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Norman (82) has an 'ugly' day

By BOB HARIG and HUBERT MIZELL

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 7, 2001


AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Greg Norman described it as "ugly." And there wasn't much more to say. Playing in his 21st Masters, Norman, 46, shot his worst competitive score at Augusta National Friday, an 82 that included five straight bogeys.

"It was ugly, everything went wrong," he said.

Norman, who has eight top-five finishes as the Masters but no victories, shot 80 in the opening round last year but rebounded to tie for 11th. And after 71 on Thursday, Norman was in position to make a move. But there were no birdies, and he appeared to give up after bogey at No. 7.

"I drove it straight in the fairway and my ball was in a sand-filled divot," he said. "And that was it."

There were 47 players who made the cut, which came at 1-over-par 145. Among those who will not play on the weekend are Sergio Garcia (70-76), Davis Love (71-75), Joe Durant (73-74), Jack Nicklaus (73-75), Nick Price (73-75), Colin Montgomerie (73-76) and Nick Faldo (75-76).

Since shooting a final-round 67 in 1996 to defeat Norman for his third Masters, Faldo has missed the cut in four of five and has failed to shoot a round in the 60s.

HUSTON ADVANCES: Safety Harbor's John Huston began the second round two shots out of the lead, but double bogey at the par-3 fourth left him fighting the rest of the day. He hit his tee shot into the lip of a bunker and needed three shots to get it out before making the putt for 5. Huston managed one birdie and 75.

"I just didn't play well," Huston said. "It wasn't much worse than (Thursday), but every putt I read (during the first round) seemed to go in. Today a bunch of them fooled me."

Nonetheless, Huston made his 12th consecutive Masters cut (2-under 142). He was eight shots behind leader Chris DiMarco.

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, are expecting their second child, but this time it won't conflict with a major championship. Mickelson said the due date is for early November. "The timing should be pretty good," he said. The Mickelsons' first child, Amanda, was born June 21, 1999 -- the day after the final round of the U.S. Open, where Mickelson finished second to Payne Stewart. Mickelson had vowed to leave the tournament if Amy went into labor.

BIG THREE: For the second straight year, Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player were paired for the first three rounds. None made the cut. Asked if it gets old playing in that group, Palmer said, "They are old, but it doesn't get old."

Nicklaus, however, does not like the idea. It has typically been a Masters tradition to pair amateurs with past Masters champions.

"When I was a young kid, I always looked forward to playing with a Masters champion," Nicklaus said. "I think the kids would like to play with us. I don't think they should pair the three of us together every year. I'd enjoy playing with the young kids."

PRIDE OF THE GATORS: This time, it's Steve Spurrier cheering DiMarco. "I spend football season yelling my head off for the Florida Gators," the Masters leader said. "It's my passionate hobby, pulling for Coach Spurrier's team."

But now, Spurrier told the Times by phone, "We'll spend Saturday and Sunday rooting for Chris to get the green jacket. He's a really good Gator. Pro golfers who played at the University of Florida are among our most solid backers. Let's hope he can handle Tiger (Woods)."

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