AUGUSTA, Ga. - As many of you know, this is the 25th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus winning the Masters to become its oldest champion at the age of 46. The only older winner of a major was Julius Boros (48), winning the 1968 PGA Championship. Just think: The two players in the lead after the second day of the Masters were not even born when Nicklaus pulled off that amazing comeback victory. Jason Day was born in 1987 and Rory McIlroy was born in 1989. It seems as if these youngsters have no fear.
The player that just might be the story of the Masters is Fred Couples. Fred fired a 4-under 68 and with his 1-under 71 (Thursday), he is very much still in the hunt.
I had the chance to sit in with Fred's interview after the round. He said his back hurts all the time, kind of like a toothache. He did have some shots in his back before Houston last week and it is feeling a little better. He would love to keep it going and become the oldest winner of a major at 51. I followed Fred for a few holes today and he is always walking down the fairway doing back exercises, twisting and turning with a club to try and keep his back loose. It is going to be warm this weekend, so hopefully that will help Fred.
And then there is Tiger. Is this the start of a comeback? He sure looked good coming down the stretch. He has put himself in a postition to win another Masters. If he can start making the putts again, the field better look out.
I thought it was quite interesting that Jason Day commented after his round that he did not know what he had shot. I am not sure how you can shoot a 64 and not know what you had just done, but that's what the world's best players do - they get into that zone.
Another player that started to make up some ground was Lee Westwood. There are a lot of players that can shoot some real low numbers, so it is starting to heat up at the Masters.
As I walked the course today, I spent quite a lot of time at hole No. 12. That is the short little par 3 with water in front. It is the hole that you see quite a few players hit in the water on Saturday and Sunday.It is only 155 yards long, but the players really have a tough time with club selection. Players hit anything from a 6- to 9-iron. The Ben Hogan Bridge is the bridge the players cross to get to this hole. This is a great hole to watch on Sunday.
I spent a while on the range today and watched a lot of players warm up. They always start with their wedges and then work into their longer clubs and then they headed to the practice putting green.
One last comment on Augusta's beauty: I have stood on the back of each tee and every single hole looks like it could be on an artist's canvas. Augusta is truly beautiful and a work of art from hole Nos.1-18.
Steve Kottsick is the pro at Souris Valley Golf Course. He is at the Masters and is writing a column each day.