Masters Notebook

Par-5 Success Goes Long Way For Flesch

By Leonard Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 12, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga., April 11 -- Steve Flesch is not the longest hitter on the PGA Tour, and when he heard Augusta National's fairways had been soaked by three inches of rain last weekend, he knew his ability to hit approach shots with fairway woods and long irons would be at a premium on a course expected to play even longer than its listed 7,445 yards.

The left-hander from Union, Ky., also knew his best chance for birdies would be at the four par 5s, because he's also dangerous with a wedge. With that game plan in mind, Flesch played the par 5s at 5 under par in Friday's second round of the 72nd Masters. He had an eagle and three birdies with 14 pars, and pushed into contention with the low score of the day and the tournament, a 5-under 67 that left him tied for third place at 5-under 139.

His best long iron came at the 510-yard 13th. He had 234 yards to the flag, and his 3-iron from the fairway stopped two feet from the cup for a virtual tap-in eagle.

"I thought it rolled off the back edge," he said. "I was going to try to make a point to my caddie that it wasn't the right club. Then you heard the crowd kind of reacting and he goes, 'Dude, I told you it was the right bat.' I said: 'Yeah, you're right. Good call.' "

Weaver Drained, Misses Cut

Virginia Tech junior Drew Weaver's first Masters ended with some tears after he signed his scorecard for a second-round 80 and a two-day total of 12-over 156. The defending British Amateur champion said he simply was physically and emotionally spent after one of the greatest weeks of his 20-year-old life.

"Obviously a major championship is physically and mentally draining, and, I mean, I'm exhausted," he said. "I spent quite a long time getting ready for this and it's kind of tough to see it come to an end, but what can you do?"

Weaver likely will spend the weekend in Augusta and watch a little golf with his family and friends before heading back to Blacksburg, Va., where Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the campus shootings that resulted in the deaths of 33 students and faculty members.

"Wednesday will be tough," Weaver said. "I'll just try to represent the university in a good way, that's my main goal. That's why I wear the logo and carry the bag. I'm just trying to do it for them."

Player Will Be Back

Gary Player, 72, completed his record 51st Masters with a 78 and kissed the 18th green before he left the course, but not for the last time. Player said he plans to come back for No. 52 next year and is not quite ready to join Arnold Palmer as a ceremonial ball striker to help kick off the 2009 Masters. . . . Fred Couples's streak of 23 straight cuts made in the Masters came to an end when he signed for a 72 and 4-over 148, a shot off the cut line. He shares the record with Player.

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