THINGS didn’t go exactly to plan for the Aussies at Augusta National in the first round of the Masters with Jason Day blowing a great early start and Adam Scott failing to gain any momentum.
Day eagled the second hole and was 5-under at the turn, just one behind clubhouse leader and defending champion Jordan Spieth, before the problems started on the back.
A three putt bogey on the 10th was the first chink on what had been a blemish free round but a birdie on 13 saw him still 5-under and just one behind Spieth with four holes to go.
He bogied the par five 15th at hole and then there was disaster on the par three 16th when he found the water off the tee ( a feat earlier emulated by Bubba Watson) and ended with his first triple bogey (just about since he started wearing long pants).
The 28 year old also bogied 17 and ended with a par 72, 31 on the front and 41 on the back.
“Obviously it’s frustrating but I’m not too disappointed because I felt like I played well for the most part in tough conditions,” said Day, who finished tied 21st.
“We are going to have a tough day tomorrow and Saturday with wind conditions so I just have to keep pushing forward.”
“Even though I gave up five shots in three holes I am only six back. If I can play the way I did early in my round over the next three days then I know I can catch up.”
2013 Champion Scott bogied the first and never got back in the red with a six bogie/two birdie round of 74.
Scott said afterwards he had “battled all day” in the blustery conditions and hadn’t found his rythym.
“Today when I wasn’t on the perfect number, I wasn’t sharp enough with my iron play. That was leaving me too much work to do on the greens, probably two of the putts that I had, were not two putt-able,” said Scott.
“Disappointing looking at the four par-5’s today, not one birdie. If I could have capitalised on them and limited the damage a bit, 2-over on a tough day with a good start tomorrow you feel like you’re back under-par.”
“But I have some work to do on the front-9 to pull myself back, the mission tomorrow will be to get back to par or better, and then I’ll still think I am in good shape.”
Victorian Marc Leishman and Queenslander Cameron Smith each fired rounds of 2-over 74 to be tied on 44th.
The 22-year-old Smith was reasonably happy with a debut Masters round that featured three birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey at the par four 3rd.
“I had a rough start, but I’m very proud of the way I hung in there,” said Smith.
Steven Bowditch continued his recent poor scoring with a 7-over.
Spieth the master of Augusta: 1st round video roundup
Meanwhile Spieth continued the Augusta National form that has seen him at 29-under after nine round.
We felt the 22 year old would spring back into 100 percent focus when he teed it up at a course he says he’s been studying since he was an eighth year old.
Spieth said in his post round media conference he couldn’t understand why people kept saying this year that he had been “struggling” with his game and with all the distractions following his stellar year in 2015, pointing out he had finished in the top 20 in eight of his last nine starts.
“What am I supposed to do?” he asked.
Ernie has the putting yips
Poor Ernie Els didn’t have a nice start, six-putting on the par four 1st for a 9.
Fancied contender Rickie Fowler was also shell-shocked by his 8-over 80.
Ernie Els 7 putted the first hole, it’s excruciating to watch pic.twitter.com/0SJIyncF9k
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) April 7, 2016