The 19th hole

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The 19th hole

HOT SHOT

1. Padraig Harrington, No. 16, birdie: Harrington, sporting new clear eyewear while on the course, struggled through both days, but had a broad smile on his face after his tee shot stopped within the leather for an easy tap-in. He finished his round at 75, three shots better than his opening 78, but not good enough to play the weekend.

FREE-FALLIN’

Sergio Garcia: He surprised the media with his lack of confidence in the interview room after his first-round 66 and proceeded to show everyone why by blowing up to 76 on Friday. He spent part of the day walking the fairways, mumbling to himself about the wind and sagging his shoulders when things didn’t go his way on the green. As they say in the transactions: Sergio Garcia, mood (day to day).

TWEET OF THE DAY

Ian Poulter, who missed the cut after rounds of 76, 75:

“There will be 1 very happy young man at Augusta today. The young lad i gave my driver to after my 18th tee shot. Enjoy it young man.”

BY THE NUMBERS

65

The number of times Tiger Woods had played the 18th hole at Augusta National as a professional without three-putting … until he did so Friday in his 66th trip around the course.

4

The toughest hole of the day, which surrendered only four birdies.

2

The number of birdies on the first hole, which again played as the second toughest hole.

SEEN

Viewership and ratings rose for ESPN’s live telecast of the first round, with double-digit ratings increases among younger viewers. ESPN’s telecast also saw a 16 percent rise in the male 18-34 demographic, averaging a 1.4 rating versus a 1.2 for last year’s first round, and a 15 percent rise in the male 18-49 category.

TIGER’S TALE

Tiger Woods on his standing at the halfway point: “There’s a long way to go. We got 36 holes, and this is a tricky test.”

HE SAID IT

Fred Couples on being 53 and how long he can compete at Augusta: “Am I good enough to play four good rounds in a row on a course like this? It didn’t happen last year. I was 4 over pretty fast on Saturday, which was a real bummer. And then on Sunday, you know, I played well enough to, I feel like, finish in a good spot. But you know, when I get to be a certain age, and I don’t start driving it where on the last hole I have a 4- or 5-iron in there, it’s going to be impossible for me to play well here, physically impossible.”

TEE TIMES OF NOTE

The leaders: Fred Couples and Jason Day, 2:45 p.m.

The star: Tiger Woods and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 1:45 p.m.

The kid: Tianlang Guan and Thorbjorn Oleson, 9:55 a.m.

The champ: Defending champ Bubba Watson with a non-competing marker, first off at 9:25 a.m.

IF YOU GO

Forecast for Saturday: High of 79 with zero percent chance of rain, with wind at 7 mph

Forecast for Sunday: High of 78 with 20 percent chance of showers, with wind at 12 mph

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