Thursday is what everyone expects of a Masters opening round: blue skies, puffy white clouds, a nice breeze through the tall pines, and a relative unknown at the top of the leaderboard.
Just kidding, the leaderboard is chock full of big names.
First, let’s get to our beloved former Bulldogs and how they fared in Round 1.
Keith Mitchell acquitted himself well, especially considering he was the 2nd group out and would have plenty of jitters in his inaugural Masters. Mitchell started with 3 pars, bogeyed the par 3 4th, then stayed steady until the uphill par 4 14th. He racked up a double-bogey putting him at 3 over par. But a bounce-back eagle on the par 5 15th got him back on track, and a birdie on the par 3 16th returned him to level par. He stands in 29th place.
Kevin Kisner teed off closer to noon, and promptly birdied his 2nd hole (par 5). bogeyed 4, but then birdied 11 (maybe toughest hole on the course), and birdied 13,14,15 to get to 3 under par. Which is where he finished the day, tied for 6th.
Bubba Watson was in the back half of the groupings, and was Mr. Consistency. He had mostly pars, bogeying #6 before birdieing #8 to get back to even par. A bogey at 14 got him to black numbers (red is good, it means under par) before a birdie at 15 brings him back to level.
The leader is big hitting Brooks Koepka and physicist Bryson DeChambeau at 6 under par. Phil Mickelson is a stroke back, and DJ and Poulter are one shot further.
Here are the tee times for Friday:
Kevin Kisner at 9:47 am ET, again with Aphibarnrat and Imahira.
Bubba Watson at 10:31 am ET, again with Cantlay and Kodaira.
Keith Mitchell at 11:26 am ET, again with Woosnam and Tway.
The weather is going to be a tad warmer with highs in the mid-80s, but also a chance for thunderstorms. It may be that the earlier groups have the advantage of finishing their 2nd round. Saturday morning looks dicey for storms, as does most of Sunday.
ESPN still has the television coverage fro 3:00 - 7:30 pm ET, and radio is on from 2:00-7:00 on Westwood One and Sirius XM. Masters.com will give you everything else, including on the range, Amen Corner, and Featured Group coverage.
Whatever develops, I’ll be watching, and I know many of you will too. Post whatever you want on these threads, but let’s all root on our Bulldogs as they march towards a possible Green Jacket. And as always...