In Augusta, Georgia (USA), the 85th edition of the Augusta Masters opened with the show of the Englishman Justin Rose, leader with 65 (-7) strokes, 4 clear of the American Brian Harman and the Japanese Hideki Matsuyama, both second with 69 (-3). He disappointed Dustin Johnson. The American, reigning champion and world number 1, is 30 / o with 74 (+2) alongside, among others, Brooks Koepka (returning after the operation on his right knee); Francesco Molinari, the only blue in the race; Tommy Fleetwood, author of a hole in one. Among the big names, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia (champion in 2017) and Rory McIlroy (chasing the Grand Slam) did not shine, all 60 / i with 76 (+4). Sharing 13 / a square (72, par) Jon Rahm (looking for the first win in a Major) and Xander Schauffele. With Jordan Spieth 8 / o (71, -1).
Justin Rose, The Masters
The public (albeit in limited numbers) also returned to the Augusta National GC course (par 72), with mandatory masks for all present. The most coveted tournament of the “green” began with the swings of the legends. To the usual suspects Jack Nicklaus (record holder of the competition with 6 successes) and Gary Player, as “honorary Masters starter” was added Lee Elder, the first African American to play The Masters in 1975. Then came the time of today’s champions. And it is surprising what happened to Rose, gold medalist at the Rio de Janeiro Games 2016 and former number 1 in the world ranking. The 40-year-old Briton, who boasts 10 titles on the PGA Tour in the palmares (figure including a Major, the Us Open 2013), for the fourth time in his career is at the top of The Masters rankings. Only Nicklaus had succeeded in this feat with the difference that the American wore the ‘Green Jacket’ 6 times, symbol of the show, while Rose saw it escape twice: the first in 2015 (when he finished second alongside Phil Mickelson, the title went to Jordan Spieth) and the other in 2017, when he was beaten in the playoff by Garcia. But, in 59 rounds played at The Masters, this is Rose’s best lap in Augusta and the 4-stroke lead over her rivals represents the second largest gap (tied) after 18 holes played.
Only Craig Wood in 1941 managed to do better by detaching his opponents by 5 strokes at the end of the first round. Yet for the 1980 class, the game did not start well with two bogeys in the first seven holes played. At 8 the reaction came with an eagle. While in the last 10 of the day 7 birdies arrived. Really a show that of the British, currently in 41 / o place in the world ranking. Behind him are Harman and Matsuyama. While in 4 / a position (69, -3), among others, there are the Americans Patrick Reed (Masters Champion in 2018) and Webb Simpson.