AUGUSTA, Ga. — On the course, it’s all about going low. Outside the ropes, it’s more about stacking high.
Masters cups are the most sought-after souvenirs at Augusta National. Fans buy drinks — beers are a modest $3, empty the logo-etched cups and start stacking them high. Really high. Others even dig through trash cans to get extras.
Mike Fletcher, of Moore, Okla., had 16 of them piled up Saturday.
“We’re trying to get 50 cups between us,” said Fletcher, who is attending his ninth Masters with his girlfriend and some friends.
EARLY UPSET: Rory McIlroy was hoping for a little sympathy on the 18th green.
Not on this day. Not from this guy.
McIlroy birdied three of his final four holes in the third round, shooting a 1-under 71, but got beat by his amateur playing partner.
Jeff Knox, who owns the Augusta National record for members with a 61, was selected to serve as a non-competing marker because an odd number of players made the cut. Knox shot 2-under 70 on his home course from the championship tees despite bogeying No. 18.
“I thought he was going to be nice and three-putt the last and we would have a half, but he beat me by one,” McIlroy said. “He obviously knows this place so well and gets it around. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone putt the greens as well as he does around here. He was really impressive.
“I was thinking of maybe getting him to read a few of my putts out there.”
— Mark Long
GENTLE BEN: Ben Crenshaw first showed up at the Masters as a 20-year-old amateur out of Texas. Next year will be his 44th consecutive appearance — and his last one.
Crenshaw told Golf Channel that he has decided 2015 will be his final year playing the Masters.
Crenshaw won his first Masters in 1984, memorable for that 60-foot putt he made on the 10th hole. Even more special was 1995, when he won the Masters after starting the week as a pallbearer at the funeral of longtime coach Harvey Penick.
“I’ve thought about it for a long time,” Crenshaw said about retiring from Masters competition. “A lot of times I thought that I could have stepped down earlier. It is hard — very hard. But I have been so fortunate. I have to look at the good things that have happened. I have to pull over and watch.”
Crenshaw last made the cut at Augusta in 2007.
— Doug Ferguson, https://twitter.com/@DougFerguson405
FASHION LETDOWN: Ian Poulter and Rickie Fowler were supposed to be the most fashionable pairing in the field Saturday.
Maybe they’re saving their best for Sunday.
Poulter wore baby-blue pants with a matching shirt and shoes. No plaid. No outrageous colors. Hardly even much of a head-turner at Augusta National. Fowler had him beat in a relatively toned-down ensemble. Fowler wore gray pants with a coordinated gray, purple and white shirt, with a purple belt and a black, purple and white hat.
— Mark Long