In the field: Ernie Els not upset about missing last year

NO GRUDGE: One word summed up Ernie Els’ thoughts on missing last year’s Masters, but it might not be the one most would expect.
“Forgotten,” Els said of not making the field and ending a string of 18 consecutive Masters appearances. “To me, it’s a non-issue. I’m here, and I wasn’t last year.”

At the time, Els said he would have declined a special invitation, and he retained that position when he returned this year.

“You obviously miss not being here, but it was fine,” Els said. “I had a good run in March last year and knew what I needed to do and just kind of fell short. It’s almost better that they didn’t invite me because I felt I could play myself back in here, and that’s the way it should be.”


DO THE DUFNER: Pro football has Tebowing. Golf has “Dufnering.”

Last month, Jason Dufner was photographed at a Dallas-area classroom slumped against a wall, his hair messy, his expression the definition of tired and bored. The photo went viral, spawning the birth of “Duf­nering”: a person slumping, looking bored.

Several golfers have posted pictures of themselves in a similar pose, including defending Masters champion Bub­ba Watson.

“I didn’t have to do much,” Dufner said of fueling the craze. “Just kind of being normal. My wife (Amanda) gets to see me do that quite a bit, so she wasn’t impressed. I’ve kind of run with it and let it go. There was a lot of press for not doing anything.”


COURSE THOUGHTS: After finishing his practice round Wednesday, Jim Furyk said the greens were quicker than they were Tuesday and the grass was a little shorter.

Adam Scott says he likes the condition of the course heading into the opening round.

“Overall the condition is better,” said Scott, who was runner-up to Charl Schwartzel in 2011. “There's a lot more grass and a lot more covering.”

When asked whether putting or driving is more important at the Masters, Sergio Garcia didn't hesitate.

“The most important thing is putting. You can always recover from a bad drive,” he said.


FOX AND FRIENDS: As he has all week, Steven Fox had his entourage with him Wednesday.

The 22-year-old amateur from the Uni­versity of Tennessee-Chattanooga was accompanied by his father Alan, mother Maureen, sisters Ashley and Kristen, along with his school’s sports information director, Jim Horton, who Fox called his personal media representative.

“It's been fun seeing a bunch of relatives I haven't seen in a long time,” Fox said.


HIGH HOPES: Amateur Michael Weaver got to practice with Dufner, Fuzzy Zoeller and Nick Watney.

“Getting to play with these guys helps to get comfortable with them,” Weaver said.

He said he played the course before Mas­ters Week and feels good about his game.

“I felt I was prepared coming in,” Weaver said. “Nothing has really surprised me.”


Doug Ford, 1957 Masters champion, dies at 95