19th hole: Kaufman says ‘no stress like LSU football’

The chatter

While the often stoic Bernhard Langer brought thunder in the third round Saturday, it was Smylie Kaufman who found himself in a tie for second place and in position to become the first player since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 to win at Augusta National Golf Club in a first Masters appearance.

A few things to know about Smylie:

  • It’s a family name not a nickname.
  • Both his mother and father played golf at LSU, as did Smylie, who is from Birmingham, Ala.
  • He earned his way to Augusta by winning the Shriners Open.
  • In 14 PGA Tour events in 2016, he has had six top-15 finishes and has earned just more than $2 million in 16 events.
  • His 69 on Saturday was the low round of the day.

Q: Where are your emotions going to bed Saturday night in your first Masters and playing in the final pairing?

Kaufman: It’s going to be different obviously. I played the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, but I was a completely different golfer than I am now.

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Q: Is there any part of you that’s surprised you’re in this position?

Kaufman: Not really. The golf course plays really hard. I tend to play well on hard golf courses. I’m driving the ball really well, and if I’m going to get on the greens just as much as everybody else, I think that I’ll have a pretty good opportunity to be in contention.

Q: You compared your first win, the stress level, to watching an LSU football game. Does being in contention at a major finally overtake that stress?

Kaufman: No, it still doesn’t (laughter). LSU football is one of the most painful things to watch ever really (laughter). That just speaks to how big of a fan I am, though.

By the numbers


Majors played by Sergio Garcia without a victory. At one point early in his career, Garcia, who has earned $41.5 million in his career and won eight PGA Tour events, was thought to be the next big thing. His best finishes in each major: 2004 Masters-T4; 2005 U.S. Open-T3; 2007 and 2014 British Open-2nd and T2; 1998, 2008 PGA-2nd and T2. He enters the final round at 12 shots back after 69-75-81—225.


Consecutive Masters rounds under par by Rory McIlroy before he shot 77 on Saturday. He shot 77 in the second round in 2014.


There is a freeze warning in effect until 9 a.m., but the day should be clear with a high of 67, and the winds should ease substantially to 5-10 mph out of the east-southeast.

Final word

“I probably shot myself really out of wishful thinking for (Sunday). But it’s so brutally difficult out there.” — 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott, one of the pre-tourney favorites after a strong Florida swing on the PGA Tour.

Hole of the day

No. 7 Pampas

Par 4, 434 yards

Avg.: 4.579 Birdies: 3

Pars: 24 Bogeys: 24

Doubles: 6 Other: 0

Comment: Jordan Spieth bogeyed it Saturday. Only Danny Willett of the players within the top eight ​was able to birdie the hole.

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