Wake Forest grad, Bill Haas shot a -4 under par 68 on opening day at the 78th Masters Tournament. Three others are one-stroke back including 2012 Masters Champ, Bubba Watson, 2013 Masters Champ, Adam Scott, and 2010 Open Champ, Louis Oosthuizen. It’s a nice leaderboard that will tee it up on Friday morning as the second round gets underwway.Seven players are at -2 under including the FedEx Cup points leader, Jimmy Walker.
Bill Haas had an early tee-time and posted his -4 under score before most of the field could get started, but ran into trouble at the first hole. He got the ship righted, and after making the turn at 34, made one more bogey at 17 before making his last birdie at 18. All in all, the 31 year-old son of pro golfer, Jay Haas had a great start, and takes his first 18-hole lead in a major to the second round on Friday.
The defending champ got it to -4 under before he picked up a double bogey five at the 12th hole. After a big round of applause for the champ, he proceeded to hit his tee shot in Rae’s Creek. He got one back at 14, and is in the same position as last year after the first round.
It wasn’t any surprise that South African, Louis Oosthuizen is close to the lead at Augusta. Two years ago he made the highlight reel with an Albatross at the second hole before losing in a playoff to Bubba Watson’s miraculous nine-iron shot at the 10th hole. He likes this golf course, and now that he looks healthy, I expect him to make a run this year.
Some of the big surprises who have already played their way out of the 2014 Masters include 2013 PGA Champ, Jason Dufner. Dufner exploded to an eight over 80 on the first day, and will need to go very low on Friday if he wants to play on the weekend.
Dustin Johnson, was five over, US Open Champ, Justin Rose, and three-time Masters Champ, Phil Mickelson struggled to a four over par score. Unfortunately, Phil could only manage two birdies on Thursday, and made two crucial mistakes at 7 and 15 ending up with double bogeys that caused his score to balloon.
As usual, the golf course is in pristine condition. With the rain they had on Monday, the sloppy fairways didn’t allow for a lot of spin on the ball going into these firm greens. The weather is expected to continually get better as we near the weekend, and players will be able to spin the ball, but you can expect the greens to firm up, and become very fast.
It’s a shame they only play this tournament once a year, because it provides not only the best players in the world, but in my opinion, the best golf course on the planet. I can’t wait for round two to start tomorrow morning!
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