AUGUSTA, Ga. – A golf course does not have emotions.
Or does it?
The easiest way would be to explain Augusta National Golf Club, who took the field in the first round of the Masters tournament on Thursday, after several courses were taken by the same player last year.
Five months ago in November, when Augusta National is usually just waking up from a sound sleep, the world’s best golfers come to play The 2020 masters, Which was delayed by the coronavirus epidemic. The course was very unbearable and unprepared, especially since it did well and it rained the night before the event began.
Golf’s elite took no pledge on the weaker, elite of major championship golf courses. Dustin Johnson’s 20-under win score was a tournament record, and 43 players equalized the competition.
Apparently, Augusta National has a good memory. In the first round of the 2021 Masters, the course was ready, ready and itchy for vengeance.
When the last shot was hit on Thursday, Justin Rose was out with seven sparkling seven under-par 65s, including six birdies on nine. That score put him in the lead role, four strokes ahead of Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama who tied for second after scoring a score of 69.
But only 11 other players were equal, and Rose, Harman and Matsuyama were the only golfers to break 70. Conversely, with the first round in 2020, when a tournament record was created by 24 players in the 60s and 53 were equal.
Perhaps the field should have been pushed forward on Tuesday when Fred Couples, who was the Masters champion in 1992, said Augusta national conditions were the toughest he had seen in decades. When asked about the greens, which have been drying all week, Couples said, “If they find a farmer, look outside.”
Disturbed by the gusts of wind, this prediction came around the ground on Thursday. A former Masters winner, Jordan Spieth, was on the run-up to the leader board at the midpoint of his round, until a tees shot at a par T-7 no hole was followed by a recovery shot that ricocheted a tree , Eventually a three-putt and a senior triple bogey. Spieth finished with a one-under-par 71 with the Baz on the 15th hole and consecutive birdies on the 16th and 17th holes, finishing eighth.
Reign United States Open Champion Bryson DeChambo scored a four-over par 40 on the front nine, then up-and-down the final nine. His four over-par 76s left him in a tie for the 60th score.
After his round, DeChambeau shared a lament shared by golfers yet to master the subtleties of Augusta National, specifically hitting a hijacked green approach shots from a downhill lie. Asked how often he saw such a shot on the PGA Tour, DeCambo responded: “Not very often, just in August. So I have no problem anywhere else.
Rory McIlroy, who needed a Masters title to complete the Career Grand Slam of all four major golf championships, shot a stunning four-over-par 76. McElroy not only had six bogeys, he also left behind his father, Gerry. Shot the other way on a seventh hole.
The elder McElroy looked fine, after his son walked away with a golf ball. Later, McIlroy stated that he was targeting his father because he was standing in a good location. Gerry McElroy later joked that he wanted an autograph from Rory, which is a customary thing for a player to be shot by a fan.
“I think he just needs to go and put some snow,” Rory said referring to his father with a grin. “Maybe I’ll autograph a bag of frozen peas for him.”
Rose opened her round with an under-par 35 in nine rounds, but then made the closing hole with the Birdies on the 10th and 12th holes one of Augusta National’s two biggest challenges. Rose placed both par 5s at nine from the back, as well as the par-3 16 and during par-4 in the 17th hole.
His performance was particularly impressive as he had not played a competitive round of golf in a month, having returned from Arnold Palmer Invitational in early March due to a back injury. Finally, layoffs would have been beneficial in many ways. For one, it lowered Rose’s expectations for the Masters, something she accepted on Thursday evening.
The 2013 United States Open champion, Rose said, “You can run just a little instinct.” “Obviously I’ve competed in these big tournaments quite a few times, and I’ve mixed one of them up for my name, but we’re seeing more of it.”
He also used the time to spend more time working with his old swing coach Sean Foley, which Rose did again at the end of last year. The two first began working together in 2009 and a brief, recently separated, common in the golf world.
“Everything I’ve achieved in the game of golf has been with Sean from my side,” Rose said, adding, “I was playing a little bit with my own game through 2019, And I think that lockdown, maybe it was not a good thing to leave my own devices for a very long time.
“So it’s great to be back with Sean, and I trust him. He knows what works for me and my game.”
Four players were five strokes behind Rose in two strokes: Patrick Reid, Webb Simpson, both former head champions, and Will Zalatoris and Christiaan Bezuidenhott.
Reid said, “How difficult it was to be there today, how strong and fast it played at the venue, and the wind is picking up”. “I will definitely score a two-under par. “
Simpson echoed Reid’s feelings.
“People are going to exclude themselves from the golf tournament on Day 1 in these conditions,” he said. “I knew it was going to be tough today, but I had no idea that we would deal with the raging winds.” So I am very happy with my score.
“I think it’s been at least five years since last time, I remember this being this firm, this thick. But it is also fun. This golf course is more fun that way because you really have to think, you really have to use the slope. Otherwise, you can put yourself in some very bad places. “