We have made it through Day 1 of the Masters Tournament. Here are a few High(or Low)lights.
A Somber, Beautiful Beginning:
Chairman Billy Payne opened this year’s Tournament with the Opening Tee Ceremony, so often attended by Arnold Palmer. Mr. Payne’s eloquent words made many in the crowd tear up as they remembered their friend, competitor, and the games greatest ambassador.
Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus tearfully teed off up the First Hole to open the 2017 Masters, Jack doffing his cap skyward in a beautiful gesture to his friend.
If you get a chance, take a couple of minutes to watch the ceremony, it’s worth it.
1. World #1 Dustin Johnson was unable to tee off due to a back injury he sustained on Wednesday at the home he is renting in Augusta. It marks just the second time that the World #1 Player will not participate in the Masters (Tiger Woods, 2014). The worst part is that th injury is most likely to hinder him a day or two.
It really is a shame, too, since DJ came in playing the best golf of his life. He may never have a better chance to win the Masters. Unfortunately we’ll never know what could have been this year. Hopefully he gets a Masters victory to kill the what-ifs.
2. Jordan’s Quad (AGAIN): For the second straight Masters round, Jordan Spieth recorded a Quadruple-Bogey, this time on the Par 5 15th hole. His third shot found the water in front of the green, his next shot going over the green. He then chipped on and three-putted for the 9.
You’ll recall he had the devastating 7 on the Par 3 12th hole in last year;s final round, giving up his Final Round lead.
The leaderboard after day 1 is topped by two men who’ve not spent much time on top of Major Leaderboards: Charlie Hoffman and William McGirt. McGirt went out and played a wonderful round of golf, carding 4 Birdies to go along with a bogey at 3. Shortly afterwards, Hoffman was able to breeze through the windy conditions to post a 7-under opening round and a 4-shot lead!
Playing in his 4th Masters, Hoffman’s best finish to this point was a tie for 9th in 2015 (when he started with rounds of 67 & 68 to head into the weekend in the lead). He left himself very makable putts throughout the round and made most of them, carding 9 birdies to go with 2 bogeys.
Some Major Lurkers:
Some big names lurk a few strokes behind after Day 1. Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, and Jason Dufner are all within 6 shots after Day 1. It will be interesting to see if they can continue to make a move tomorrow.
I’m not sure about you but I’m looking forward to tomorrow!!