Masters Round 1: Tiger Woods in position; field goes really, really low at Augusta National Golf Club
Many of us thought Augusta National was getting a little too tough after Tom Fazio allegedly “Tiger-proofed” the course a couple of years ago. Apparently, all you need is some nice weather and some accessible pin positions. These guys really are that good. (Expect tougher flagstick locations on Friday.)
For 16 holes, Chad Campbell was making it look unbelievably easy. He birdied his first five holes – the first guy to do that in this tourney – then got it to 9-under before he changed bodies with someone whose game resembles mine on the last two holes. He definitely wasn’t the same when he pulled his tee shot on 17, then three-putted 18 after hitting his driver into the front fairway bunker.
Still, Campbell’s 65, which leads the field by one, was indicative of a great scoring day. The 96 players at this year’s Masters averaged barely over par, about four shots lower than two years ago during the first round. To put everything in perspective, 38 players finished under par, and the 19 rounds in the 60s is the best ever at Augusta.
Can we get Fazio on the phone again, please?
One of the players not in the 60s is Tiger Woods. His 70, however, tied him for his personal best during Day 1 at the Masters. The prior three times he shot 70 in Round 1, he won.
One of the guys a shot back, Jim Furyk, hit every single green. We should all copy that swing.
Every year somebody comes out of nowhere in the first round, and then usually disappears. That could be Campbell or it could be Larry Mize, who went 5-under on Thursday. Apparently 7,400 yards is no problem for the 51-year-old Augusta, Ga., native.
Speaking of the former champion Mize, Greg Norman, who was the victim of Mize’s miraculous chip shot on 11 in 1987, had a pretty good day Thursday. The Shark is right there with Woods at 2-under, and like Woods, his round could have been lower.
The best line of ESPN’s broadcast came near the end when Nick Faldo commented about the final group: “The guys need to get in; it’s way past their bedtime.”
He was referring to 19-year-old Rory McIlroy, 17-year-old Ryo Ishikawa and 23-year-old Anthony Kim.
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