Stepped out of the hotel this morning in Blythewood, S.C., and immediately felt at home – cold, breezy and, once again, the threat of downpour showers.
The sensation did not change 80 miles away getting out of the rental car in the media parking lot. Hoping it warms up a tad for Kyle Stanley’s second-round tee time at 12:36 p.m. EDT – or 9:36 a.m. PDT.
Here is my story about Stanley’s first-ever Masters round Thursday. He shot a 3-over-par 75.
Here is my first-day gamer about the Masters, which includes leader Lee Westwood, of England.
Hopped on the radio for a few minutes from the media room with good pal Jason Puckett, from KJR 950-AM, and with another one of my closest journalism buds Jim Moore, from ESPN 710-AM, from the car on the ride home Thursday.
In terms of first-day observations about Stanley, the sharpest part of his game frankly was what I figured would give him the most trouble on these ever-changing, slick greens – short game. He hit a couple of world-class chips on No. 11 and No. 15, and while he did not make a ton of putts, the stroke looked pretty good.
A real issue playing in the morning wave was how much slower the greens were than usual. And Stanley left a good share of putts on line, but short. He could not recalibrate himself to hitting those putts harder – understandably.
For him to play better – I am gathering he needs a 1-under 71 to safety make the cut – he needs to drive the ball better than Thursday. His miss was left at crucial times. These par-5 holes are tailor-made for him to score on – as he did Thursday playing them in 3-under.
Walked around plenty with Kyle’s parents, Matt and Michele, who are fantastic to just chat with. Matt is a Pittsburgh native, which is where my family is from. I get his wry sense of humor (which sometimes shows up in his son when he answers stupid reporter questions). Also, Brad Buffoni, Kyle’s agent, has been part of the following. He is a former tennis player from the University of Wisconsin.
Will update later after Stanley’s round. Bye, now!