By Andrew Both
AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – A Justin Rose correctly overcame the windy Augusta National to keep a four-shot lead after Thursday’s Masters first round while defending defending champion Dustin Johnson was among the top players in trouble towel in challenging conditions.
Rose, two Masters runners-up, did little to excite the spectators on the pitch as he took the lead two after seven holes, but had a scorching run to beat seven under par 65, marking his career in Augusta National. .
That makes the 40-year-old Briton four times ahead of Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and America’s Brian Harman. Former US Open champion Patrick Reed and 2012 US Open champion Webb Simpson were among a group of four golfer who shot farther from the lead.
“I feel like today’s conditions are not the day to go to them and have your personal best out there,” Rose said. “It was quite windy – well, the wind was difficult enough, and it was clear that the trees were extremely strong and fast.”
Rose, who withdrew from his last game a month ago due to a spasm, started his fiery run in par-5 season eight, where he hit the eagle after the shot. His approach hit from 275 meters down a grass slope and 9 feet from the trophy.
Since then, Rose has been locked in and captured all but three of his remaining 10 holes in one of the finest courses ever seen at the Masters.
“You can’t win golf today,” said Rose, who has four times to lead the first round of the Masters. “Even with 65, you can’t win today. You can only lose today, obviously.”
This Masters has a much more familiar look as it is back in traditional April time as the first major tournament of the year while fans are welcome back, albeit in limited numbers and protocols are in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
A silly finish that gave Johnson (74) a nine-time lead before he struggled with conditions significantly harsher than the toothless Augusta National layout he won five ago. Month style record set.
Johnson lost one point as he reached a par-ba 16 but made the kick-off after his kick-off rolled out of the green and ate a bogey brace in the 18th minute after the kick-off of him on the right track.
“Playing is definitely going to be a lot harder just because when the greens are solid and fast here, the golf course will play harder,” Johnson said, who had a 20 under 268 overall score last year being the lowest in Masters awards history. “Then you add wind today, it makes it play really hard.”
Former champion Jordan Spieth, one of the most beloved and freshly won last week at the Texas Open, finished 1 under 71 after a roller coaster round that included a bogey. , bogey, three birds and an eagle.
Spieth got into trouble on the ninth par-four when, after a wrong drive, he tried to send his ball through a maze of trees but instead hit one of them and it hit. Turning back leads to score seven.
The three-time main champion recovered with a birdie at 10 and then beat his 15th par-year to save his round.
Bryson DeChambeau, who won Augusta National last November when he was the pre-league favorites that failed, attended this year’s Masters in high position following his win at Bay Hill in November. before but once again scratched his head.
DeChambeau’s matchday started brightly on Wednesday par-third, where he made a brace after he found a bush with his kick-off and then barely cut it out. He added three more bogeys ahead of a birdie in the 15th minute with a four on par 76.
World number two Justin Thomas, who finished fourth at the November Masters and has kicked off since, is expected to rely on his stellar iron play to enter the mix, but instead He passed three of his first seven holes on the road into a 73 goal.
Spanish world number three player Jon Rahm (72 years old), who is playing five days after his wife gave birth to her first child, combined two birdies with two bogeys.
Rory McIlroy (76) had a bad start to his latest attempt to complete the Grand Slam in his career as he hit his worst opening card at the Masters and even hit his father with one. The wrong shot resulted in one of his six bogeys.
The day began when a visibly emotional Lee Elder, who in 1975 became the first black to play in the Masters, was warmly welcomed with Nicklaus and Gary Player as the new player of honor for the tournament. match year 2021.
“I think it was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever seen or participated in,” said Elder, who has limited mobility and no kick-off.