Pro Golf Weekly

Masters Mashup: Speith’s Birdies, Tiger’s Pars, Sergio’s Octuple

Jordan Spieth shot a first-round 66 and leads the 2018 Masters by two shots over Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.

Spieth finished his first day at Augusta National with three bogeys, one eagle, and seven birdies, highlighted by five-straight on Nos. 13-17. The 18-hole lead is Spieth’s third opening-round lead in career starts, and ninth lead overall in 14 rounds at Augusta National.

Credit: Getty Images/Patrick Smith

Finau and Kuchar sit T2 at 4-under par.

Finau, who injured his ankle during the Par-3 Contest, offset two bogeys with six birdies to shoot 68 in his maiden round at Augusta National.

Kuchar, meanwhile, overcame two early bogeys (Nos. 4 and 7) and finished his final 11 holes bogey-free with six birdies, including a final one on the 18th to join Finau in second-place.

Here’s a roundup of the first day:


TOP 10

1 Jordan Spieth -6
2 Tony Finau -4
2 Matt Kuchar -4
4 Henrik Stenson -3
4 Charley Hoffman -3
4 Adam Hadwin -3
4 Patrick Reed -3
4 Li Haotong -3
4 Rory McIlroy -3
4 Rafael Cabrera Bello -3


NOTABLES

11 Phil Mickelson -2
11 Rickie Fowler -2
21 Fred Couples E
21 Justin Rose E
29 Tiger Woods +1
29 Dustin Johnson +1
42 Justin Thomas +2
55 Jason Day +3
55 Jon Rahm +3
55 Adam Scott +3
85 Sergio Garcia +9


VIDEO RECAP

ESPN’s Jimmy Roberts with a terrific recap of day one in Augusta, Georgia.


SPIETH’S NUMBERS

Driving: 291 yards (50th)
Fairways: 78.6%, 11/14 (10th)
Greens: 61.1%, 11/18 (40th)
Putts Per GIR: 2.182 (8th)
To Par: 1 Eagle, 7 Birdies, 7 Pars, 3 Bogeys
SCORING
Par-5s (-5) 3 Birdies, 1 Eagle
Par-4s (E) 3 Birdies, 3 Bogeys, 4 Pars
Par-3s (-1) 1 Birdie, 3 Pars
Amen Corner: (-1) Par, Par, Birdie


SHOT OF THE DAY

Amateur Doug John Ghim holes out for eagle on the 18th hole. It was Ghim’s second eagle of the day. The 2017 U.S. Amateur runner-up finished even-par 72 and is currently the low am.


THROWBACK THURSDAY

Old friend Freddie Couples with a sweet hole-out bunker shot on No. 12. The 58-year old finished at even-par 72, and put himself in good position to make another weekend at the Masters.


THROWBACK THURSDAY II

Sandy Lyle drains a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-5 15th hole. Lyle finished 2-over par 74.


STAT OF THE DAY

With this latest top spot on the day-one leaderboard, Jordan Spieth now owns three opening-round leads at Augusta National in just five starts. He opened with a 64 in 2015 and a 66 in 2016.

To put that into perspective, in 45 starts, six-time Masters winner Jack Nicklaus owns four first-round leads.

Credit: Getty Images/Patrick Smith

Just as striking is Spieth’s nine overall leads in 17 rounds, which places him tied for fifth with Tiger Woods and Sam Snead on the all-time list.

Only Jack Nicklaus (19), Arnold Palmer (19), Gary Player (11), and Raymond Floyd (10) have led after more rounds at the Masters.

SPIETH’S LEADS AT THE MASTERS

MASTERS 2014
Round 1: -1, 71 (T12)
Round 2: -3, 70 (T3)
Round 3: -5, 70 (T1)
Round 4: -5, 72 (T2)

MASTERS 2015
Round 1: -8, 64 (1)
Round 2: -14, 66 (1)
Round 3: -16, 70 (1)
Round 4: -18, 70 (1)

MASTERS 2016
Round 1: -6, 66 (1)
Round 2: -4, 74 (1)
Round 3: -3, 73 (1)
Round 4: -2, 73 (T2)

MASTERS 2017
Round 1: +3, 75 (T41)
Round 2: E, 69 (T11)
Round 3: -4, 68 (T4)
Round 4: -1, 75 (T11)

MASTERS 2018
Round 1: -6, 66 (1)


TIGER UPDATE

Tiger Woods shot a first-round 1-over 73 and sits T30. Woods’ day was overall was passable, but he’ll walk away regretting playing the par-5s to even-par (4 pars, no birdies).

BY THE NUMBERS

Driving: 291 yards (28th)
Fairways: 57.1%, 8/14 (57th)
Greens: 61.1%, 11/18 (40th)
Putts Per GIR: 2.545 (33rd)
To Par: 0 Eagles, 3 Birdies, 11 Pars, 4 Bogeys
SCORING
Par-5s (E) 4 Pars
Par-4s (E) 2 Birdies, 2 Bogeys, 6 Pars
Par-3s (+1) 1 Birdie, 2 Bogeys, 1 Par
Amen Corner: (+2) Bogey, Bogey, Par


PHOTO OF THE DAY

Photographer Patrick Smith gets a great shot of the iconic leaderboard at the Masters, with leader Jordan Spieth in the foreground on the 17th green.

Credit: Getty Images/Patrick Smith

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Hit a little fade up the left side. It didn’t fade (laughter)”
– Tiger Woods, describing his tee shot on No. 1.


EL UGLY

Sergio Garcia was cruising along at 2-over par – not great but with four holes to play including a par 5, he was in decent shape to post something close to even-par.

Then the par-5 15th happened.

Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Redington

After a solid drive, Garcia used a 6-iron from 206 yards, and landed his ball short of the flagstick. The ball then spun backwards… into the pond. Taking a drop from a closer position, Garica proceeded to hit four wedges into the water, each shot landing safely on the green, but rolling into the water. On the fifth try (his 12th stroke), he stuck it, and then made the putt for a octuple-bogey (8-over) 13.

The prvious record high score on No. 15 was an 11.

“It’s the first time in my career where I make a 13 without missing a shot,” Garcia said. “Simple as that.”


Credit: Masters.com, Getty Images


Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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