AUGUSTA DIARY A MASTERS MISCELLANY:THE fragile world of the bagman's life on tour was exposed by Alvaro Quiros, who revealed that the caddie is often the first casualty when any doubts enter a player's mind.
Quiros employed Gareth Lord – Robert Karlsson's ex-caddie – despite the fact that the Spaniard was recently successful in winning the Dubai Desert Classic.
The reason for the switch?
"It's a bit like in soccer, when a team is playing bad you cannot change the 22 players. The only thing you can change is the coach, isn't it? In my case, I cannot change myself."
So, the unfortunate caddie had to go – and Lord's availability, having parted ways with Karlsson, left him going from one giant to another. Karlsson is 6 feet 5 inches, Quiros is 6 feet 3 inches.
RORY TRIES HARD
SPOTTED in the car park of a mall: Rory McIlroy throwing a rugby ball with his friends . . . . not exactly textbook technique, which would indicate his Ulster rugby pals Darren Cave, Niall O’Connor and Paddy Wallace don’t have too much to worry about.
Harrington’s pain: In the neck
WITH his quest for a Masters title to add to his three Majors over before it ever really got started, after suffering a neck injury on the range prior to Thursday’s first round, Pádraig Harrington at least got some comforting news before returning for the second round.
Harrington has an ongoing problem with an injury to his C5 vertebrae, dating back to 2002. This injury, however, is unrelated and was diagnosed as a flexor muscle injury.
It was caused when he started his warm-up routine swinging the club left-handed perhaps a little too vigorously. “If I had ten per cent of the movement in my neck in that direction yesterday,” he said, pointing to the right before heading out for his second round, “then I probably have 25 to 30 per cent. I am still tilted.”
Bear with him: Schwartzel’s not so golden
YOU can’t beat an inside tip. Charl Schwartzel revealed that Jack Nicklaus – a six-time winner of the Green Jacket – became informer when he joined the Golden Bear and Ernie Els for lunch last year.
Schwartzel took Nicklaus’s advice on board as he moved into contention yesterday with a second round 71 for 140 at the midway stage. What was the piece of wisdom? One titbit concerned the 12th hole, which has played as the second most difficult in the tournament so far.
“Always aim it at the bunkers and if it’s long, you’re never going into the bush. That’s the line,” Nicklaus told Schwartzel.
Unfortunately for Schwartzel, he parred the hole in Thursday’s first round and bogeyed it yesterday.