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Jensen From Augusta: Inside the Sportswriter House

Apr 6, 2007 – 11:39 AM
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Ray Holloman

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Sean Jensen is an award-winning writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and columnist for AOL Sports. He's eating $1 pimento cheese sandwiches and filing dispatches from Augusta until someone tries the green jacket on for size.

One of the joys of covering my first Masters are my housemates. Yes,
housemates.

Since sportswriters can't rack up our Marriott points in Augusta, my veteran
peers would rather rent out large houses for the week. Somehow, I landed one
of the prime quarters.

Dave Kindred of Golf Digest and formerly a columnist at The Sporting News
had a vacancy, and I requested the room because, well, I have read his stuff
for years.

Then, I learned that he was rooming with luminaries like Tom Boswell, John
Feinstein and Len Shapiro of The Washington Post.

I happily accepted the worst room, and I listened to all their advice. So
when they invited me to join them in a tradition, I agreed without knowing
any of the details.

They conduct a Masters' draft every year, and they charge what I consider a
high price. They are all established columnists, with books to their credit.
Kindred, for goodness sakes, told me he only has horses because he thinks
they are a nice prop on his farm.

But this was a unique opportunity, and I figured I could get someone else to
pay for my entry fee (wink, wink), especially since my knowledge of the
field is limited.

We randomly selected numbers, and Boswell got the first pick.

Naturally, he picked Tiger Woods. Feinstein was next, and he opted for Vijay
Singh. Kindred took Phil Mickelson and I took the No. 2 player in the world,
Jim Furyk.

So how am I doing after the first round?

The good news first: I split some money with Shapiro because my 11th round
pick, Brett Wetterich, is tied for the lead with Justin Rose, Len's eighth
rounder.

Now the bad news: I have the fewest players in the top 27, and I trail
Feinstein, who picked Singh and then went to bed. Kindred and Boswell picked
players for him, many times as a joke. And still, somehow, Feinstein has
seven golfers in the top 27, more than anyone else.

Everyone else is in better shape than me. Shapiro has six in the top 27,
including three in the top 10. Kindred has five, including three in the top
11. And Boswell has five in the top 27, including two in the top five.
Me? Four, two of whom are two over and named Trevor Immelman and Arron
Oberholser.

Of the 22 players at seven over par or worse, I have nine of them. My most
painful picks are my third and fourth rounders, Aaron Baddeley and Paul
Casey.

And for some reason, I'm not real confident about Wetterich pulling this
out.

Here are my picks:

1st -- Furyk
2nd -- Ogilvy
3rd -- Casey
4th -- Baddeley
5th -- Chris DiMarco
6th -- Luke Donald
7th -- Fred Couples
8th -- Miguel Angel Jimenez
9th -- Camilo Villegas
10th -- Trevor Immelman
11th -- Brett Wetterich
12th -- Shingo Katayama
13th -- Ben Crane
14th -- Arron Oberholser
15th -- John Rollins
16th -- Yong-Eun Yang
17th -- Johan Edfors
18th -- Hideto Tanihara
19th -- Julien Guerrier
20th -- Sandy Lyle

How do you think I'll finish?
Filed under: Sports

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