Thursday at Augusta - final word

It's 7pm Augusta time and Neil is still churning out the words in the media centre. What a hero!

during the first round of the 2008 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2008 in Augusta, Georgia.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The first day of the 2008 Masters is crawling slowly towards its conclusion and Justin Rose's round of 68 is looking better and better. There's a certain sense of déja vu about all this so instead of telling you how he's going to grind out three more solid rounds and pick up his first Green Jacket, I'll just say well done and leave it at that.

It's also been a good day for the GM team. Last night Luke decided to pile his cash on Trevor Immelman. I, of course, laughed and told him he knew nothing about golf and wasn't worthy of his illustrious seat in this fine media centre. What can I say? Luke was spot on and Immelman's odds of 150/1 have now been trimmed to 16/1. Luke is looking very smug and already thinking about using his winnings to buy a hideous Masters rug there's no accounting for taste.

Bill Elliott on the other hand decided that the first round of the Masters was the ideal time to take a trip to the Augusta shopping mall. This is his 27th consecutive Masters and I guess that when you get to that level, you can do whatever the hell you like. Intent on buying himself a tuxedo, I'm beginning to think that Mr Elliott may have landed the role as presenter of Double Jeopardy.

As for me, well I managed to be in the right place at the right time. Wandering around aimlessly enjoying the morning sunshine I stumbled across Ian Poulter's group as they teed off at 16. You don't need me to tell you what happened next, it provided a moment of serious excitement exactly the sort that went AWOL in 2007.

One last thing You may have thought that an evening at Hooters wouldn't be the ideal way to prepare for the opening round of the Masters. Clearly however, that's not the case. I'm not just talking about the GM team here either one former champion was spotted in there last night and for a long time today was threatening the top of the leaderboard. Maybe I'll tell Tiger to get himself down there tonight!

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X