Masters 2020: Dustin Johnson joins Paul Casey and Dylan Frittelli in lead roles

Posted by on   /   Posted in golf reviews

-7 P Casey (Eng), D Frittelli (SA), D Johnson (USA) ); -6 J Thomas (US), S Im (Kor); -5 J Rose (Eng), W Simpson (US), X Schauffele (US), C Smith (Aus); -4 L Westwood (Eng), L Oosthuizen (SA), H Matsuyama (Jpn), T Woods (US), P Reed (US), B Langer (Dld), C Champ (US) Selected others: -3 J Rahm (Spa), M Wallace (Eng), P Mickelson (US); -2 B DeChambeau (US); +1 T Hatton (Eng) +3 R McIlroy (NI) Location: Augusta National Date: November 12-15 Cover: Radio and text commentary online with in-play clips. Daily Highlights on BBC Two – full details here

Dustin Johnson returned on Friday to complete his opening round and join England's Paul Casey in some of the Masters ahead of seven below par.

Casey set the clubhouse goal on Thursday with a bogey-free 65 with five birdies and an eagle.

But a three-hour delay due to an electrical storm meant that 44 of the 92 players did not complete their rounds.

Johnson and Casey are joined by South African Dylan Frittelli, who made three birdies in his last nine holes.

The 30-year-old, who missed the cut in his only other performance on Augusta, had recovered from an eagle bogey, followed by three birdies on Thursday. ]

World number one Johnson was three below par when the game was halted by the fading light on Thursday, but made four birdies on his return, including on the 18th. take part of the first place.

Fellow American Thomas, the number three in the world, sits one out, next to South Korean Sungjae Im.

Englishman Justin Rose scrambled 67 with six birdies and left him two, with 53 of the 92 players in the field completing the first round under par.

Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland started his day with a tricky bunker shot that saw the 10th go bogey, and endured a tough back nine, including hitting his tee shot in the water on the 16th, to finishing on three above par.

England's highest ranked player, Tyrrell Hatton, the world's number nine, also had a frustrating morning in Augusta, where he discovered the water to the par-three 16th and drop to one above par.

Among those who finished on Friday was the 63-year-old two-time champion Bernhard Langer, who won in 1985 and 1993 and on four is below par.

Defending champion Tiger Woods looked back to some of his best forms on Thursday with a four-under-68, while pre-tournament favorite Bryson DeChambeau fought back after an early battle to shoot 70 .

] Heavy rain flooded parts of the course and softened it so that players could take advantage of the favorable conditions once play resumed knowing they could stop their ball quickly on greens that usually repel idiosyncratic shots.

"It's like darts," BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter said on radio commentary as shot after shot landed and immediately stopped on the greens.

One of the potential problems facing Augusta National in this unprecedented staging of an Autumn Masters is daylight, with no leeway to play late into the evening.

Players were already scheduled to start with two tee, from the first and 10th in the opening two rounds, to account for the shorter days after the tournament due to the coronavirus- pandemic had moved from its usual April slot.

Those who finish on Friday morning will not have much turnaround before returning to Augusta to play their second round.

Americans Webb Simpson and Xander Schauffele are two of the leaders on five under par.

Of the other players in the battle is Lee Westwood from England one more battle back alongside Woods, Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, South African Louis Oosthuizen and 2018 champion Patrick Reed.

Casey took his best major finish earlier this year when he finished runner-up at the US PGA Championship in August and enjoyed a thrilling start in Augusta.

The 43-year-old bird made his opening hole, the par-four 10th, and was four under after seven hours, then took the lead with an eagle on the par-five seconds.

He took a stunning approach to four feet and punched a hole in the putt to get to six below par before birdie on the par three sixth.

"I know this golf course better than most, my first Masters was 2004. It's a golf course I enjoy playing on," said Casey, admitting the absence of regular customers Augusta another test.

"What I desperately want is for people to flow through the gates to see myself and others play golf, but until that happens I'll make the most of it."

Fellow Englishman Westwood made five birdies on the first nine, but the former world number one dropped a shot on the short 12th before heading home.

Woods flies up. while DeChambeau grinds

Five-time Champion Woods' best finish in six events he's played since golf returned from lockdown is 37th in the US PGA Championship.

] But Woods in Augusta is a different animal, and the 44-year-old began his quest for a record sixth Green Jacket in a controlled fashion.

The 15-time major champion, starting on the 10th tee, carded three birdies in his first seven holes and added another when he hit the turn to post his best opening round at the Masters.

"There was a lot of difference: both tees, then we had a long weather delay and got out on a golf course with no customers," Woods said.

"It was so different, not only the look but also the energy – there is no roar. But we can compete for a Green Jacket this week, which seemed unlikely earlier this year.

"I understand how to play on this golf course. It's a job that offers experience. "

Despite Woods returning to Augusta as the defending champion, all the hype built up around US Open champion DeChambeau and his punchy approach.

The American's coach, Mike Schy, said earlier this week that "softer" fairways would suit him, but DeChambeau was off the tee early and struggled to get one.

He was forced to produce an impressive par-save on 11, his second hole, after hitting a driveway in the pines to the left, but he couldn't dig himself out of trouble after finding the trees again at 13, making a double bogey seven after hitting his approach too hard and then using a chip.

DeChambeau found some calm when his round threatened to unravel felen by sinking consecutive birdies on the par-5 15th and par-3 16th and then finished strong with birdies at eight and nine to leave himself in second place.

The number six in the world chose not to use the 48-inch driver he was recently testing, saying later he thought he could clean up all the bunkers with his usual 45-inch model.

"It was a bit risky there," he added. "I agree. I just didn't take some of my shots.

" Obviously I didn't have my best gear and I could still go under par. "

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.