Masters: Shane Lowry agonisingly misses out on a hole-in-one and Hideki Matsuyama wows Jack Nicklaus


TEE ROOM: Golf’s king of aces Shane Lowry agonisingly misses out on a Masters hole-in-one, Hideki Matsuyama wows Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player claims Phil Mickelson has been ‘crucified’

  • Shane Lowry rattled the flag at the 240-yard fourth but his ball ricocheted off
  • Hideki Matsuyama delivered a speech in English at the Champions Dinner 
  • Gary Player raised eyebrows by sporting a Saudi Golf logo on his sweater
  • Tom Watson joined Player and Nicklaus as a ceremonial starter for the first time

SHANE’S ACE ATTEMPT 

Shane Lowry, golf’s king of aces, nearly delivered another hole in one in his opening round. 

Having nailed the 17th at Sawgrass last month, which followed an ace at the 16th at Augusta in 2016, he rattled the flag at the 240-yard fourth. 

If that wasn’t frustrating enough, the ball ricocheted off the green.   

Shane Lowry, golf’s king of aces, nearly delivered another hole in one in his opening round

CAYMAN’S DEBUT FALLS FLAT

One of the charming tales of the week has centred on a teenage amateur from the Cayman Islands, Aaron Jarvis. 

His home island only has 27 golf holes and Jarvis, 19, is the first from his country to qualify to play at the Masters. 

Alas, his first loop at Augusta was a nine-over 81. 

HIDEKI SPEECH WOWS JACK

Hideki Matsuyama stole the show at the Champions Dinner. 

He speaks very limited English but wowed Jack Nicklaus and others by delivering a three-minute speech without notes. ‘He was terrific,’ said Nicklaus. 

His attempt to become the fourth man to defend his title got off to a less spectacular start; he is at level par. 

Hideki Matsuyama wowed Jack Nicklaus and others by delivering a three-minute speech

Hideki Matsuyama wowed Jack Nicklaus and others by delivering a three-minute speech

ONE PLAYER STILL LOVES PHIL…

A year after son Wayne caused a ruckus with some ambush marketing during the ceremonial opening tee shots, Gary Player raised eyebrows by sporting a Saudi Golf logo on his sweater. 

This on the back of Phil Mickelson’s Saudi flirtations. On Mickelson, Player said: ‘He’s being crucified. It’s not right.’ 

WATSON JOINS GOAT HERD 

That ceremonial tee shot featured Tom Watson for the first time, with the two-time Masters champion, 72, joining Nicklaus, 82, and Player, 86. 

‘I look at these old goats, I can’t carry their shoes,’ said Watson, who took over the honour from Lee Elder after his death in November. 

Watson out-hit his partners by 50 yards. 

Tom Watson (left) joined Jack Nicklaus (second left) and Gary Player (right) as ceremonial starters

Tom Watson (left) joined Jack Nicklaus (second left) and Gary Player (right) as ceremonial starters

 JEFF CAN’T MAKE UP THE NUMBERS

Since 2002, Jeff Knox, a member at Augusta, has served as the tournament marker, meaning he would make up the numbers when the field was left uneven after the cut. But the 59-year-old has been told he is not required this year. 

In 2014, Knox famously beat his third-round player partner — Rory McIlroy. 

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