Masters leaderboard 2017: Breakdown, full coverage, scores, highlights from Round 1

Masters coverage, leaderboard, scoring updates and more from Thursday at Augusta National.

When the wind started tricking players on Amen Corner and causing all kinds of damage for the field during Thursday’s Round 1 action at the 2017 Masters, the assumption was that the afternoon group would struggle the most and some of the early leading scores (Russell Henley and Kevin Chappell in early with 71s) would be the pace.

But then the afternoon groups — which notably did not include world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, a late scratch after injuring his back from falling at his rental house — started to catch fire near the end of the day.
Charley Hoffman had five birdies in his last seven holes on the way to a 65 in one of the most impressive opening rounds in Masters history. It wasn’t as low as Greg Norman’s 63 from 1993, and it didn’t establish as much of a cushion as Craig Wood’s record five-stroke advantage in 1941, but it gave Hoffman an impressive four-shot lead heading into Friday’s action.
Rory McIlroy was another player to take advantage of the second nine late in the day, rebounding from a 3-over showing on the first nine to finish in a crowded tie for 12th thanks to birdies on 13, 15 and 16. Everyone fought the course on Thursday, but McIlroy, Hoffman and Garcia (-1) all played well down the stretch while the average score remained above par for the day.
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Here’s how the leaderboard looks heading into Round 2
1. Charley Hoffman (-7): It’s just his fourth Masters start, but Hoffman is well on his way to making the cut for a fourth straight time after carding the low round on Thursday. Hoffman will have an early tee time on Friday with the opportunity to focus on pars and wait to see if the rest of the field catches up.
2. William McGirt (-3): Birdies on two of the three par 5s gave some relief during a tough round that saw McGirt fight hard for his 69. The 37-year-old first-time Masters competitor had just 27 putts on the day (including one 48-footer) in one of the best rounds of golf in his career.
3. Lee Westwood (-2): After four bogeys on the first nine, Westwood caught fire and got five birdies in a row on the second nine between 13 and 17. The turnaround came right in line with Hoffman and McIlroy making their push over the same ground where much of the field fell apart earlier in the day.

 

T4: Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jason Dufner, Sergio Garcia and four others (-1): Mickelson admitted after the round that a 71 was a great score for the day, and he seemed more than pleased with where he was heading into Friday. Garcia had one of the only bogey-free rounds of the day, while the rest of this group went up-and-down through their 18 at Augusta. Matthew Fitzpatrick, for example, had a much more stressful ride to his 71 than Garcia, carding four birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey on 18.
T12. Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Matt Kuchar, Thomas Pieters and three others (E): With a seven-stroke deficit, this group at even par has to be where we draw line in terms of needing to go low on Friday to have a shot to win. Hoffman will face harsh winds, but so will the rest of the field and this group will likely separate itself between the contenders and players that will be happy to make it to the weekend.
T19. Rickie Fowler, Fred Couples, Justin Thomas, Danny Willett and four others (+1): How about Couples dropping a 73 to finish in the top-20 here in 2017? On the other end of the experience ratings here at one-over is rising star Jon Rahm, and with both Thomas and Mark Leishman here, there’s a lot of potential for a player to jump up into the top-10 before the weekend.
Notables
T26. Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Bubba Watson (+2)
T41. Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott (+3)
T66. Zach Johnson (+5)
T75. Martin Kaymer (+6)
CBS Sports was with you all day with updates, highlights and analysis from Round 1 of the 2017 Masters.

 

Article Source: cbssports.com

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