Augusta Tee Room: Few flowers this year... but is it time for blooming Rose?

There are few flowers in bloom at Augusta this year, just an odd pink splash at the par-five 13th. The azaleas have come and gone after an unusually warm winter. Lovers of irony might think it the perfect year to bet on Justin Rose.

Water shot: Justin Rose skips his ball off the pond on the 16th hole during a practice round at Augusta

Water shot: Justin Rose skips his ball off the pond on the 16th hole during a practice round at Augusta

NATIONAL PRIDE

Tuesday at the Masters. The first spectator arrives outside at 4am. At 7am, thousands are taken to a holding pen. At 8am the gates open. By 9am the queue for souvenirs is 1,000 long. On a practice day. Such is the pull of Augusta National.

PASSING TRIBUTE

 

Furman Bisher covered 63 Masters for the Atlanta Constitution before his death aged 93. The Masters has marked his passing by leaving his usual seat in the press centre vacant, with his yellow Masters hat on a hatstand on his desk.

JUMP TO IT, BOYS

Prior to leaving for the Masters last year, Charl Schwartzel toasted Augusta with his mates at a barbecue which ended with him leaping into a pile of cow dung. Given how much pros study each other, do you think this will catch on?

Can you smell something? Defending champion Charl Schwartzel hits his approach shot to the 14th green

Can you smell something? Defending champion Charl Schwartzel hits his approach shot to the 14th green

STORMS GATHER

Is this going to be the first weather-affected Masters since 2008? The forecast for the first two days doesn’t look clever, with a 50 per cent chance of rain and thunderstorms. Fingers crossed Mother Nature doesn’t stick her oar in, this year of all years.

WELCOME INDEED

A ticker-tape notice in the Press Centre is causing mild amusement. It reads: 'Under no circumstances should cell phones leave the Press Building… violation will subject the credential holder to removal from the grounds and permanent loss of credentials…  Welcome to the Masters.'

Where are the flowers? An unusually warm winter sadly means no azaleas this year

Where are the flowers? An unusually warm winter sadly means no azaleas this year

MARTIN'S MIRACLE

Is Martin Kaymer about to enjoy a change of luck after four missed Masters cuts? Trying to bounce a tee shot for a laugh off water at the 16th, his ball finished not in the bottom of the lake but the bottom of the hole. Proof that holes-in-one are all about luck.

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