AUGUSTA, Ga. – Just another Sunday at Augusta with Phil Mickelson in reach of a green jacket, Tiger playing with Rory and this Jordan Spieth kid about to get really famous.
1. Beware black. Mickelson, four shots behind the 21-year-old Spieth, will wear a black shirt (again) in pursuit of his fourth green jacket.
“I’ve won three times here wearing black shirts,” he said, “so I’ll wear a black shirt. It also helps me to get more aggressive. Studies have shown NFL teams, when they wear black, they have more penalties. That’s what I need to do is play more aggressive.”
2. Stats favor Spieth. Not just that 20 of the last 24 Masters winners have come from the final pairing. But how about Spieth’s leaderboard spot after his seven Masters rounds in 2014 and 2015: 12, 3, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1.
3. Charley Hoffman deserves all the kudos he can get. The 38-year-old playing in only his second Masters waited patiently Thursday to get autographs from honorary starters Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
“I think when you come on this piece of property, you’re in awe,” Hoffman said.
And yet he’s in fourth place, six shots behind Spieth.
4. Spieth gets a big break playing with Justin Rose, and vice versa, instead of Phil (and that black shirt). They have played together a lot, including last week for the first two rounds at the Shell Houston Open.
“We hit the ball very similar distances,” Rose said. “When you have played a bit of golf with someone recently, you can work off their game a little bit, especially on the par 3s and club selection, stuff like that.”
5. Don’t miss Spieth’s Sunday signature moment. Not saying he’s going to thread a second shot through the pines, off a concession stand and into the hole. But something very good or bad will happen to define his final round, and it won’t be the same watching it for the first time on DVR.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff