Sung-Jae Im Leads The Masters After Round 1

Sungjae Im Masters
Sungjae Im on the 17th hole during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National GC on April 7, 2022 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Jamie Squire via Getty Images)

Sung-Jae Im opened with a round of 5-under 67 at sun-splashed Augusta National, and will take a one-shot lead into Friday’s second round of the 2022 Masters.

The 24-year-old South Korean made a hat trick of birdies on the first three holes, and remained in the red the rest of the way. He was the only player on the iconic leaderboards that dot the Augusta landscape with 18 red numbers next to his name. Im added a fourth birdie on No. 7 to turn on 4 under but dropped two shots with back-to-back bogeys on 10 and 11. He recovered nicely, though, with an eagle on the par-5 13th and then added a final gain on the last par-5 (No. 15) to reach 5-under par.

“The thing today I drove it well most of the holes and it gave me opportunities to have better second shots most of the holes,” said Im through a interpretor. “I’m glad with how everything went today.”

One back was Cameron Smith, who offset bookend double bogeys on 1 and 18 with eight birdies, including four in a five hole stretch – twice, first on Nos. 5-9 and then 12-16.

Cameron Smith Masters
Cameron Smith and caddie Sam Pinfold on the 1st green during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National GC on April 7, 2022 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Andrew Redington via Getty Images)

“I think I just have belief in my game,” said Smith when asked about the number of birdies. “I know that if I’m playing well, I can make plenty of birdies, and there’s 54 holes left out there and plenty of birdie opportunities. I’m looking forward to it.”

Smith continued, “It was just really solid. Lots of really good iron shots.

“This wind just got up and down, got really gusty all day, and just misjudged a couple of wedges there on the first and the last hole, but the stuff in between was pretty good.”

Dustin Johnson, Danny Willett, Joaquin Niemann and Scottie Scheffler were two off the pace at 3-under par. Johnson (2020) and Willett (2016) are former Masters’ winners.

Patrick Cantlay headlined a trio of players tied on 2-under 70, one clear of a nine-player logjam at 1-under par, which included Tiger Woods, who was making his first tour start since a devastating car crash in February 2021.

Tiger Woods Masters at Augusta National GC
Tiger Woods walks off the 18th green after the first round of the Masters at Augusta National GC on April 7, 2022 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Jamie Squire via Getty Images)

Wearing a collarlesss shirt that matched the colors of Augusta’s iconic pink azalaes, Woods mixed several gritty par saves with a few impressive birdies to sit inside the top-10 leaders.

“Well, I did not have a very good warmup at all. I hit it awful,” said Woods, 46, a five-time Masters’ winner.

“As my dad said, did you accomplish your task? Did you warm up?’ I said yes. Now go play.

“That’s exactly what I did. I blocked it out and felt, hey, I’m warm. Go play. Let’s just go get it done. You know where to put it. Execute each shot.”

“As the round built, I was able to get into the red. I got out of there and got to even-par but made two stupid mistakes at 8 back-to-back, loss of concentration a little bit there, but I fought back. For the day, to end up in the red, I’m right where I need to be.”

Twelve more players were tied at even-par 72, including the defending champion Hideki Matsuyama and former Masters winners Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel.


2022 Masters Tournament Leaderboard


Masters Top 10: Round 1

Pos-Player-To Par (Score)
1. Sung-Jae Im -5 (67)
2. Cameron Smith -4 (68)
3. Dustin Johnson -3 (69)
3. Danny Willett -3 (69)
3. Joaquin Neimann -3 (69)
3. Scottie Scheffler -3 (69)
7. Patrick Cantlay -2 (70)
7. Corey Conners -2 (70)
7. Jason Kokrak -2 (70)
10. Tiger Woods -1 (71)
10. Webb Simpson -1 (71)
10. Harold Varner III -1 (71)
10. Will Zalatoris -1 (71)
10. Harry Higgs -1 (71)
10. Kevin Na -1 (71)
10. Daniel Berger -1 (71)
10. Tony Finau -1 (71)
10. Matt Fitzpatrick -1 (71)


Masters Notables: Round 1

Pos-Player-To Par (Score)
19. Hideki Matsuyama E (72)
19. Sergio Garcia E (72)
19. Charl Schwartzel E (72)
19. Tyrrell Hatton E (72)
19. Viktor Hovland E (72)
19. Lee Westwood E (72)
31. Bubba Watson +1 (73)
31. Collin Morikawa +1 (73)
31. Rory McIlroy +1 (73)
31. Shane Lowry +1 (73)
43. Jon Rahm +2 (74)
43. Patrick Reed +2 (74)
43. Jordan Spieth +2 (74)
43. Xander Schauffele +2 (74)
43. Zach Johnson +2 (74)
43. Adam Scott +2 (74)
43. Billy Horschel +2 (74)
60. Brooks Koepka +3 (75)
60. Fred Couples +3 (75)
60. Kevin Kisner +3 (75)
60. Tommy Fleetwood +3 (75)
60. Gary Woodland +3 (75)
70. Justin Thomas +4 (76)
70. Bryson DeChambeau +4 (76)
70. Louis Oosthuizen +4 (76)
70. Justin Rose +4 (76)
70. Bernhard Langer +4 (76)
77. Jose Maria Olazabal +5 (77)
77. Larry Mize +5 (77)
82. Francesco Molinari +6 (78)
82. Vijay Singh +6 (78)
84. Thomas Pieters +7 (79)
84. Sandy Lyle +10 (82)


2022 Masters Full Leaderboard


Credit: Masters.com, Getty Images


LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here