Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 Masters Coverage Day 1

Day 1 is in the books and the weather held off for each player to finish his round.  And it was a pretty good day. I have never seen this many golfers in the woods in one round.  It looked like driving was a real struggle for many players out there.  But there were numerous short-game miracles, some lucky breaks, and the occasional blow-up hole.

Lee Westwood has his first lead after the opening round in a major.  Shooting 5-under 67 bodes well for him, as this ties his lowest round in the Masters tournament.  He hit 16-18 greens and had 31 putts.  But for a lucky break on 15, his round was pretty standard.  Lee's approach shot to the Par 5 15th barely cleared the water hazard and held up in the rough where if the course was dry like usual he would have a penalty stroke.  But he held it together and finished the day with the lead.

Louis Oosthuisen and Peter Hanson are tied at 4-under and one back of Westwood.  Oosthuisen finished birdie-birdie after a ho-hum opening 16 holes.  He's played well lately so we'll see if the 2010 Open Champ can hold near the top of the leaderboard.  Hanson went about his business quietly today and almost sneaked up the leaderboard.  He's playing solidly and had a nice easy 68 today.  He'll go out mid-morning tomorrow to start his second round.

At 3-under are Ben Crane, Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, 1999 Open Champ Paul Lawrie and Miguel Angel Jimenez.  All of these players finished their rounds solidly and kept it near the top of the leaderboard most of the day.

Henrik Stenson paced the early-morning starters, entering hole 16 at 6 under par.  But a bogey-quadruple bogey finish derailed his round and now he is mired back in T-14th place with 15 other players.  I don't know what kind of mindset Stenson will have tomorrow, but we'll see if he can bounce back and continue the good play.

Tiger Woods had a very poor driving day, with 2 unplayable lies off the tee and numerous snap hooks.  But his scrambling game was on today, saving par numerous times.  He was 2 under after 16, but bogeyed the last 2 holes to finish at Even Par 72.  If Tiger can straighten out his driving game, look for him to go pretty low tomorrow, since his putting is on this week.  He is the second-to-last group out tomorrow, which should be in the better weather of the day.

Phil Mickelson struggled today to a 2-over par 74.  But it could have been much worse.  A triple bogey at hole 10 after a lost-ball off the tee derailed an already mediocre round.  But he finished solidly with 2 birdies in the final 4 holes to get within 7 of the lead.  But with 54 players ahead of him, it will be tough to make up enough to get to the top.  But you can never count out Phil at Augusta.

Rory McIlroy had a pedestrian first 16 holes of his round, where he entered 17 at 1-over par.  But birdies on 17 and 18 has Rory at 1-under with a 71.  He did not look all that enthused with the round and did not look all-in.  He needs to start playing better to keep himself in contention.

Other Notables:
Jim Furyk: -2 T10
Patrick Cantlay (A): -1 T14
Keegan Bradley: -1 T14
Martin Kaymer: E T29
Charl Schwartzel: E T29
Adam Scott: +3 T64
Luke Donald: +3 T64
Jason Day: +4 T73
KJ Choi +5 T79

The weather tomorrow morning is showing showers with 15 MPH winds.  Around noon ET, the showers are supposed to subside and the winds will diminish as the day goes on.  So look for most low scores to come in the afternoon when the greens are soft and the winds are weaker.

Enjoy round 2, and follow @ahintz2 on twitter!

No comments:

Post a Comment