There are no better four days for golf fans than The Masters Tournament at Augusta National. The rich tradition, the best golfers in the world, and of course, that extremely slick green jacket. Thursday at Augusta provided harsh conditions for golfers as swirling winds made the ball go every way but straight. Let’s take a look at who was able to manage the conditions and come out on top of the leader board after day one.
1. Jordan Spieth (-6): Spieth shot a bogey-free 66 and became the first player in Masters history to the hold the outright lead in five consecutive rounds, dating back to last year’s Masters win, and became the first defending champion since Jack Nicklaus in 1966 to hold the first-round lead. Spieth currently ranks No. 2 in the world but is in a great position to reclaim his Masters title and the top spot in the world rankings.
- Friday tee time: 12:55 pm ET
T2. Danny Lee (-4): Perhaps a bit of a surprise on the leader board is the No. 38 ranked golfer in the world Danny Lee. Lee bogeyed on 7, then zoned in and posted four straight birdies. If Lee can continue this momentum into day two, look for him to be in it until the end.
- Friday tee time: 9:46 am ET
T2: Shane Lowry (-4): Lowry got off to a scorching start, birdieing five of his nine holes before cooling off on the back nine with no birdies and one bogey. Friday will be big for Lowry, the No. 32 ranked player in the world, to tell if his hot start was just a bit lucky, or if he can continue this pace, and be a factor heading into the weekend.
- Friday tee time: 10:54 am ET
Other notable scores:
T4. Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia (-3): Rose, the runner-up to Spieth last year, had an up and down day, posting six birdies and three bogeys. If he can clean up his game just a bit, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be a major player come Sunday. Garcia struggled early, bogeying both his third and fourth hole, but caught fire later birdieing five of his final ten holes.
- Friday tee time (Rose): 1:50 pm ET
- Friday tee time (Garcia): 10:43 am ET
T9. Rory McIlroy (-2): McIlroy looked primed to finish in the top three on Thursday but bogeyed two of his last three holes to dig himself into a deeper hole than he would have liked.
- Friday tee time: 11:05 am ET
T21. Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson (E): Day, the world No. 1, came out with a strong front nine posting five birdies, but collapsed shooting a plus five on the back nine, including a triple bogey on 16. Mickelson had an up and down first round posting four birdies and four bogeys, farther back than he’d like to be, Mickelson will have to have a strong Friday if he hopes to remain in contention. Johnson had a good stretch birdieing three out of five holes but bogeying three out of six later in the round evened him out.
- Friday tee time (Day): 9:59 am ET
- Friday tee time (Mickelson): 1:39 pm ET
- Friday tee time (Johnson): 12:33 pm ET
T54. Bubba Watson (+3): Watson looked strong out of the gate finishing the front nine two-under par, but unraveled on the back nine bogeying of the nine holes.
- Friday tee time: 9:37 am ET
T81. Rickie Fowler (+8): All you need to know about Fowler’s round is that all eight of his extra strokes came on the back nine, highlighted by a triple bogey on 13.
Ernie Els is in the same boat as Rickie Fowler shooting a +8, but we at DSN felt a video was worth a million words to explain why Els shot so poorly. In perhaps the saddest video you’ve seen all day, we present to you, the seven-putt.