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Masters notebook:Some big names won't be playing in round 3

Hunter Mahan of the U.S. reacts after his birdie on the second hole during the third round for the 2012 U.S. Open golf tournament on the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California June 16, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT GOLF)

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By The Associated Press
Friday, April 12, 2013, 9:54 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Six former Masters winners and another quintet who each won at least one of the three other major championships won't be around for the weekend at Augusta.

There were few surprises among the past Masters champions heading out of town. Mike Weir was the youngest of the group at 42, and his golf game hasn't been sharp for a while.

Among the major winners departing were three former British Open winners — Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen — and defending U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.

The biggest surprise may have been Hunter Mahan. He shot 82 after an opening-round of 76 left him in a tough spot.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

An Australian golfer has never won the Masters.

On the other hand, they've lost a few in heartbreaking fashion, most famously perhaps by Greg Norman — twice.

But if there's ever a year that appears to have their name on it, this is the one. Jason Day leads the tournament at 6-under, and Marc Leishman is tied for second a stroke back. Adam Scott is in a crowd of seven players tied for seventh at 3-under, followed by John Senden, who is part of a six-way tied for 14th at 2-under.

Fly like an eagle

Bill Haas wasn't the only guy who made an eagle — there were 11 in all Friday.

His short iron that bounced twice and rolled straight into the cup at the 460-yard, par-4 ninth wasn't even the only eagle that came from the fairway; there were three of those.

Or don't

To be fair, the windy conditions and diabolical pin placements made eagles of any kind tough to come by. At no place was that more true than at No. 15, where the number dropped to two just a day after 10 golfers made 3s on the 530-yard, par-5 hole.

“Yesterday, that wind was kind of down and right on 15,” Jim Furyk said. “Today, it was mostly in and on the right. So, totally different. A totally different look.”

Eye on Augusta

Television ratings for the first round of the Masters on ESPN climbed seven percent over last year, a trend likely to continue if the number of younger viewers is an indication.

Among two of the most desirable demographic groups, males aged 18-34 and 18-49, the numbers were up 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

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