He opened with 75 – including a nine on No. 15. It took him from four-under and tied with Henrik Stenson to two-under and in the pack. “It’s the first round, ” he said. The man who is seeking his fourth major win in his 21st major start knows more than most that anything can happen at Augusta National, which is why he’s comfortable with his position.
Spieth had a commanding lead at the turn in 2016 before stumbling on Nos.
A awful tee shot at the 11th flew past the trees of the right, and his next shot clipped some fans in the gallery, forcing Woods to scramble for a bogey. He sank a 20-footer for another birdie at the par-3 16th, giving him a bit of momentum heading into Friday. Finau went down, the ankle contorted, and he popped it into place. He cleared hundreds of fans before attempting to play through a spectator walking area.
And so, with his ball in the straw and his swing restricted by an annoying tree limb Thursday, Woods and caddie Joe LaCava repeatedly begged marshals to move patrons a safe distance away from Tiger’s flight plan.
Finau had a 24 hours he’ll never forget.
Rory McIlroy was delighted to break 70 in the first round of the Masters for just the second time as he chases the win required to complete the career grand slam.
This time, a fast start has positioned him to challenge and to use patience as a 15th club in his bid to reel in Spieth, whose remarkable record at the Masters – victor in 2015, and runner-up twice – has seen him lead or share the lead in nine of his 17 rounds. Woods hit only 61 percent of the fairways, 57 percent of the greens and had 28 putts.
It proved to an enthralling opening day’s play at Augusta National, which most definitely lived up to its pre-tournament billing, with thrills and spills in abundance.
One of those who will be missing the cut is defending champion Garcia, who endured a frightful return to Augusta on Thursday, specifically the par-5 15th where he dumped five balls in the water and racked up a 13.
Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player choked back tears as two of golf’s greatest players officially opened the second Masters without the legendary Arnold Palmer on Thursday (Friday NZ Time).
But a piece of history had been made, with the joint highest score on any hole at the Masters.
The four-time champion battled back with birdies at 14 and 16 and parred safely in to stay within seven shots of the lead, while last year’s runner-up Justin Rose drained a good putt for birdie on the final green to sneak one ahead of Woods. “My practice sessions have been really good”.
“There was a lot of work that went in mentally, physically”, he said of his putting. “I played the par fives very sloppily and that was the difference in the round”.
Another bogey at seven dropped Spieth two off the pace.
Leishman dropped from 4 under to 2 under to start golf’s first major. A stinger from 246 yards ends up short left of the green, and his ensuing chip flies well past the pin. With the wind here I just wait to see where I think the wind should be and try to hit my shot.