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Masters Monday

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Arrived this afternoon at Augusta National and was greeted by temperatures in the high 80s. Whew. Had to buy a hat by the time I made my annual Monday trek down to Amen Corner.

You might think I'd be smart enough by now to bring a hat with me daily -- this is Masters No. 10. But obviously I'm not. I think it's because I'm obsessed with turning off my cell phone until I reach the media center, as per the rules.

The course looks different this year. I can't really put my finger on it. Spring hit early here, just like in Western New York, and the azaleas are already post-bloom. Maybe that's the difference, the absence of color. But the fairways also seem a deeper shade of green.

Watched Ian Poulter hit four terrible approach shots on the par-5 15th. He clipped the trees on the right going for it in 2. Then he dropped three more balls and pulled/hooked them all. Good to know I'm not the only one who overcorrects that drastically.

Aussies Jason Day and Adam Scott were among the five players in the interview room today. The pair finished tied for second last year and made it clear that winning the Masters is an Aussie mission, ostensbily since Greg Norman frittered one away in 1996, the eve of the Tiger era.

Here's what Day had to say: "I do believe that an Australian will win it soon. . . . In Australian sports, we have conquered a lot of different sporting events around the world. This is probably one of the last few that we would like to get to."

And Scott: "It's going to happen, for sure. We have a lot of great players and we always have, and it's just not happened. I think it's just coincidence that it has not happened. One year someone is going to get across the line."

The interview room hits full speed Tuesday, beginning with Rory McIlroy at 9:30. Defending champ Charl Schwartzel, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson also are on the Tuesday schedule.

The weather forecast for the week calls for another temperature spike into the high 80s on Wednesday followed by a dip into the high 60s on Friday. There's a 50 percent chance of rain/thunderstorms Thursday and Friday but the weekend is projected as sunny with highs in the 70s.

I'm hoping to do a live chat from here Wednesday afternoon, time TBA.

-- Bob DiCesare

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