The Masters: Live Blog from Augusta – Round 1

Live Blog from the 80th Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club

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The Augusta National Golf Club has the natural scent of a divine abode

Anand Datla

Summary
Eight rounds in the 60s today
Jordan Spieth defies pre-tournament expectations firing into the lead with a 66
Jason Day and Rory McIlroy with plenty of work to do
Ernie Els suffered an 80 including a five putted nine at the par-4 1st hole
Anirban Lahiri is in deep trouble after a first round 76

April 07, 2016: We are underway at the 80th Masters in Augusta, Georgia. We are on the course bringing you all the highs and lows, the excitement and agony as we march through the undulating patch of land here at the Augusta National Golf Club. The Masters is not just the first of four majors every season, it is the event for several golfers and they play here with a degree of reverence and unbridled joy.

Stay with us as we bring you all the action from right here in Augusta –

1830hrs – Jordan Spieth (66), Danny Lee, Shane Lowry (68), Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Soren Kjeldsen and Sergio Garcia at 69. Jason Day was five under at one point before signing on a 72. Rory McIlroy shot 70 in round one.

1800hrs – This is hard to watch. Anirban Lahiri makes a triple at 16 and a double at 17 to end his day wrapped in disappointment.

1710hrs – I am stepping back out to the course. Augusta is a very regimented club that does not allow telephones on the course. Will catch up with you soon. Here is a quick snapshot of the leaderboard whilst I am gone.

1708hrs – We need to make a mention of Bryson DeChambeau. The amateur is dealing with plenty of attention this week and being on the same group as Jordan Spieth doesn’t exactly help. The 22 year old though is lapping it up nicely, carding an even 72 on Thursday to begin his final tournament as an amateur.

1649hrs – A pre-tournament favourite, Adam Scott hasn’t been enjoying the day in Augusta. He signed on a disappointing 76, so that is one less contender in what is said to be an open Masters. But those numbers are dwindling by the minute, especially after that 66 by Spieth.

1645hrs – Spare a thought for the much loved Ernie Els. He needed seven putts from less than four feet under the flag. It played out like a nightmare and was painful just to watch. He made a 10 at the first hole to go six over for the round at the first hole. He is now eight over with six to play.

1643hrs – Englishmen Justin Rose and Paul Casey are back in the hut with Spieth, separated by three shots from the runaway leader. Casey made a bogey free 69 while Rose made a lone bogey at the par-5 second hole in his 69.

1640hrs – Rory McIlroy isn’t getting any traction. He birdied the second and gave it back at the fourth. he regained a shot at the par-4 7th hole and took another at the 9th to turn in 34 shots.

1639hrs – Jason Day fired an eagle at the par-5 second to get his day rolling and did not look back for a while. He too turned in 31, but a bogey at the 10th slowed him down and he is 4-under through 12 holes.

1638hrs – Shane Lowry has been on a run here this windy afternoon at Augusta. He raced through the front nine in just 31 shots. Only one behind Spieth with nine to play, but remember what they say about this course. It really begins on the back nine.

1617hrs – Apologies for going away without notice, but we had to go walk with Anirban Lahiri for a little bit. The greens are unyielding today and the players are battling the course, except of course Jordan Spieth. He fired a spectacular 66 to serve a timely reminder that he is in no mood to give away the Green Jacket, just yet.

Spieth's first round at The Masters 2016
Spieth’s first round at The Masters 2016

1146hrs – Wiesberger has dropped a shot right after the turn, While Paul Casey gained one at the seventh, a par four. Vijay Singh isn’t going too well, he is two over through five holes.

1137hrs – Fowler has a long putt for birdie at the eighth, but the ball rolled past the cup, even for the round, after his early hiccup.

1130hrs – Familiar names filtering to the top here as Zach Johnson (thru 7) and Jordan Spieth (6) join Wiesberger in the lead at 2-under. Bernd of course has made the turn in 34 shots. Dubuisson and Jaidee have turned as well, at one under 35.

1036hrs – Bryson DeChambeau is making a fine habit of charging up the leaderboard, even though he is still an amateur. He is at it again, firing a birdie at the second to join the leading group of six at one under.

1026hrs – Zach Johnson made a bogey at the second, but recovered immediately to even par with a birdie at the third.

1022hrs – Rickie Fowler and Louis Oosthuizen are on the radar this week. Many experts believe the two men could be contending on Sunday. But Fowler has made an inauspicious beginning – with a double bogey on the first hole. The last Masters champion to do that was Nick Faldo in 1990. Oosthuizen made a birdie on the second hole to get his card rolling and Fowler did some mitigation with a birdie of his own too.

1015hrs – Thongchai Jaidee is holding court for the minute. The Thai star was two under through three holes before he gave one back at the par-3 fourth hole. He is locked in a three way tie for the early lead with Victor Dubuisson and Bernd Wiesberger at one under. Which means, Watson joins them too in the lead. Nice little moment there for the 66 year old from Kansas City.

1000hrs – Tom Watson, playing his final Masters, the 45th of his career birdied the par-4 third hole to put his name on the leaderboard. Watson is accompanied by an small army of fans, cheering each of his shots.

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