Masters day one: Koepka chases fourth major while DeChambeau finishes strongly
The two Americans share the lead after day one.
Brooks Koepka is in contention for a remarkable fourth major title in his last seven starts after carding a flawless opening 66 in the 83rd Masters.
Koepka was the only player not to card a single bogey on day one at Augusta National, but was denied the outright lead by a stunning finish from compatriot Bryson DeChambeau.
DeChambeau birdied the 15th, was inches away from a hole-in-one on the 16th, chipped in on the 17th and hit the pin from 196 yards on the last to match Koepka’s six-under-par total.
Seeking to become the oldest major champion ever, 48-year-old Phil Mickelson was a shot off the lead following a 67, with Ian Poulter and Dustin Johnson a shot further back and Tiger Woods four off the pace on two under.
TWEET OF THE DAY
If @BKoepka goes on to win #TheMasters, every major will tee off with players seeking to complete career slams: #PGA (@JordanSpieth), #USOpen (@PhilMickelson), #TheOpen (Koepka) and #Masters (@McIlroyRory). Im not sure that's ever happened before.— Scott Michaux (@ScottMichaux) April 11, 2019
Journalist Scott Michaux pointed out the significance of a possible Koepka victory, writing: “If @BKoepka goes on to win #TheMasters , every major will tee off with players seeking to complete career slams: #PGA (@JordanSpieth), #USOpen (@PhilMickelson), #TheOpen (Koepka) and #Masters (@McIlroyRory). Im not sure that’s ever happened before.”
SHOT OF THE DAY
From almost 200 yards, Bryson DeChambeau hit the pin on the 18th to set up a tap-in birdie for a share of the lead.
ROUND OF THE DAY
Koepka and DeChambeau both shot 66, but Koepka did so in almost effortless fashion and kept a bogey off his card despite some testing conditions and pin positions. The only blemish was a three-putt for par on the eighth.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
'The most reckless self-sabotage that I have ever seen.'— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) April 10, 2019
Our @chambleebrandel didn't hold back when asked for his opinion on Brooks Koepka's weight loss: https://t.co/rx5LZCrCt2 pic.twitter.com/NWj7jXnnKJ
“I’m too big to play golf, and then when I lose weight, I’m too small. I’m gonna do what makes me happy. Seems to be working.”
Koepka responds to criticism of his recent weight loss.
STATISTIC OF THE DAY
1st Round Trends of Recent Masters Champions:— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) April 12, 2019
- Last 13 Masters winners were inside top-10 after 1st Rd
- Last 13 Masters winners were at/within 6 of lead after 1st Rd
- Average 1st Rd position of last 10 Masters winners: 4.9
- 77% of winners all-time were inside top-10 after R1
The last 13 Masters champions have all been inside the top 10 after round one. Tiger Woods is tied for 11th and Rory McIlroy joint 44th.
The 18th was ranked the toughest hole with just five birdies, 28 bogeys and four double bogeys from the 87-man field leading to a scoring average of 4.356.
The 13th was unsurprisingly the easiest hole, the 510-yard par-five offering up three eagles and 43 birdies for a scoring average of 4.575, although Henrik Stenson did manage to rack up a triple-bogey eight.
ON THE UP
Sales of a Brooks Koepka diet plan after the joint leader’s recent weight loss, which has been heavily criticised in some quarters, did not prevent him shooting an opening 66.
ON THE SLIDE
Rory McIlroy’s chances of completing the career grand slam after an opening 73 left him seven shots off the pace.