What happened was that Miller had not only broken the front-side record with his remarkable 30, he had done it with one of those splurges so characteristic of the way he can sometimes catch fire. With, for instance, six birdies in a row.
They like to construct monuments on the Augusta National premises. Things like the Sarazen and Nelson bridges, commemorating past deeds. For Miller on the 2nd through the 7th holes there may one day be a walkway of bronzed soft-drink cans.
Here is how you make six birdies in succession, starting with the belief that such a thing is possible:
On the par-5 2nd hole, which sweeps down a hill to the left, you hit a driver, a five-wood into a bunker by the green, and blast out to within one foot of the cup.
On the 3rd you drive with a three-wood and hit a pitching wedge 14 feet from the flag, and you sink the putt.
On the par-3 4th, which is all loaded up with dangers, you smack a two-iron about 10 feet away, and you drop this one.
On the par-4 5th, which is one of the toughest holes on the course, although perhaps the least scenic and praised, you crush a driver, spank a four-iron to about 14 feet—on number 5, that's considered "stiff"—and you make this one.
On the par-3 6th, which drops off into a hollow, you float a five-iron that looks like an ace. One foot from the flag.
And on the 7th you get lucky. You hit a three-wood to guide it up the narrow fairway, but the pitching wedge from a bad lie is terrible, not even on the green but puttable. So from 35 feet you calmly watch it ramble its way into the hole.
"After the birdie at the 6th," Miller said, "I started thinking, 'Hey, this isn't so shabby a round.' I really started the day just trying to play myself back among the top 15 in the tournament."