McIlroy says would think twice about golfing with Trump again

On Monday, biblical rains fell and the course was quickly closed as water pooled all over the grounds.

"It will surely be there and it has been", Spieth told a news conference on Tuesday. "With the forecast, wind on Thursday and Friday, the course will play very hard". This will be the first time in 10 years Palmer, who died in September, is not with them. The tee shot is one of the more visually impressive at Augusta, a big sweeping uphill fairway with a single fairway bunker on the right.

McIlroy has been grouped with Hideto Tanihara and Jon Rahm for the opening two rounds, and the Northern Irishman is particularly taken with the latter's abilities.

Few places in the world set a stage as bright as Augusta National Golf Club, and now in my ninth year covering the tournament, the stage only gets brighter with each passing year.

Last year, Danny Willett won. He is going full Britannia: Scottish pie followed by roast beef with all the trimmings, followed by apple crumble. He's the betting favorite and likely the most talented golfer on the course. I'm going to have to drive it well, hit my irons well, putt it well. And then maybe have a nap. "You really don't expect yourself or a loved one to go through it".

Can I say that here?

"I think we're on the same page".

He said this pleasantly, but is not all that surprising that the man from Sheffield is particular about his Yorkshire pudding.

Spieth, who was leading the Masters previous year until his debacle at the par-three 12th, stuck his tee shot about a foot from the pin on the same hole on Tuesday.

With a new putter and a new grip, McIlroy rediscovered his mojo to win the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston less than six weeks later. It's his best major too, as he's won it three times - in 2004, 2006 and 2010. All should be considered a threat. But Augusta tends to produce some enticing sentimental storylines. "I was torn. I just knew I had to be back home". Spieth, obviously, could also appear in this category.

"I haven't played at the level I expected to for a few years". But he has cooled off since. Snedeker checks both those boxes with three top 10s at the Masters (T10 last year) and three top 10s in his last five non-match play events.

"It was, quite simply, a round of golf", he said.

"I've had a good week of practice".

"I'm very, very pleased and very, very happy with how things have progressed from the start of the year to now", he added a moment later.

I've been in position before, and I haven't got the job done when I needed to, and I don't think that's anything to do with my game.

Then there was Jason Day on Tuesday: "I'm a little bit unprepared, to be honest".

Australian world number three Jason Day, who took a short break from golf as his mother had surgery in her battle with lung cancer, has been paired with England's Justin Rose and American Brandt Snedeker. He apologized, and wept after he withdrew.

"The great thing about golf is that to be successful and to play a good round, you have to really dive in mentally, physically, and be committed to each shot, to the round, and it takes your focus away from anything else that might be going on", Mickelson said.

"Going up for trips with my dad and friends and just messing around up there, that makes it feel way easier for me because I always associate Augusta with stressful situations and shots".

This tournament, he said, is a different level of special. It always is. To be able to do it (win) this week would be great.

"Obviously with the emotions that happened beforehand, and hopefully it would be nice to have my mom here".

The effect of armchair-rule officials has come up in the past, but never has it had such a dramatic effect on the outcome of a major event. "I think if you ask every single player, that wouldn't be a question".

"I feel like my game is really solid right now", Johnson said.

"At the start it was kind of tough to get her over here because she's very, very stubborn".

Rap music might be the last thing you'd associate with Augusta National. "Now it's past, and I'm thinking about playing golf".

Now, at least, Day says his mind if free, even if he hasn't practised that much.

"I cast my mind back to the 11th hole on Saturday past year where I'm in the pine straw on the left and I'm trying to hit this low hook around and catch the hill and trying to get it up onto the green and hit this heroic shot, and it goes in the water and I make a six". "I felt selfish being out there".

They have certainly come some distance from where he was two weeks ago.

  • Julie Sanders