AUGUSTA, Ga. — What was a 10 handicap shot at Augusta National in the gusty and icy conditions on Saturday? Australian Cameron Davis has been asked to try his hand at the Masters.
“You could play pretty well and shoot under 100 if you putt a few times, I think,” Davis said.
But that partly depends, he said, on whether or not that player is a low-ball hitter or a high-ball hitter.
“There’s a difference of 20 shots between the two,” he explained. “This course is difficult. It seems like you want to hit the ball high into every green and you have to hit the ball low. When the greens are firm and windy, it’s a bit difficult to do the low option, so you have to get the ball in the air and see what happens most of the time. It’s just difficult.
Temperatures started in the low 40s and stayed in the low 50s throughout the afternoon, with sustained winds of 15 mph and gusts up to 25 mph.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler shot 1-under at 71 and holds a three-shot lead on a day when only nine players managed to break par. Numbers 1 and 18 only allowed two birdies each in the third round. A Rory McIlroy birdied the fourth hole.
Here’s what the players had to say about the tough day:
“It was very difficult conditions to start with and I found myself behind the eight ball early on. … Just if you put the ball in the wrong place when they put those hole locations so close to the edges, it becomes almost impossible.
“I fought back and was unlucky to go 6 of 17, but I would have taken 1 on how I played throughout the day, but that’s the way it is. …Obviously your body doesn’t move as well and the ball feels like you’re hitting concrete. You just don’t have any feelings. This is a place where you need a lot of feel around the greens. So 50, 55 and blowing 20 isn’t much fun.
“I think it’s so hard to get him anywhere near the spit. I played amazing today. I mean, I’m not saying I’m the best golfer in the world, but I played really well and honestly, I seemed to be playing all day.
“I did what, three – I made four birdies today, so you’re not – nobody’s really going to do anything.”
“There are no easy birdies. Even par 5s aren’t – usually they’re kind of an unguaranteed 4, but you feel like they’re holes you’d probably take hits on. The way the wind blows, sometimes five is a good score and you move on.
“The gusts are what make things quite difficult sometimes. The wind completely set on me on the 12th and I sent it into that back bank like a lot of people do.
“But Sepp (Straka) hit right after me and the wind becomes his and the balls come clear and clear Rae’s Creek. So in the space of 30 seconds, two golf shots hit by two completely different wind forces and two completely different results. So it’s not just about judging the wind, but also about hitting the ball at the right time.
“I mean, it was hard. It was just cold. It was so cold…for someone who loves the feel a lot and uses my hands a lot, when it’s cold like this it gets hard. is hard for everyone.
“It seemed like the ball was curving a lot more. I wasn’t solid with the pilot, so it was really turning off the line in those crosswinds.
“Today it was just windy all day. You add the temperature difference, it was cold at the start. The ball was not going very far. I thought it was tough. Some of the other guys might not say that, but for me, I struggled. I felt like I didn’t really hit him that badly, but I had four three-putts and one four-putt.
“Obviously it was tough. Not only because it was still windy like the first two days, but the course was firmer, the greens were firmer, it was colder. So it was not easy to move as well as the first days.
“I started really well. … On the 10th I had a huge flurry off the tee. I thought I had hit a perfect tee shot and I caught a huge flurry and moved 20 yards to the left and I went to trees unplayable.Unfortunately I couldn’t do normal.
“It’s a strong wind, so you’re downwind and the ball isn’t going to fly that far. It’s tough because you know you’re there and you’re 20 mph downwind, and you have to hit the same club as when there was no wind. It plays hard. There’s no way to pretend here.