by Craig Small
Match 9: Tiger Woods vs. Bobby Locke
As expected, Woods just obliterated Locke off the tee and after three holes he jumped to 3-up. Locke roared back behind solid putting and after seven holes, shockingly, the match was all-square. From there the match went back and forth with neither competitor ever getting up by more than 1. On 17 Locke hit a short putt to go 1-up but Woods responded on 18 with a 310 yard tee shot that blew 65 yards past Locke on the fairway. A short approach, and a clutch 8-footer squared up the match after 18. On the playoff hole Woods again hit a beautiful 310-yard tee shot while Locke’s ball landed in the fairway 45 yards short of Woods. Locke followed with a magnificent 7-iron that rolled to 7 feet of the pin while Woods’ approach left him with a 19 footer for birdie. Woods’ putt fell short and Locke had no problem with his 7-footer for the win. Incredibly, the 16 seed had done the unthinkable by defeating the 1 seed Nicklaus, and the 2 seed Woods.
Winner: Locke 1-Up After 1 Extra Hole
Match 10: Ben Hogan vs. Nick Faldo
Faldo went 1-up on the first hole as he continued to putt the ball beautifully, knocking down an 18 foot birdie. Hogan squared things up on 5 after a masterful 5-iron into the green left him with a 6-footer. Hogan would never trail again though Faldo would make a late charge that fell just short on 18 when Hogan hit a 12-foot birdie putt to take the match 2-up.
Winner: Hogan 2-Up
Match 11: Sam Snead vs. Gene Sarazen
Nothing spectacular, just another solid effort from Sarazen who never trailed in the match and closed it out with an easy 2-foot par putt on 16. Like Palmer in the first round, Snead played a good match but just couldn’t stay with Sarazen.
Winner: Sarazen 3 and 2
Match 12: Gary Player vs. Byron Nelson
This was easily the most unpleasant match of the tournament. I honestly didn’t enjoy playing it as neither player could keep their ball out of the rough and sand. I quickly grew tired of flipping pages and consulting lie charts as Player and Nelson spent the day hacking away in the deep stuff. Nelson ultimately prevailed as Player just played a little worse.
Winner : Nelson 2 and 1
Aside from that last painful match, I’m having a wonderful time with this tournament. I’m having a blast following Locke’s exploits and I love watching him do his thing on the greens. I can’t wait to kick of the final four at Magnolia (Augusta National). As he continues to win I’ve been researching Locke a little bit and discovered that he was the originator of the famous golf adage, "Drive for show, putt for dough." It only makes sense. I wonder if he can continue his streak and defeat the 1, 2, and 3 seeds. That would really be something special. I’ll get the semi-finals wrapped up this weekend and post the results of the final on Monday. See you then.
Semi-Finals From Magnolia:
Hogan vs. Locke
Sarazen vs. Nelson