Masters 2021: Justin Rose leads as Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau and Lee Westwood wrestle
|-7 J Rose (Eng); -3 B Harman (US), H Matsuyama (Jpn); -2 P Reed (US), W Zalatoris (US), W Simpson (US), C Bezuidenhout (SA)|
|Chosen 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 hit a sensational seven-under-par 65 to open a four-shot lead on the opening day of the Masters.
Two-time runner-up Rose was two over after seven, however an eagle adopted by seven birdies noticed the 40-year-old speed up clear at Augusta Nationwide.
Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman had set the early tempo at three underneath par as the one different gamers to interrupt 70.
Patrick Reed, the 2018 winner, shot a 70, whereas defending champion and world primary Dustin Johnson is 2 over.
Solely 12 gamers shot underneath par on the opening day, with England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Eire’s reigning Open champion Shane Lowry at one underneath.
Northern Eire’s Rory McIlroy and England’s Lee Westwood have been amongst those that struggled to tame the long-lasting 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 sixteenth, having additionally made an ace on the WGC Matchplay final trip, on his solution to a two-over 74.
Affected person Rose makes expertise depend
Rose has historical past at Augusta. He completed tied for second in 2015 and was crushed 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 just 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 put up his greatest rating in 59 rounds on the Masters.
It’s a acquainted place for the 2016 Olympic champion, who has now held the first-round lead at Augusta Nationwide on 4 events, a joint document with six-time winner Jack Nicklaus.
“I suppose the excellent news is I do not know what occurred and that is if you play your greatest golf and get into the great rhythm,” he mentioned.
“Despite the fact that I noticed pink numbers on the board I did not panic once I was two over by seven, that is an important factor.
“I knew it was a day to not play your self out of the match, the course had plenty of tooth to it.
“The pins have been comparatively truthful so good golf photographs might be rewarded and to be 9 underneath for my final 11, you may by no means fairly see that coming right here at Augusta Nationwide.”
Spieth offers the drama
Final week Jordan Spieth received the Texas Open to finish a dropping 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 suitable, clattered his subsequent shot off a trunk and at last managed to flee with a 4 iron that got here up simply in need of the inexperienced.
The American seemed set to make bogey, however wanted three putts from eight ft.
He stored his composure although and pulled one shot again on the tenth after which chipped in for eagle on the fifteenth to complete on one underneath par.
World quantity two Justin Thomas ended the day one over, whereas US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who advised BBC Sport earlier this yr he sees Augusta as a par 68, 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 People Webb Simpson and Reed, in addition to South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
‘Possibly I will autograph a bag of frozen peas for him’
That is the primary main to be performed with spectators for the reason that 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush, with round 1 / 4 of the as much as 50,000 patrons often welcomed at Augusta Nationwide 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 precipitated issues for some on Thursday.
Amongst 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.
“I ought to ask for an autographed glove,” the elder McIlroy quipped.
Rory joked again: “I feel he simply must go and put some ice on. Possibly I will autograph a bag of frozen peas for him.”
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 twelfth on the earth 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 fifteenth to tug one again and completed with three successive pars to put up a four-over 76.
American Johnson posted a document profitable complete of 20 underneath par when he claimed the Inexperienced Jacket in November and is aiming to grow 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 smooth 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, seemed to have kickstarted his spherical with a chip-in birdie from 17 yards on the eleventh and added one other birdie on the par-five thirteenth to get to 1 underneath.
However he bogeyed 16 after which watched a bogey putt on 18 lip out from 4 ft, ultimately 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 sport’s type gamers, having already carded two second-placed finishes in 2021.
However a double bogey on the third set the tone for the 47-year-old, who was being talked up this week as somebody who might break Nicklaus’ document because the oldest Masters champion.
The previous world primary is but to win a serious and faces a monumental process if he’s to interrupt that duck, with an extra six bogeys and two birdies leaving him properly 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 who had a chip-in birdie on 17, with fellow Englishman and 2016 champion Danny Willett and Wales’ 1991 winner Ian Woosnam two additional again at 4 over.
English novice Joe Lengthy, who tore a glute muscle whereas browsing with a pal within the build-up to Augusta, struggled on his debut and completed on 10 over par.