The Masters, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.
Among the ex-champs playing well: Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer and Jos� Maria Olazab�l
Shreveport Open, Southern Trace Country Club, Shreveport, La.
Sam Randolph, Greg Twiggs and Denis Watson are among 15 PGA Tour winners in the field
Playing the Name Game at Augusta
Lost in the hubbub of last year's Masters—a.k.a. Tiger Time—was the play of the next three finishers, all named Thomas. Tom Kite (second in '97) hasn't placed higher than 22nd so far in '98, but Tommy Tolles (third) shot an opening 68 last week at the Freeport-McDermott, while Tom Watson (fourth) is 18th on the money list, so don't doubt the Thomases this week. Other big names could include John, as in Daly and Huston, and Phil, as in Mickelson. After winning the Mercedes in January and finishing eighth two weeks ago at the Players, Mickelson, who has had his moments at Augusta National (above), might be ready to wiggle free of that "best player never to win a major" tag.
? CBS, SATURDAY, 3:30 PM; SUNDAY, 4 PM
Shreveport's Moment In the Floodlights
The 1997 Shreveport Open was postponed for six months when a lake flooded the 11th and 12th holes at Southern Trace. This year Shreveport must vie for attention with the Masters. "We don't mind it a bit," says tournament director Ed McGovern. "We set up a large-screen TV in our dining room for people who want to watch the Masters."
With so many players shut out of the fun at Augusta, Shreveport boasts one of the year's strongest Nike fields, plus a pair of footballers. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver is playing on a sponsor's exemption, and New Orleans Saints coach Mike Ditka is expected to growl his way through Thursday's pro-am.
Something Golfers Can Hoot About