Masters blog: News and notes as we're about to tee off

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The Masters Begins Thursday

The Masters begins Thursday, so here are some quick musings and notes as we're about to tee off:

EARLY OBSERVATIONS

Early Wednesday morning, many golfers teed off the back which was a great chance for me to see them play the grueling amen corner. I watched Charlie Hoffman and Davis Love III play, and both of their games look very solid. Adam Scott looked to be on form as he hit two perfect shots into the 12th, but his playing partner Hideki Matsuyama did not, as he hit two different flares into Raes creek. The wind was swirling out there and that is just foreshadowing of what is to come.

SEE MORE: Favorites and dark horses

CONCERN FOR GRILLO? NO WAY

Meanwhile, Emiliano Grillo was on the range for over an hour, which always worries me when guys are beating balls for that long. It worries me that they are trying to find something (and the eve of a major is not the time to be looking) or they are wearing themselves out.

Well, whatever worries that I might have had were put to rest when I watched this kid's putting stroke — silky smooth and the ball rolled so pure.

Obviously this could be a huge factor with the course looking more and more like it is going to be super firm. That might turn it into a short game and putting contest. Watching this guy hit balls is awe inspiring. I mean, unless you have seen it with your own eyes it his hard to describe. He can work the golf ball in both directions and move it as much as he wants. This was plainly evident when he hooked a sand wedge 40 yards onto the 10th green in the 2012 playoff.

He hit about a half dozen fairway woods and a half dozen 3 woods, and when I tell you one was purer than the next -- it bloody was. It was a thing of a beauty and what I liked about the flight of these fairway woods is they were very high, which could help him hold the greens on the par 5's when the course firms up. This was the same philosophy my dad used when he rode his 5 wood to victory in the '76 Masters. I also loved the fact that he called my dad Mr. Floyd...

ODDS AND ENDS

There are storms coming through and there is supposed to be some rain, but nothing like they were calling for. Then it is supposed to get windy, so whatever moisture these storms bring will be out of here by the afternoon. I do, however, think that those guys teeing off early Thursday will have a big advantage as they will get less wind and a softer golf course than those in the afternoon.

That means guys like Rory, Haas, Sergio, Jimmy Walker, Jason Day are going to have the rougher end of the draw. I received an interesting piece of information from a guy that follows this blog today. He said that the region of South Africa where Louis Oosthuzien grew up was the windiest in the country, and that Louis, as a young man, had many tournaments cancelled because of the wind. So with the forecast this week and a guy that has contended and won several British Opens, I am on Oosthuzien to sport green jacket come Sunday.

Other guys that I like very much are Zach Johnson and Bubba. If I had to throw out a couple of dark horses they would be Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, and Danny Willett. This is shaping up to be a heck of a tournament, not just because some many big names are playing well, but also because mother nature is going to give us a beast of a golf course.

TRIVIA

Who is the only player in modern times to both caddie and play in The Masters? Answer tomorrow.

By: Raymond Floyd Jr.

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