Their names are at the bottom, not the top, of the leader board, but for Jodie Mudd, Bob Gilder and Dan Pohl, this was a Masters day that will never be forgotten.
Gilder will remember nine birdies and the low round of this Masters: 66.
Pohl will recall the first back-to-back eagles in Masters history, plus an unbelievable streak of four holes in which he was six under par.
However, what Mudd will remember may well be beyond words.
Mudd, a 21-year-old amateur from Louisville, has seemed unusually intense and yet poised all week, as though he were not playing entirely for himself. After he finished poorly with a 77 in the first round--when he was paired with Jack Nicklaus--Mudd was pale and upset in the locker room, as though something more than a bad score were at stake.
Today, after shooting a seven-birdie 35-32--67, which put him in a five-way tie for 11th place at two-over-par 218, Mudd told his story.
He grew up as the white kid who played out of the predominantly black Shawnee Golf Club. His father, Edward L. Mudd, was athletic director at Butler High and he taught both Jodie and his brother Eddie how to play golf.
"My father raised public links champions," said Mudd, a two-time national publinx titlist whose brother won once. "He's the guy who started me out on weekends. Our relationship was different. He had one dream, and that was for one of his sons to play in the Masters."
Last year, before Mudd was named to the Walker Cup team and thus got a Masters invitation, his father died at the age of 54 of a heart attack.
"So," said Mudd this afternoon, fighting to keep his composure in front of a hundred reporters, "he knows I played in the Masters, but he really doesn't. It's difficult to talk about . . . "
Mudd doesn't need to speak too much. Others will. Nicklaus, who gave him tips, likes his game. Fuzzy Zoeller proclaims him a solid player who'll be around for years. Although he hasn't announced it yet, Mudd will probably turn pro on Monday.
By contrast, Gilder, 31, has been a pro for years. But he never had a day like this. For two years, he had a terminally bad case of lost putting confidence, which has improved recently, although not a great deal. "I had worse than the yips. I had flinches."
Today, he made nine birdie putts, only one more than 10 feet. Five were from six feet or less, and he said, "I didn't even have any tough putts."
Pohl, in his first Masters, had the most amazing string of under-par holes in Masters history. On the 13th through 16th, Pohl went eagle, eagle, birdie, birdie--the eagles coming on a 10-foot putt after a 5-wood approach to the 465-yard par-5 13th and on a 118-yard pitching wedge into the 405-yard 14th.
"I haven't played one solid round all year," said Pohl, who ranks 122nd on the money list this year. "This was a dream round come true.
"Before my first eagle (putt), Keith Fergus mentioned how nice the set of crystal glasses was that the Masters gives you for an eagle. I knew my wife would love it, and I kinda tightened up on the putt, but I coaxed it in.
"The next eagle was a good (wedge) shot, right on the hole, and it rolled right in . . . all my wife talked about (afterwards) was the crystal."
Ironically, Pohl had a shot, sort of, at a third straight eagle after a typically huge drive on the par-5 15th. "Yeah, I was thinking, 'If you can make two eagles, you can make three,' " said Pohl. "But I was also thinking, 'Don't do something stupid.' "
As it was, Pohl's chip at the 15th left him a two-foot birdie tap-in. His birdie at the 16th was, compared with what preceded it, a merely routine 15-foot putt.
As Pohl left the press room, Zoeller said, "What are you doin' in here?"
"Oh," said Pohl casually, "eagle-eagle-birdie-birdie."
Dan Pohl, who ranks 122nd on the money list and hadn't played a solid round all year, left smiling.