Saturday, April 17, 2021

In the Masters, Justin Rose is an outlier, and establishes an early lead


AUGUSTA, Ga. – A golf course does not have emotions.

Or does it?

The easiest way would be to explain Augusta National Golf Club, who took the field in the first round of the Masters tournament, after several courses were taken by the same player last year.

Five months ago in November, when Augusta National is usually just waking up from a sound sleep, the best golfers in the world come to play The 2020 masters, Which was delayed by the coronavirus epidemic. The course was very unbearable and unprepared, especially since it did well and slowed down by the rain the night before the event began.

Golf’s elite took no pledge on the weaker, elite of major championship golf courses. Dustin Johnson’s 20-under win score was a tournament record, and 43 players equalized the competition.

Apparently, Augusta National has a good memory. In the first round of the 2021 Masters, the course was ready, ready and itchy for vengeance.

When the last shot was hit on Thursday, Justin Rose came out with a stunning seven-under-par 65, including six birdies on the previous nine. That score put him in the lead role, four strokes ahead of Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama who tied for second after scoring a score of 69.

But only 11 other players were defeated, and Rose, Harman and Matsuyama were the only golfer to break 70. Conversely, with the first round in 2020, when a tournament record was created by 24 players in the 60s and 53 were equal.

Probably should have left the field on Tuesday when Fred Couples, who was the Masters champion in 1992, said that Augusta national conditions were the toughest he had seen in decades. When asked about the greens, which have been drying all week, Couples said, “If they find a farmer, look outside.”

Troubled by wind gusts, this prediction came around the ground on Thursday. Jordan Spieth, a former Masters winner, was on an up-board in the lead board at the midpoint of his round, until a T-shot was played on the ninth hole of a par T4, followed by a recovery shot. There used to be a tree, eventually a three-putt and a senior triple bogey. Spieth finished with a one-under-par 71 with a hawk on the 15th hole and consecutive birdies on the 16th and 17th holes, finishing eighth.

Reign United States Open Champion Bryson DeChambo scored a four-over par 40 on the front nine, then up-and-down the final nine. His four over-par 76s left him in a tie for the 60th score.

After his round, DeChambeau shared a lament shared by golfers yet to master the subtleties of Augusta National, specifically to hit shots from a downhill lie to an upstream green. Asked how often he sees such a shot on the PGA Tour, DeChambo replied: “Not very often, only in August.” So I have no problem anywhere else.

Rory McIlroy, who needed a Masters title to complete the Career Grand Slam of all four major golf championships, shot a stunning four-over-par 76. McElroy not only had six bogeys, he also overtook his father, Gerry. A second shot on a seventh hole.

The elder McElroy appeared to be fine, after his son walked away with a golf ball. Later, McIlroy stated that he was targeting his father because he was standing in a good location. Gerry McElroy later joked that he needed an autograph from Rory, which is a customary thing for a player to hit a fan with a shot.

“I think he just needs to go and put some snow,” Rory said with a smile, referring to his father. “Maybe I’ll autograph a bag of frozen peas for him.”

Rose opened her round with an under-par 35 on the front nine, but then the closing hole with the Birdies on the 10th and 12th holes were the two biggest challenges for Augusta National. Rose placed both par 5s at nine from the back, as well as the par-3 16th and the durring par-4 17th hole.

His performance was particularly impressive as he had not played a competitive round of golf in a month, having returned from Arnold Palmer Invitational in early March due to a back injury. Finally, layoffs would have been beneficial in many ways. For one, it lowered Rose’s expectations for the Masters, something she accepted on Thursday evening.

The 2013 United States Open champion, Rose said, “You can run just a little instinct.” “Obviously I’ve competed in these big tournaments quite a few times, and I’ve got one of them to my name, but we’re seeing more of it.”

He also used the time to spend more time working with his old swing coach Sean Foley, which Rose did again at the end of last year. The two first began working together in 2009 and a brief, recently separated, common in the golf world.

“I have done what I have achieved in the game of golf with a scene from my side,” Rose said, adding, “I was a bit out of my game during 2019, and I think the lockdown , Just being left to my own devices for a little too long was probably not a good thing.

“So it’s great to be back with Sean, and I trust him. He knows what works for me and my game.”

Four players were five strokes behind Rose in the two-under par: Patrick Reid, Webb Simpson, both former head champions and Will Zalatoris and Christiaan Bezuidenhott.

Reid said, “How difficult it was to be there today, how strong and fast it played at the venue, and the wind is picking up”. “I’ll definitely take a round of two under par.”

Simpson echoed Reid’s feelings.

“People are going to exclude themselves from the golf tournament on Day 1 in these conditions,” he said. “I knew it was going to be tough today, but I had no idea that we would deal with the raging winds.” So I am very happy with my score.

“I think it’s been at least five years since last time, I remember this being this firm, this thick. But it is also fun. This golf course is more fun that way because you really have to think, you really have to use the slope. Otherwise, you can put yourself in some very bad places. “



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