|-7 J Rose (Eng); -3 B Harman (US), H Matsuyama (Jpn); -2 P Reed (US), W Zalatoris (US), W Simpson (US), C Bezuidenhout (SA)|
|Selected others: -1 T Hatton (Eng), J Spieth (US); +1 P Casey (Eng), J Thomas (US);+2 D Johnson (US), T Fleetwood (Eng), R MacIntyre (Sco), I Poulter (Eng); +4 R McIlroy (NI), B DeChambeau (US); +6 L Westwood (Eng)|
England’s Justin Rose accelerated away from the sphere to complete on seven underneath par and open a four-stroke lead on the opening day of the Masters.
Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman had set the early tempo at three underneath par as the one different gamers to interrupt 70.
Two-time runner-up Rose was two over after seven, however an eagle adopted by seven birdies noticed the 40-year-card a sensational 65 at Augusta National.
Defending champion and world primary Dustin Johnson is at two over par.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and England’s Lee Westwood have been amongst those that struggled to tame the enduring Georgia course, ending on 4 over and 6 over, respectively.
Tommy Fleetwood was additionally having a tricky spherical however he had a hole-in-one on the par-three 16th, having additionally made an ace on the WGC Matchplay final trip, on his method to a two-over 74.
Only 12 gamers shot underneath par on the opening day, with England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Ireland’s Shane Lowry amongst them at one underneath.
Rose has historical past at Augusta. He completed tied for second in 2015 and was overwhelmed in a play-off by Sergio Garcia in 2017.
He arrived this week having not performed since withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational a month in the past with a again downside.
The world quantity 41 made a bogey begin and adopted with one other dropped shot at seven, earlier than an eagle on the par-five eighth noticed the 2013 US Open champion burst into life.
Rose, who has lately reunited with swing coach Sean Foley, birdied the next two holes, saved par on 11 and continued his momentum with 5 extra birdies in his remaining seven holes to submit his finest rating in 59 rounds on the Masters.
It is a well-recognized place for the 2016 Olympic champion, who has now held the first-round lead at Augusta National on a file 4 events, stage with six-time winner Jack Nicklaus.
“I guess the good news is I don’t know what happened and that’s what happens when you’re playing freely,” he mentioned. “I didn’t panic when I was two over, that’s the most important thing.
“Even although I noticed crimson numbers on the board I knew it was a great day to not play myself out of the event. Of course, 9 underneath coming by the ultimate 11 holes, you by no means see that coming at Augusta.
“You play off memory banks. You have to respect the course. It was a fun experience playing in November but it is a golf course that plays different at different times. There was a swirling wind out here, but there were a lot of situations that reminded me of Augustas of years past.”
Spieth gives the drama
Last week Jordan Spieth received the Texas Open to finish a shedding run that stretched again to his win on the 2017 Open Championship, and the 2015 Masters champion didn’t go underneath the radar on Thursday.
The 27-year-old arrived on the ninth on one underneath par after two birdies and a bogey however he walked off the inexperienced on two over after a triple bogey.
He despatched a wayward drive into the timber on the precise, clattered his subsequent shot off a trunk and at last managed to flee with a 4 iron that got here up simply wanting the inexperienced.
The American appeared set to make bogey, however wanted three putts from eight ft.
He stored his composure although and pulled one shot again on the 10th after which chipped in for eagle on the 15th to complete on one underneath par.
World quantity two Justin Thomas ended the day one over, whereas US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who beforehand mentioned he sees Augusta as a par 67, completed at 4 over par.
Matsuyama, the world quantity 25, made two birdies and had an eagle three on the par-five eighth earlier than a dropped shot at 17 pegged him again to 3 underneath, whereas world quantity 50 Harman additionally carded a 69 in a spherical that included 4 birdies and only one dropped shot.
Debutant Will Zalatoris signed for a 70 that places him at two underneath par alongside fellow Americans Webb Simpson and 2018 champion Patrick Reed, in addition to South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
Augusta bites for almost all
This is the primary main to be performed with spectators because the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush, with round 1 / 4 of the as much as 50,000 patrons normally welcomed at Augusta National in attendance.
The previous two Masters have yielded the bottom common scores within the iconic main’s historical past however agency greens and gusty circumstances prompted issues for some on Thursday.
Among these was McIlroy, who endured his customary gradual begin as he carded three bogeys on the bounce by 5, six and 7, together with his wayward method on the latter even hitting his dad, Gerry, on the leg.
The Northern Irishman is chasing a profession Grand Slam and has begun working with famend swing coach Pete Cowen in a bid to regain type after sliding to 12th on the planet rankings.
He adopted that run of bogeys with a birdie on the par-five eighth, however dropped one other shot at 9 to hit the flip at three over after which discovered the water at 11 and 13.
The 31-year-old rolled in a birdie from 4 ft on the par-five 15th to drag one again and completed with three successive pars to submit a four-over 76.
American Johnson posted a file successful complete of 20 underneath par when he claimed the Green Jacket in November and is aiming to turn out to be solely the fourth man to defend his title after Jack Nicklaus (1965-1966), Nick Faldo (1989-1990) and Tiger Woods (2001-2002).
He was capable of take advantage of delicate circumstances to win his second main title within the autumn however made a bogey-birdie begin to his defence and was one over for the entrance 9 after dropping a stroke on the fifth.
The 36-year-old, who had solely 4 bogeys all week when he received, appeared to have kickstarted his spherical with a chip-in birdie from 17 yards on the 11th and added one other birdie on the par-five 13th to get to 1 underneath.
But he bogeyed 16 after which watched a bogey putt on 18 lip out from 4 ft, finally signing for a two-over-par 74.
Johnson was enjoying alongside Westwood, who arrived in Georgia with son Sam on his bag as one of many recreation’s type gamers, having already carded two second-placed finishes in 2021.
But a double bogey on the third set the tone for the 47-year-old, who was being talked up this week as somebody who may break Nicklaus’ file because the oldest Masters champion.
The former world primary is but to win a serious and faces a monumental activity if he’s to interrupt that duct, with an extra six bogeys and two birdies leaving him effectively off the tempo at six over.
Elsewhere, Ian Poulter made seven bogeys and 5 birdies to complete at two over, alongside Scottish debutant Robert MacIntyre, with fellow Englishman and 2016 champion Danny Willett and Wales’ 1991 winner Ian Woosnam two additional again at 4 over.
English novice Joe Long, who tore a glute muscle whereas browsing with a good friend within the build-up to Augusta, struggled on his debut and completed on 10 over par.