Ross Fisher will not have fond memories of “Golden Bell,” the 12th hole at Augusta National. (Yes, they name every hole after a flower.) After six consecutive birdies to take the lead in The Masters, Fisher had a sweet up-and-down from the bunker on 12 to stay at 4-under. He’s currently tied with Goosen for the lead. McIlroy stalks a stroke back.
Playing conditions on this Thursday morning couldn’t be finer. Temperatures will reach the high 80’s with very light wind and brilliant sunshine. As my brother texted me, “I wouldn’t be shocked to see a 63 today.” Neither would I.
Dustin Johnson won’t shoot that magic number. The flatliner is + 1 thru 8 holes, five shots back of the lead. Johnson has a ton of work to do on a day when the goal is to get to 7-under-par.
I just received an incredible e-mail from the USGA, which governs the U.S. Open and no other major championship. They have reversed a ruling on signing an incorrect scorecard. Here’s the full lawyer-like text:
“The R&A and the USGA have announced a new interpretation of the rules that apply in limited circumstances not previously contemplated by the Rules of Golf where disqualifications have been caused by score card errors identified as the result of recent advances in video technologies.
This revision to Decision 33-7/4.5 addresses the situation where a player is not aware he has breached a Rule because of facts that he did not know and could not reasonably have discovered prior to returning his score card. Under this revised decision and at the discretion of the Committee, the player still receives the penalty associated with the breach of the underlying Rule, but is not disqualified.
In revising the decision, The R&A and the USGA confirm that the disqualification penalty still applies for score card breaches that arise from ignorance of the Rules of Golf. As such, this decision reinforces that it is still the responsibility of the player to know the Rules, while recognizing that there may be some rare situations where it is reasonable that a player is unaware of the factual circumstances of a breach.”
This does not take effect at Augusta. Which probably makes Roberto De Vicenzo very, very upset.