Two-time runner-up Justin Rose produced a dominant first round 7 under par 65 at the 2021 Masters Tournament. Hard and fast greens turned the clock back, according to commentators Sir Nick Faldo and Ian Baker Finch. Players struggled with the conditions, as most golfers turned in over the card rounds on Thursday. Rose put an old driver in his bag and the move paid dividends for the Brit. His play was clearly a cut above the rest of the field, as he did most things very well during his opening round at the Masters. Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman both returned rounds of 3 under par 69s. Augusta National looked a treat and things seem set for a traditionally challenging tournament. Other notable first rounds were posted by Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Will Zalatoris, and Christiaan Bezuidenhout all on 70. S. Kim, J. Kokrak, S. Lowry, and T. Hatton shot 1 under par rounds of 71. The day could be characterised as, all Rose few thorns at the Masters, but, of course, there is still a long way to go until Sunday.
Aussie Golfers at Augusta National
Australian golfers notched up serviceable rounds to start the Masters. Marc Leishman began very well getting to 3 under early in the round but finished at even par. In an interview Marc Leishman said, “It was tough out there…Fairways and greens are very firm.” Matt Jones shot a 2 over par 74, Adam Scott, the inaugural and only Australian Master’s champion, was steady and posted a 2 over 74. Cameron Smith struck a majestic 7 iron second shot to inches on the par 5 fifteenth hole and made eagle to resurrect his first round at the Masters with a 74. Jason Day struggled to a 5 over 77 and declared in a post round interview that he has lots of work to do on his swing. Indeed, Day seemed to be pretty despondent in this brief on-camera media appearance. The life of a tournament golfer is definitely not all beer and skittles. Stay tuned to www.golfdom.com.au for more golf updates from the 2021 Masters Tournament.
First Round Scores & Highlights at the Masters
Putting on these greens when players were out of position was very tough. This Masters is a return to the unforgiving brutality of past tournaments in contrast to the autumnal soft serving of 2020. This major, played under COVID conditions, may be the first to bare its teeth in a long time. Perhaps, many of the competing players were unused to such challenging course conditions. Jordon Speith 71 in his resurgence had an up and down day with plenty of highlights. Speith’s great touch around the greens remains his get out of jail card at this tournament.
DeChambeau Struggles First Round at Augusta National
High profile golfer Bryson DeChambeau 76 struggled to make birdies and looked frustrated by his performance. His deft touch on these greens kept him in it, as he ground out pars. John Rahm had an even par 72, as did Cameron Champ, Xander Schauffele, Kevin Kisner, and Michael Thompson. Paul Casey fired a 1 over 73, alongside Justin Thomas, Gary Woodland, Viktor Hovland, Abraham Ancer, Henrik Stenson, and Brendon Todd. Bubba Watson posted a 2 over 74, as did Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, and Stewart Cink. Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, and Matthew Wolf scored rounds of 76. Lee Westwood shot a 6 over round of 78, as did Matt Kuchar.
Tommy Fleetwood scored a hole in one on the par 3 sixteenth hole, which put a broad smile on the Englishman’s face. Justin Rose had been 2 over prior to the par 5 eighth hole and a fortunate bounce onto the green. This, then, led to a big turnaround and a fantastic day for this major champion golfer. It was in the end a case of all Rose and few thorns at the Masters on the first day of competition.