Hello, friends. Day 1 of the Masters rarely decides the eventual winner of the tournament, so the leaders shouldn’t be celebrated just yet. The greens were perfect, the wind was non-existent and the conditions were slow and soft – leading to higher scores than normal. A large thunderstorm is blowing through the South tonight, so the conditions should challenge a bit more than they did today. Most of the favorites did what they were supposed to do today, and Friday in Augusta will be as advertised.
Tiger Woods had an opening round of 70 today. He’s still the overall favorite and was confident in his performance today. Also, three of the four times that he’s won the Masters, he shot 70 during the opening round. And his new main-squeeze, Olympic skiier Lindsay Vonn was on the course the whole day. Maybe she’s a good luck charm.
LEADERS AFTER DAY 1
Marc Leishman and Sergio Garcia are the co-leaders tied at -6.
GOLFERS WHO WILL LOSE THE LEAD BY SUNDAY
Marc Leishman and Sergio Garcia. Sergio’s inconsistencies in Majors have granted him the split-personality designation of Dr. Sergio and Mr. Garcia (Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). Dr. Sergio keeps his emotions in check, while Mr. Garcia pouts and bites his clubs. Dr. Sergio putts with deep breaths and serenity, Mr. Garcia’s hands start to shake and swear in Spanish. It would be great to see Dr. Sergio finally win that elusive first Major title but that probably won’t happen this year.
Fred Couples’ swing is easy like Thursday morning, and he is usually in contention after the first round. The 53-year-old Couples is -4 and tied for fourth after Thursday. Couples on Thursday at the Masters is as constant as the green grass and the pimento cheese sandwiches. With warm weather and a stretched-out back, Freddie will just keep swinging. And the fans in Augusta will always love him.
The other age-related story today was 14-year-old Guan Tianlang. The youngest Masters qualifier ever has already impressed Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw, he also shot a first round 73 at Augusta. Tiger Woods won his first Masters before Guan was even born. Guan outscored Bubba Watson and Ian Poulter, and while he could hit the ball further, could be the youngest player to ever make the cut at the Masters.
THE RICKIE FOWLER OUTFIT OF THE DAY
Rickie Fowler looked like he had a margarita thrown on his entire outfit. The pale green, dapper Dan shot a double-bogey on the first hole and the tenth hole, but was still able to salvage a first-round 68 with six birdies and an eagle. Even though he looked like he was slathered in key lime pie and couldn’t have started the day worse, Fowler is solidly tied for fourth and is looking towards his best finish ever in a Major.
Here’s another one. It’s so green!
Rory McIlroy struggled to an opening round 72 after a second-place finish last week at the Valero Texas Open. Augusta and the Golfing gods don’t seem to like ol’ Rors. He can figure it out. Maybe it’s the new Nike clubs, or attractive looking shirts, or maybe he was rattled by his girlfriend’s “skill” at golf.
Defending Masters champ Bubba Watson shot a 3-over 75 today and probably cried about it. I love Bubba and want him to at least make the cut. Fetch the hovercraft!
Jamie Donaldson hit a hole in one.