Watson misses cut by 2 strokes at Augusta National

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“I did make the cut last year, so it was maybe a little bit more nerves this year, kind of not knowing if I was going to make the cut,” Matsuyama said through an interpreter. “So maybe a little bit more nerves this year.”

Fellow amateurs Kelly Kraft and Patrick Cantlay also made the cut.

Matsuyama was one of the feel-good stories at Augusta National last year. A student at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai, he was practicing in Australia when his city was hit by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeast coast. He debated whether he should even come to the Masters, but decided playing well here was the best way he could help.

And play well he did. Matsuyama was the only amateur to make the cut, and his 68 on Saturday was the lowest by an amateur since James Driscoll’s in the first round in 2001.

Matsuyama, who turned 20 in February, earned a return trip to Augusta by defending his title at the Asian Amateur.

“I had three goals before I came here, and the first one was to make the cut. The second one was to have a better score than I did last year. And the third one is to be in the top 16 and ties so that I can come back next year to the Masters,” he said. “The first one I was able to clear today, so I’m going to work on those next two and hopefully get it done.”


PLAYING THROUGH: Chez Reavie and Martin Laird played through the first group of the day. And they didn’t even need to hit their drives into the threesome in front of them to get waved through.

Down to a twosome after Mark O’Meara withdrew just before the start of the first round, Reavie and Laird were the second group off Friday behind Sean O’Hair, Scott Verplank and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castro. The threesome knew Reavie and Laird had spent what must have felt like ages waiting between shots Thursday, and told rules officials they wouldn’t object to the twosome playing through.

“I felt like they probably should have had them tee off first,” O’Hair said. “It was just a courtesy thing.”

Rules officials approached Reavie and Laird on the third hole, and Laird said, “I think I waited half a second before I said yes. It was an easy decision for both parties.”

With O’Hair, Verplank and Fernandez-Castro on the green on the par-3 No. 4, Reavie and Laird hit up. They then putted out ahead of the threesome and moved along.

“Even if they played fast, if they looked back and saw us leaning on our bags, they might start rushing,” Reavie said. “It was best for all of us to play through.”

Playing through happens all the time at munis and even toney country clubs. But it’s almost unheard of on the PGA Tour, let alone a major championship. Reavie said he’s had it occur two other times, but those were because of delays caused by rules questions. Laird said he’s seen groups play through when a ball is lost.

This, however, was a unique situation.

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