highlight packages featuring the top two leaders and three notable players, great drives and sand saves from the first three rounds, as well as highlights from the winner’s final round and great final round finishes.

 
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