Augusta, Ga.

Followed Rory McIlroy's group for the first seven holes, and he is crushing his driver, long and straight. hE's out-driving Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. He pulled his approach to No. 2 into the bunker, but if his driver allows him to attack Par 5s this week, he will be dangerous.

Jason Niebrugge, the Wiscnosin 20-year-old I profiled the other day, is 9-over. Augusta National can do that to a kid.

The leader at the moment is Miguel Angel Jiminez, ``The Mechanic,'' whose wild, weird stretching routine is difficult to watch, unless you like that sort of thing.

There always seems to be a veteran at or near the top of the leaderboard early on Thursday. I think the course is too long for Jiminez to last, but he's a great character to watch.


I'll be on 1500ESPN at 12:15 or so to talk the Masters and everything else with Mackey & Judd.

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Souhan blog: Augusta National won on Thursday