Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Notebook

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Notebook

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits, Times-Union sports writer

PRETTY GOOD, BUT . . .

Vijay Singh, who won the Masters in 2000, said earlier in the week that he wanted to put on another green jacket himself -- a reference to the tradition that the previous year's champion helps the new champion on with the coveted garment.

It didn't happen, but the Ponte Vedra Beach resident went out with a 69 in the final round yesterday at the Augusta National Golf Club, giving him a total of 6-under-par 282 and a tie for 18th.

"I played OK, but I still left a lot out there," Singh said. "I just didn't take advantage. But you learn from this, and you come back better next year."

Singh's main problem during the week was that his accuracy off the tee and into the green deserted him at Augusta National. Among the 47 players who made the cut, Singh finished tied for 34th in fairways hit (.679) and for 35th in greens in regulation (.639). He putted respectably, finishing in a tie for 12th, averaging 1.583 putts per hole.

ANOTHER TOUGH FINISH

Jim Furyk of Ponte Vedra Beach made an early run at the leaderboard yesterday, shooting 4 under on the front nine and coming within two shots of the lead at one point. But he hit a tee shot into the water at the par-3 12th and bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18 to finish with a 69 at 9 under, tied for fifth.

It was Furyk's second top-five finish in the Masters. He was fourth in 1998.

GOOD MEMORIES

Augusta native Franklin Langham completed his first Masters at 4-over-par 292 after yesterday's 72. A former scoreboard operator at No. 16, Langham played that hole at 2-under for the week, including a birdie yesterday.

"I have fond memories of that hole," he said. "It was fun working the scoreboard, but playing it is tougher."

Langham said he had overcome his anger at being put on the clock by a rules official during Saturday's third round.

"That ruined my day," he said. "It's hard enough being a rookie here and playing fast. Even though I didn't play as well as I would have liked, I got a lot of good experience. I will store this in the memory banks. My putting was atrocious, but it's all about learning the greens. …

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