Phil Mickelson Tumbles Off the Leaderboard
Phil Mickelson’s tee shot at the ninth hollow used to be thus far to the best he disappeared into the woods on the lookout for it. He discovered the ball and attempted to pitch out however his shot smacked solidly off the trunk of a tree. The crack of ball assembly bark resounded around the hollow. Mickelson went deeper within the woods and needed to take a stroke for unplayable lie. Then Mickelson knocked his fourth shot just about the golf green however slightly below it. His flop shot from there used to be brief, his lengthy double bogey putt ran previous the outlet and Mickelson in the end sank a nervy downhill putt to finish a disastrous hollow. He started the outlet tied for seventh, now he’s tied for 26th.
Jordan Spieth Falls Back to -2
Jordan Spieth, the Day 1 chief, began double bogey-bogey, however righted his send with a run of 4 pars and reclaimed a proportion of the lead for some time. Alas, he discovered a entice along with his 2d shot on No. 7, and couldn’t rise up and down. A bogey, and he’s two again now.
Bernd Wiesberger Alone on the Top
Breakthrough! We have a solo chief at Four-under and it’s … Bernd Wiesberger? Yep, Wiesberger made a 15-footer for birdie on No. Three to visit 2-under at the day. Wiesberger, 32, has a couple of European excursion wins, however hasn’t ever been higher than 15th at a big.
Rickie Fowler Makes Another Big Putt, Shares Lead
Rickie Fowler rolls in a 25-footer at the par-Five 8th and joins his taking part in spouse Matt Kuchar, and many, many others, within the lead at Three-under. Kuchar’s personal birdie putt, which might give him the solo lead at Four-under, is ignored by way of lower than an inch. Kuchar have been at the inexperienced in 2, in order that’s a little bit of a sadness.
Bill Pennington: There’s lately about an 85 p.c likelihood of rain by way of 10 a.m. Saturday in Augusta, with the rain proceeding till early night. Are you in a position for the chance of a Masters Sunday that starts within the morning so dozens of golfers can play 27 to 36 holes?
Bernd Wiesberger Visits the Top of the Leaderboard
Hey, Bernd Wiesberger, sign up for the leaders! The Austrian made a 7-foot birdie putt at the par-Five 2d hollow to visit Three-under as neatly.
Back and Forth, Back and Forth
Bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie. Rafael Cabrera Bello of Spain helps to keep becoming a member of the leaders, then falling again. He’s again amongst them now after losing his 175-yard 2d shot to inside of a foot of the pin at the 5th hollow. He has 3 European PGA excursion wins, however none stateside.
Bill Pennington: There are numerous excellent golfers — Stenson, Reed, Fleetwood, Watson and some man named Woods — who will tee off within the afternoon. Temperatures are anticipated to heat up a couple of levels to the high-70s. They can have probably the most favorable prerequisites lately.
The Leaderboard Gets Even More Crowded
A wild day at the leaderboard. The now six-man staff tied for the lead at Three-under is adopted by way of a nine-way tie at 2-under together with McIlroy, Mickelson, Fowler, Tony Finau, Cabrera Bello, Bernd Weisberger, Louis Oosthuizen, and two who haven’t began, Zach Johnson and Marc Leishman.
Bill Pennington: While lots of the consideration has been on McIlroy, Mickelson and Spieth, Dustin Johnson has 3 pars and an eagle at the par-Five 2d hollow. He’s at 1-under for the event. Let’s no longer put out of your mind that Johnson used to be the runaway Masters favourite final 12 months till he slipped on a stairway at his Augusta condo house.
McIlroy Slips Back to 2d Place With a Bogey
And Rory McIlroy’s mercurial spherical continues with some other bogey on No. 6. He ignored the golf green at the par Three along with his tee shot and may simplest chip to 20 toes, the place he ignored the putt.
Cabrera Bello Runs Into Trouble
Rafael Cabrera Bello’s time a few of the leaders used to be temporary. A tee shot within the bunker ended in a bogey on Four. Seven on the best once more.
Rickie Fowler Drains 65-Footer for Par
He’s no longer a part of the main 8, however Rickie Fowler sank a 65-foot putt to avoid wasting par at the par-Three 6th after blowing his 2d shot from the timber well beyond the outlet. That saved him at 2-under, a stroke again.
Rafael Cabrera Bello Joins the Party
A seven-way tie for the lead no longer sufficient for you? How about 8? Rafael Cabrera Bello places a chip inside of a foot and makes the putt for birdie on No. Three. He’s in there at Three-under as neatly.
7 Players Tied for the Lead at -Three
Matt Kuchar landed in a greenside entice on Five. After 4 directly pars, he’s as soon as once more threatening to move the incorrect means. His sand shot is going to eight toes, and he misses it. But he doesn’t lose the lead; McIlroy additionally bogeyed, and there’s a seven-way tie for the lead at Three-under.
The leaders: Kuchar, who’s one over at the day; McIlroy, with two bogeys and two birdies however no pars lately; Spieth, who’s 3 over at the day; and 4 guys who haven’t began: Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Charley Hoffman and Adam Hadwin.
Jordan Spieth Steadies the Ship
Jordan Speith has a 10-footer to realize again a stroke, nevertheless it grazes the lip. Still, the par on Three is best than he has been doing and he remains at -Three.
Jordan Spieth Suddenly Two Strokes Back
Jordan Spieth’s nightmare get started continues. After a 2d wayward tee shot, he three-putts No.2 for some other bogey and falls out of the lead. McIlroy and Kuchar at the moment are tied on the best.
Rory McIlroy Makes a Run on the Lead
And it’s all going down at this time! Birdies on 2 and Three deliver Rory McIlroy as much as Four-under. The birdie on No. Three got here courtesy of a giant pressure, a chip 2d shot at the par-Four hollow, and a brief putt. He’s tied with Matt Kuchar on best.
Matt Kuchar Gets Some Relief
Co-leader Matt Kuchar dumps the ball into the group in the back of the golf green at the par-Three fourth and may well be in bother. He has to select up for the reason that ball is in the back of the grandstand and drops it with out penalty. He’s nonetheless a ways off the golf green, however his 2d shot is lovely, leaving him with a Three-foot par saver.
Phil Mickelson Just One Stroke Back
Phil Mickelson is the one participant a few of the contenders who’s below par for the day. He’s having a look at a birdie putt on No. Three that might tie him for the lead. He misses that 10-footer, however remains to be in robust place a stroke again.
China’s Li Haotong Falls Out of Contention
Li Haotong, who used to be a few of the leaders the day past, has had not anything however bother lately. The 22-year outdated from China double-bogeys the 7th hollow to fall out of rivalry into the golf green numbers. Li’s double got here partly on account of a horrible bunker shot that wound up at the 17th hollow, no longer a excellent position to be when taking part in No. 7. He’s long past from -Three to +1.
Spieth Double-Bogeys First Hole
The event chief, Jordan Spieth, tees off, taking part in with Alex Noren and Louis Oosthuizen. And it’s an unlucky get started as his tee shot is going neatly proper. His 2d shot doesn’t get a lot farther and his 3rd does no longer achieve the golf green. The finish result’s a double bogey. Yikes! A nightmare get started for Spieth, now tied for the lead with Matt Kuchar. Rory McIlroy additionally began with a bogey, however Phil Mickelson birdied the second one and is only a stroke again.
Kuchar, Mickelson and Fowler Struggle on No. 1
Though Matt Kuchar used to be in 2d position and Rickie Fowler used to be 2-under, you get the sense that many within the large crowd for the newest staff are there to peer Phil Mickelson, additionally at -2 and taking part in some robust golfing just lately. Hole No. 1 doesn’t move easily for any of the 3. Kuchar and Mickelson leave out the golf green, and Fowler misses the golf green along with his 2d shot. Kuchar and Mickelson save their pars, however Fowler misses a 10-footer and slips to 1-under. The direction is taking part in tricky across-the-board thus far.
Slow Start, however Big Names Coming Up
No one’s in point of fact creating a transfer thus far this morning. Li Haotong simply dropped a stroke on No. Four, Tony Finau bogeyed the primary, and not one of the different gamers below par who’ve began have received any flooring. Some of the leaders are about to hit the direction regardless that: Matt Kuchar (-Four) is going at 10:31, Rory McIlroy (-Three) at 10:42 and Jordan Spieth (-6) at 10:53.
Fred Couples Still Playing (for Par) at 58
How about Fred Couples? At 58 years outdated, the 1992 Masters champion scratched out a par spherical on Thursday (one shot higher than Tiger Woods) and remains to be par on Friday thru 3 holes. And he’s taking part in whilst dressed in a again brace. Couples used to be 18th final 12 months and 6th as just lately as 2010.
Tony Finau Starts With a Bogey
Tony Finau opens up his 2d spherical with a bogey. That’s how he began Round 1 as neatly, ahead of racing to a 68 and 2d position. Finau drove right into a bunker, however were given his 3rd shot to inside of Four toes. Then he ignored the gimme putt. That bogey knocks him out of 2d position for now.
Li Haotong Scrambles to Stay at -Three
Li Haotong of China, 3rd in final 12 months’s British Open and simply 22 years outdated, is a kind of tied for 3rd. It’s his first consult with to Augusta. He is taking part in in one of the crucial first teams of the day, and after saving par from a afflicted spot at the first hollow, he finishes up deep within the woods once more on the second one. He has to hack out, however manages some other par at the par-Five.
What to Expect in Round 2
• The anticipation for the go back of a wholesome Tiger Woods to Augusta fizzled slightly when he shot a pedestrian 1-over-par 73, seven strokes off the lead. Woods isn’t utterly out of it — bookmakers are calling him a 50-1 shot now. And he did play higher the second one part of his spherical: “I could have easily let the round slip away from me, but I got it back,” Woods stated. But he should sink some putts lately to have an opportunity of contending at the weekend.
• Looking unhealthy in a crowd of golfers tied for fourth at Three-under is McIlroy, who has 4 primary wins however none since 2014 and none at Augusta. McIlroy is judged by way of bettors to be the second one favourite within the event at this level, at Five-1, in the back of Spieth at 2-1. No one else is shorter than 17-1.
• Key tee occasions on Friday (Eastern):
nine:36: Tony Finau.
10:31: Matt Kuchar.
10:42: Rory McIlroy.
10:53: Jordan Spieth.
1:27: Tiger Woods.
• On Thursday, Spieth had seven birdies and an eagle in a 6-under 66. Spieth regarded appreciated the second one coming of Woods when, in 2015, he gained the Masters and U.S. Open back-to-back at age 21. He added a British Open final 12 months, however has no longer gained on Tour since then. He attributed his troubles to hanging, however sank putts virtually at will on Thursday. He’ll be tricky to catch.
• At the incorrect finish of the scoreboard used to be the beginner Harry Ellis, who shot an 86, 5 strokes worse than any person else within the box. A pupil at Florida State, Ellis gained the British Amateur to earn his spot. “Today I was pretty nervous, I’m not going to lie,” he advised journalists.
• It used to be a wild 24 hours for Finau at his first Masters. He dislocated his ankle whilst, of all issues, celebrating a hollow in a single in Wednesday’s par-Three contest. He spoke back by way of attaining down and popping the ankle again into position. Finau made up our minds to play on Thursday and went out and shot a 68, excellent for a tie for 2d position with Kuchar. “It’s nothing short of a miracle, if you ask me,” he stated.