2021 Masters: Tough Opening Rounds For Top-Ranked Stars

Rory McIlroy 2021 Masters Tournament
Rory McIlroy reacts to his shot from the third tee during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Justin Rose is a world class player, but leading into the Masters he was on nobody’s radar. Yet, the Englishman, who had odds of 100-1, and is ranked No. 41, holds a four-shot lead after day one at Augusta National.

World No. 50 Brian Harman, who was also offered at 100-1, is tied for second-place with No. 25 Hideki Matsuyama (50-1).

As for the top-ranked names, and betting favorites: let’s just say, collectively, they had stunningly poor starts to the 2021 Masters.

How stunning? And how poor?

Justin Thomas 2021 Masters Tournament
Justin Thomas looks over a putt on the sixth green during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Patrick Reed (-2), Webb Simpson (-2), and Tyrrell Hatton (-1) were the only three in the red (and barely) among the Official World Golf Rankings’ top 20 players.

In fact the top-six ranked players – Dustin Johnson (+2), Justin Thomas (+1), Jon Rahm (E), Collin Morikawa (+1), Bryson DeChambeau (+4), and Xander Schauffele (E), respectively – combined to shoot 8-over par with not a single scorecard in the red.

Bryson DeChambeau 2021 Masters Tournament
Bryson DeChambeau reacts to his putt on the 18th green during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Further extrapolating: the five biggest marquee names among the top-20 list, without question, are Johnson (+2), Thomas (+1), DeChambeau (+4), Brooks Koepka (+2) and Rory McIlroy (+4). These five superstars combined for 13-over par, with not a single scorecard even at level-par.

One final mind-blowing nugget: Thomas, McIlroy, DeChambeau, and Patrick Cantlay are four of the top-ranked birdie makers on the PGA Tour (Birdies Per Round). On Thursday, they combined for six birdies total. Thomas, the Tour’s No. 1 birdie scorer, averages nearly six himself, each and every round.

Here’s a look at how the top-20 ranked players fared on a brutal day one of the 2021 Masters.

2021 Masters Leaderboard

Top-20 World Ranked Players

World Rank-Player-(Score-Pos)
1. Dustin Johnson +2 (T30)
2. Justin Thomas +1 (T20)
3. Jon Rahm E (T13)
4. Collin Morikawa +1 (T20)
5. Bryson DeChambeau +4 (T60)
6. Xander Schauffele E (T13)
7. Patrick Reed -2 (T4)
8. Tyrrell Hatton -1 (T8)
9. Webb Simpson -2 (T4)
10. Patrick Cantlay +7 (T80)
11. Brooks Koepka +2 (T30)
12. Rory McIlroy +4 (T60)
13. Tony Finau +2 (T30)
14. Viktor Hovland +1 (T20)
15. Daniel Berger +3 (T52)
16. Matthew Fitzpatrick +2 (T30)
17. Billy Horschel +4 (T60)
18. Paul Casey +1 (T20)
19. Sungjae Im +5 (T72)
20. Lee Westwood +6 (T75)


1 COMMENT

  1. Rory is playing so terrible. Wonder if every year that passes without another major he gets weaker psychologically. Imagine being 24 with 4 majors and 31 with the same 4 despite over that span still one of the world’s top 3-4 golfers in the world? Gotta hurt.

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