Jordan Spieth leads with 6-under 66 in the opening round
Jordan Spieth leads the opening round at the Masters 2018 being played at the Augusta National. Spieth birdied five consecutive holes 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th to grab a two-stroke advantage over Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.
Matt Kuchar has already finished to Spieth at 2017 The Open and has been one of the few consistent players on the Tour.
Spieth started his round from the first tee and posted two back to back birdies on the second and third hole, later added bogeys on par-4 fifth and par-4 seventh, and added a stunning eagle on the par-5 8th. His back nine saw him making pars until the 12th and five consecutive birdies before a bogey finish reduced his three-stroke lead to just two.
He made a mess of things on the 18th, hitting the tee shot into the woods, then wedge out, then a 3-wood into the gallery. But he still always has the capacity for something brilliant, and he delivered again, deftly sticking his wedge within three feet to tap in for bogey.
Speith with an opening round of 66 now leads for the ninth time in his 17 career rounds at Augusta National and has already won the green jacket in 2015 and this might be a chance for his second jacket, who knows?
Following him with two strokes are Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar at 4-under 68. Finau, who broke his ankle in the par-3 contest, just a day back, after holing an ace, and a visit to the hospital, posted six birdies and two bogeys in his round and joined Kuchar for the second position. He was leading the field for a while before Spieth’s birdie rain started.
Matt Kuchar aced the par-3 seventh at last month’s WGC-Dell Match Play and has always been a consistent player, without a major. Kuchar remained blemish free on his back nine with five birdies, starting with one on the first hole and his front nine saw him making two bogeys and a birdie, putting him at 1-over just before the turn.
Henrik Stenson, the birthday guy
Henrik Stenson celebrated his 42nd birthday in style, he was tied for the second until the 18th hole which cost him the place. Stenson has never finished in Top-10 at the Masters, so he changed his strategy by ditching his driver and trusting on his 3-wood, he hit 10 out of 14 fairways. On 18th, he hit a poor chip that left him with a long putt that he missed to bogey.
Sergio Garcia, the defending champion posted 9-over-81 for a T-85th position with Matt Parziale (A), the mid-amateur champion and a firefighter, who has been invited on exemption after his win at the Mid-Amateur Championship. Garcia was doing fine until the 15th hole where he shot a 13, after hitting five golf balls in the water, matching Tommy Nakajima’s score on the 13th hole in 1978 and Tom Weiskopf’s 13 on the 12th hole in 1980.
Tiger Woods come back to the Masters
The Masters, all set to glorify Tiger once again and his come back to the field since he last played at the event in 2008 posted 1-over-73 for a T-21st on the board with Francesco Molinari, Kyle Stanley, Tommy Fleetwood, Dough Ghim (A), 1992 winner Fred Couples, 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel, Kevin Kisner, and Justin Rose.
Tiger has already won the green jacket four times, the most by any other player present in the field, Mickelson follows him at 3 and Bubba Watson with 2.
“Seventy-three is fine,” Woods told reporters after the round. “By the end of the week, there will be a bunch of guys with a chance to win this tournament.”
Shubhankar Sharma shoots 77
Shubhankar Sharma, the special invitee from the Masters after his successful stint over the past few months on the European and Asian Tour made him a two-time winner, shot a 77 in his opening round.
He started his round from the first tee and saw trouble with three back to back bogeys on 4th, 5th, and 6th holes, but a birdie on ninth, just before the turn, helped ease his pain, but not too early, as his back nine saw him in hot waters with five more bogeys, three consecutively from the 16th to 18th, and two birdies on par-5 13th and 15th, just game him two-strokes relief, and took his total to five-over-77 for a T-73rd on the board with Jhonattan Vegas, Kevin Chappell, Dylan Frittelli, and Yusaku Miyazato.
Who will take the lead in Round 2?