AUGUSTA, Ga. — Brains and brawn share the highest spot on the leaderboard heading into the second spherical of the 83rd Masters at Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership.
Bryson DeChambeau, with a physics diploma from Southern Methodist College, fired an opening-round 66, with 9 birdies and three bogeys.
Brooks Koepka, who is thought to spend as a lot time within the fitness center as on the follow inexperienced, posted the identical 6-under rating with a flawless bogey-free spherical.
DeChambeau birdied six of the final seven holes; Koepka had 5 birdies on the again 9.
The 25-year-old DeChambeau is No. 6 within the Official World Golf Rankings; 28-year-old Koepka is No. four. In order that they head into Friday with it being the primary time two top-six gamers of their 20s share the lead after any spherical in a significant.
Brooks Koepka explains the preparation that went into The Masters, and the way he can proceed to carry out properly.
DeChambeau almost aced the par-Three 16th gap, which might have been the primary of his profession, and he hit the pin together with his second shot on 18, earlier than settling for a tap-in birdie to shut his spherical.
“I used to be simply seeking to shoot one thing within the 60s as a result of I would by no means accomplished that right here earlier than,” DeChambeau mentioned. “What a magical again 9. The wind began to choose up round Amen Nook, and it was powerful. It was not straightforward one bit.”
It was simpler for DeChambeau than most. Affectionately referred to as the “Mad Scientist” for his analytical strategy to the sport, DeChambeau performs with single-length irons — each is 37½ inches lengthy, concerning the size of a 7-iron — with membership heads that every weigh 278 grams.
Tiger is wanting up at some large names on the leaderboard. Can he catch them this time? Nicely, do not rule it out.
Right here is the checklist of tee instances for the second spherical of the Masters.
Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau raised their video games on the again 9 and completed the day at 6-under 66 to share the first-round lead on the Masters.
Because of new PGA Tour guidelines, DeChambeau performed his first spherical at Augusta Nationwide by placing with the flagsticks in. Apparently, he appreciated the flagsticks’ COR (coefficient of restitution), no matter that’s.
Final week, DeChambeau spent 14 hours engaged on a gear system at Dallas Nationwide Golf Membership, trying to get on the best aspect of the spin loft curve together with his wedges.
“If I get pushed sufficient to the place it has been an extended sufficient time to the place we’ve not figured one thing out, I’ll exhaust each useful resource till I determine it out,” DeChambeau mentioned. “And that is widespread with me. I change into nearly a bit of, in a optimistic method, OCD about making an attempt to finish one thing, very optimistic method.”
Koepka, who has received the previous two U.S. Open titles in addition to the 2018 PGA Championship, got here into the week dealing with questions on his dramatic weight reduction.
Koepka did not play properly earlier this season, lacking the reduce on the Arnold Palmer Invitational, ending in a tie for 56th on the Gamers Championship and failing to get out of group play on the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play.
Koepka admitted his weight reduction value him yardage off the tee, and he mentioned earlier this week that he was on a eating regimen of about 1,800 energy per day. He mentioned he had bloodwork and different medical testing accomplished to determine what was occurring.
“I imply, you are not going to be in the very best bodily form at that time,” Koepka mentioned. “You have a look at any individual like Michael Phelps or any individual like that consuming 6,000 or 7,000 energy by lunch time. However I wished to do it and attempt to lose some weight, and possibly went about it a bit of too aggressively for only a lengthy time frame and the depth of what I used to be doing.”
Koepka mentioned his plan was to be bodily prepared for the Masters, and there was no signal of fatigue on Thursday. He mentioned he is additionally avoiding the fitness center, which feels sort of “bizarre.”
“I elevate on a regular basis,” he mentioned. “I elevate too many weights, and I am too large to play golf. After which once I drop extra pounds, I am too small. So, I do not know. I do not know what to say. I am too large and I am too small.
“Hear, I’ll make me blissful. I do not care what anyone else says. I am doing it for me, and clearly it appears to work.”
Can Phil maintain the outdated magic going?
Phil Mickelson, who’s trying to change into the oldest main champion at greater than 48 years, loved a drama-free 2-under 34 on the entrance 9.
However after he made the flip, issues took a dramatic flip for the more severe. Mickelson hit his tee shot on No. 10 into the woods on the left, punched out after which his third shot rolled off the entrance of the inexperienced. He was capable of stand up and down for bogey.
Then Mickelson hit his second shot on No. 11 into the water for one more bogey. Similar to that, he was sitting at even par.
“It regarded like after bogeying 10 and 11 that will kill some momentum,” Mickelson mentioned. “It was the opposite method round, as a result of I made two nice bogeys that ought to have and will have been doubles. After going within the water at 11 to hit that shut and have a simple bogey after which to make a 6-footer for bogey on 10 after a horrible drive, these have been nearly momentum maintainers, if you’ll, that saved me in it.”
Mickelson responded with birdies on 5 of the final seven holes for a 5-under 67, 1 shot behind the co-leaders.
It was his seventh profession spherical on the Masters during which he was beneath par on all 4 par-5s. In every earlier occasion, in response to ESPN Stats & Data analysis, he completed within the high 5, together with two of his three victories in 2006 and 2010.
“Look, the greens are softer than they’ve ever been, they usually’re not as quick as they usually are,” Mickelson mentioned. “So [Thursday] was a day to reap the benefits of it. I am positive they will get firmer and sooner because the week goes on.”
Some large names with work to do
Rory McIlroy got here into Augusta because the betting favourite, however he limped by means of a six-bogey, five-birdie opening spherical to complete 1-over 73. McIlroy hit solely seven of 14 fairways and wanted 32 putts by means of the primary 18 holes, leaving him quite a lot of work to do to get again into the combination on Friday.
“Yeah, it was OK,” McIlroy mentioned. “The circumstances weren’t that tough. I felt the course was there. It is delicate. There’s not a lot wind. I made 5 birdies, that wasn’t the issue. I simply made too many errors, and that was the issue. And I am making errors from fairly easy positions, simply off the aspect of the inexperienced, 17 and 18 being prime examples of that.”
Different big-name gamers who’ve work to do on Friday to keep away from lacking the reduce: Zach Johnson (2 over), Jordan Spieth (Three over), Justin Rose (Three over), Hideki Matsuyama (Three over), Brandt Snedeker (Three over), Henrik Stenson (Three over), Keegan Bradley (four over), Fred (6 over) and Paul Casey (9 over).
Gamers with the 50 lowest scores, together with ties, and any participant inside 10 pictures of the second-round chief advance to the weekend on the Masters.
When the important thing gamers hit the course
Friday’s notable tee instances on the Masters
PlayersStarting instances (All instances ET)Kevin Kisner, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Shugo Imahira9:47 a.m.Ian Poluter, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson9:58 a.m.Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera Bello, Tyrrell Hatton10:09 a.m.Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day10:42 a.m.Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose10:53 a.m.Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey11:04 a.m.Corey Conners, Andrew Landry, Adam Lengthy11:15 a.m.Justin Harding, Aaron Sensible, Angel Cabrera11:48 a.m.Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Kyle Stanley1:05 p.m.Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Viktor Hovland (a)1:16 p.m.Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm, Haotong Li1:49 p.m.Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Cameron Smith2 p.m.(a) denotes an newbie
For the total checklist of tee instances, click on right here.
Hey, who’s that?
There are many recognizable names atop the leaderboard after the primary spherical, however you may need to Google a number of of the not-so-familiar ones as you watch the second spherical.
South African Justin Harding, a first-time Masters invitee, spent most of his first spherical atop the leaderboard after firing an early Three-under 69.
Harding, who is likely to be recognizable due to his long-handed putter, has received 5 instances because the 2018 Masters — every of his victories got here abroad. He has appeared in two PGA Tour majors, lacking the reduce at each the 2018 PGA Championship and 2013 Open Championship with a mixed rating of 12 over.
Harding credit “consistency and turning into a bit of higher mentally” for his improved play.
“[I’m] now not actually going by means of the highs and lows and the emotional curler coaster, so to talk,” Harding mentioned. “However that additionally is available in not likely enjoying the aggressive mindset recreation that I used to be prior to now. I am hitting Three-woods off tees a bit of extra typically now, laying again on drivable par-4s, simply making an attempt to get a bit of bit smarter on the golf course, making much less errors and hoping a pair birdies come.”
Canada’s Corey Conners was the ultimate participant invited to the Masters after profitable final week’s Valero Texas Open as a Monday qualifier. He flew to Augusta on Valero’s non-public jet Sunday night time, took Monday straightforward after which practiced Tuesday earlier than searching for garments.
He was within the first group off on Thursday morning and posted the primary 2-under 70, after bogeying 18. He had birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 and eagled No. 15.
“It has been wild, undoubtedly surprising. However I am enjoying some good golf and actually excited to be right here and honored to be enjoying within the Masters and simply making an attempt to maintain using the nice play,” Conners mentioned. “I had an important day on the market at present, quite a lot of enjoyable, and hit some high quality pictures and was capable of get a pair beneath par, which was very pleasing.”