AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka share a two-shot at -7 after the first round of the 87th Masters Tournament.
“It was very fun today,” Hovland said. “Got off to a nice start, obviously making eagle on No. 2 and just kept hitting great shots on the front nine and made some putts, and before I knew it, somehow I was 6-under through 11, and yeah, just kind of coast in to 65. So that was awesome.”
Rahm made Masters history by shooting the lowest round that began with a double-bogey.
“If you’re going to make a double or four-putt or anything, it might as well be the first hole, 71 holes to make it up,” Rahm said. “After that, it was more, I was focused on the fact that all the strokes were good. The reads were good. The roll was good. Obviously the speed was off on the first two putts, so once I kind of accepted that there was nothing really to look into, I just got to work and I had 17 holes to make up.”
Koepka comes to Augusta fresh off of his win at the LIV Golf Orlando event.
“Anytime you’re 2-under through 3, it’s a good start,” Koepka said. “So felt good. Kind of just piggybacked off that momentum and very happy the way I played. Drove the ball really nicely. Left it in some good spots. Even missed quite a few putts. I think I missed a short one on 6, 8, 9, 10, so they were all kind of inside ten feet. But could have been really low but I’ll take it, 7’s pretty good.”
Honorary starters Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson, with 11 Green Jackets between them, hit ceremonial tee shots at the No. 1 tee, after which Fred Ridley, the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, proclaimed the tournament underway.
Woods shot 74, playing in his second competitive tournament of the year.
“I felt like I drove it good. I just didn’t do the job I need to do to get the ball close. Today was the opportune time to get the ball — get the round under par, and I didn’t do that today,” Woods said afterward.
‘Most of the guys are going low today. This was the day to do it. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be a little bit better, a little bit sharper, and kind of inch my way through it. This is going to be an interesting finish to the tournament with the weather coming in. If I can just kind of hang in there, maybe kind of inch my way back, hopefully it will be positive towards the end.”
The afternoon tee times feature defending champion Scottie Scheffler playing with U.S. Amateur Champion Sam Bennett and Max Homa, ranked No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“Dream come true to be able to tee it up at Augusta playing the Masters,” Bennett said this week. “I’m soaking it all in.”
“I feel like I’m prepared, got some good work in. It’s cool being an amateur. I’m going to have fun. I’m not here to treat it like a hit and giggle. I’m here to compete and test my game.”
Will Zalatoris, ranked No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking, withdrew from the tournament prior to his first round tee time. He has been battling various injuries since two herniated discs ended put an early end to his 2022 season. Zalatoris finished in the top six here each of the last two years, including runner-up in 2021.
Tee times for Friday’s second round have been moved up by thirty minutes due to inclement weather expected in the afternoon. Patron gates will open at 7 a.m.
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This story will be updated throughout the day.