Who’s surviving the cut on this crucial day at the Masters?
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s Friday at the Masters. You can’t win on Friday, but you sure can lose.
And golfers want nothing more than to make the cut and stay the weekend.
First-round leader Justin Rose spent just a few minutes on the practice range, perhaps not wanting to overthink his game.
Bryson DeChambeau was also out this morning on the range. He created a buzz earlier this week with his swing, speed, and 48-inch driver, but he goes into the day at 4 over par.
But eyes are not just on the golfers but also the weather.
Rain will slow down the greens, giving golfers a much different course than the practice days earlier this week.
What’s happened so far today?
- Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal shot a 1-under 71 and was assured of making the cut.
- Justin Rose rallied with three birdies on the back nine to put himself out front again at the Masters. Rose had to settle for an even-par 72 on what was shaping up as a slightly easier day for scoring at Augusta National.
- Marc Leishman had another fast start at the Masters, and this time he finished it. Leishman was 4 under through his opening eight holes on Thursday until he stumbled home to a 72. On Friday, the Australian birdied his first three holes. This time, he had another surge on the back nine and shot 67.
- Bernd Wiesberger of Austria began the second round of the Masters nine shots out of the lead. By the time he reached Amen Corner, he was tied with Justin Rose.
- Rose had three bogeys through his first six holes Friday. He had only two bogeys, total, on his way to an opening-round 65 on Thursday.
- Augusta National remains dry, though there was significant cloud cover for morning groups that included Rose and Shane Lowry, Jordan Spieth and Tyrrell Hatton.
How we got here
Justin Rose picked one of the toughest days at Augusta National for his lowest score in the Masters on Thursday. Rose made seven birdies and an eagle during a 10-hole stretch. That took him from 2-over par to a 7-under 65 and a four-shot lead after the first round.
That left him four shots clear of his closest pursuers — Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama – and miles ahead of defending champion Dustin Johnson (74) and a host of big names expected to contend.
On Hole 17, Patrick Reed drained this long birdie putt to get to three-under.
He finished the day at two-under par.
In 2018, when Reed won his first green jacket, he opened the tournament with three rounds under 70.
He finished right at 70 Thursday, but plenty good enough to keep him in the conversation. He’s tied for fourth.
Another Masters champion also had a solid opening round.
Jordan Spieth finished 1 under on Thursday.
But it wasn’t without challenges.
On Hole 9, Spieth’s tee shot landed in the trees.
Then there was a big mistake. Instead of punching out, he went for the gap. He ended up getting a triple bogey, but other than that, he hit the ball really well.
Spieth admitted there were ups and downs in his performance.
“Somewhat typical for me at the Masters, I guess,” he said. “Some good golf, and then some fireworks on both ends. Yeah, I mean, I made really two bad swings off the tee on 9 and 13, got away with one of them and didn’t with the other.”
Some other well-known names ran into some trouble during Round 1.
Off the fourth tee, Bryson DeChambeau yanked his shot and it landed in the bushes.
He punched out from there, and ended up with a double bogey on the hole.
He finished the first round at four-over.
In another great masters moment from Thursday, Tommy Fleetwood slammed the tee shot on Hole 16.
It flew down the fairway, bounced a little, then went in for the ace.
That was a 170-yard shot.
And that shot is now the 32nd ace in Masters history.
Fleetwood says a hole in one is special, but doing it at the Masters is just a whole other level.
“I’ve never made an eagle at Augusta,” he said. “Fifth out and I finally got one. So its very special. Doing it at a major is great. Doing it competitively is great. But doing it at Augusta is just another edge.”
Jordan Spieth had a very clutch bump and run on 15. There had been a number of balls that ended up at the bottom of the pond, but this one instead landed in the bottom of the cup for an eagle. Spieth ended his day at one under. And after his triple bogey on 9, he’s probably happy to be in the red after day one.
From there, it was all about Justin Rose.
If today is like Thursday, it’ll be his green jacket to lose.
Rose was two over through 7, which not only shows you how dialed-in he was on the back nine, but it’s also a reminder that a bad start doesn’t have to ruin your day, because anything is possible at Augusta National.
Abraham Ancer got a penalty for his shot on 15. You can’t ground a club in the bunker, but as Ancer took his backswing, he brushed a mound and was assessed a two-stroke penalty for it. He moved from one over to three over as a result of that penalty.
Unfortunately, someone has to be last on the leaderboard. Only one person born in Augusta has ever won the Masters: 1987 champion Larry Mize. But today, he finds himself starting the second round on the bottom of the leaderboard.
Mize was 12 over in his opening round. It was far from the start he anticipated, but he’s kept a good attitude. He’s appreciated being able to play, and to have his family around for this one, Mize is also promising a much better result in tomorrow’s round.
“Yeah, I look forward to bouncing back,” he said.
“Obviously, I’m just looking forward to bouncing back. I know even though it was bad today, I know I can get some more good stuff tomorrow. At least that’s what i think.”
And finally, when Rory McIlroy hit his approach on 7, he put a little too much juice into it and called fore right before the ball ended up hitting somebody in the leg.
That somebody turned out to be his father.
McIlroy said his dad told him he expected him to sign the ball for him.
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