AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods went birdieless for the first time in 31 career Masters rounds, and he lost to an amateur by seven strokes.
Jack Nicklaus went birdieless to shoot his worst score in 158 career Masters rounds, and he lost to Arnold Palmer by two strokes.
Let's just say it was that kind of day at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday. And that was only the half of it - which for a few select favorites was a good thing.
They played wall-to-wall golf, from sunup to sundown, in a 12-hour marathon that could be described only as brutal.
Players barely had time to digest lunch, much less digest the results of a first round that was history before it was over. The second began before the first round officially ended.
"Cold, wet, windy ... a little bit smelly," was Jeff Sluman's assessment.
Only 11 players shot par or better in the first round. Fifteen players shot 80 or worse. The cumulative score of the field was 391-over par - a scoring average of 76.20 that ranks the highest since 1988.
Tiger Woods shot 76 - seven shots back of playing partner Ricky Barnes, the 22-year-old U.S. Amateur champion. If Woods wants to complete his three-peat quest, he'll have to break Craig Stadler's record for highest first-round score by a Masters winner (75).
Talking to dozens of golfers after Thursday's first-round rainout, a clear, composite picture of a Friday iron man was drawn:
He must be young. He must be fit. He must be uncommonly long. He must be deft at recovering. He must be mentally tough.
Of course, who fits all of those descriptions of the longest and strongest better than 34-year-old Darren Clarke -- the cigar-smoking, Guinness-quaffing, Krispy Kreme-hoarding Irishman whose agent is named Chubby.
What were you thinking, Woods? C'mon. The last time they were scheduled to play 36 holes together, Clarke won 4 and 3 in the 2000 WGC-Match Play final.
With a first-round 66 that was 10 strokes better than the field average, Clarke called it "not far off" his best round. At the Masters, it was his best ever.
Could he handle beginning another 18 holes?
"Does it look like it?" he said, with a pat to his belly.
Apparently another criterion for staying strong was being left-handed. Mike Weir finished hot with a pair of birdies on his 29th and 30th holes to take the lead to bed at 6-under with six holes to finish. He's two up on Clarke and four ahead of fellow lefty Phil Mickelson.
The patrons who waded through shoe-sucking and fanny-busting muck got to see that it wasn't much more pleasant on the lush acreage inside the ropes. But as always, there were glimpses of magic.
Tommy Aaron, 66, rallied from a career-worst Masters score of 92 to shoot a second-round 80, possibly concluding his competitive career with a closing bogey on No. 9.
Nicklaus birdied Nos. 14, 17 and 3 in his second round to reach 500 career Masters birdies. He's tied with Gary Player at 15-over - wedged between youngsters David Duval and Chris DiMarco.
Marathons are for grinders, not sprinters, and the long day gradually evened out in the end. Woods scraped his way back to 2-over before darkness halted his day after 28 holes.
Other favorites barely held it together as well. Davis Love III and Ernie Els came back from 77 and 79, respectively, to sleep restlessly inside the projected cut.
By contrast, two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer is a major rally away from missing his first Masters cut in 20 tries since his rookie year in 1982. John Huston's unblemished cut streak of 12-0 is in peril.
It was that kind of day here Friday.
Course plays long
Morris News Service
AUGUSTA, Ga.-- Despite five days of near constant rain, the course conditions at Augusta National Golf Club were surprisingly pleasant for the golfers.
The conditions for the patrons were a different story.
Nearly four inches of water have been dumped on the course since Sunday, turning the patron walkways into muddy quagmires. Tournament attendees found their shoes and pants painted in splashes of mud, while the walkways themselves were covered with a thin layer of the slippery substance.
And those unlucky golfers who were unable to keep their shots on the course often found themselves battling the unsavory conditions.
Sergio Garcia, who teed off on the back nine for the first round, pushed his second shot way right into the gallery. He received a drop, but the ball still found itself in a thin layer of mud.
He muffed his chip and wound up with a bogey on the closing hole, putting him three shots back of Darren Clarke at the end of the first round.
Its just tough to walk in this slop, 1987 Masters champion Larry Mize said. "Fortunately, I didn't have any trouble with the mud, and I think (the Augusta National Golf Club) did a great job with the course."
Thanks to the rain, the course played excessively long.
But for all the rain, the course was in solid shape and the greens, despite being softer than usual, still maintained their patented quickness.
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