Masters Tracker: Round 1 from Augusta
Thursday, April 5, 2012
2012 Masters: Honorary Starters
Images of honorary starters Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus as they tee off at Augusta National, as well as their post-tee off press conference.
2012 Masters: Round 1 at Augusta
Check out photos from Thursday's opening round of the 2012 Masters at Augusta National. Lee Westwood holds a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.
Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player kicked off the 2012 Masters in style, blasting drives down the fairway at Augusta National, thrilling an early-rising crowd at the 76th Masters.
For the first time all week, rain did not fall overnight, but the course is still draining from the heavy thunderstorms of Wednesday afternoon.
Check out how the first round unfolded, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson:
• • •
Tournament update: 7:12 p.m. EDT
Somehow, Phil Mickelson manages to always stick around. After a miraculous par-save from the back of the green on 17, Mickelson birdies the 18th with a 20-footer to finish with a 2-over 74, seven shots behind Lee Westwood.
• • •
Tournament update: 7:02 p.m. EDT
Rory McIlroy finished with a bang, draining a birdie putt from just off the 18th green to post a 1-under 71 despite an up-and-down round that saw him hit into the water and double-bogey the first hole.
Bubba Watson cards a 3-under 69 after a nice par save on the 18th.
• • •
Tournament update: 6:43 p.m. EDT
Rory McIlroy picked up a nice birdie on the par-4 17th hole to move back to even par on his round. In a tournament that was billed as a Tiger vs. Rory duel, both players could end the day knotted at even.
• • •
Tournament update: 6:22 p.m. EDT
Lee Westwood has put himself in the driver's seat in his quest for his first major title, carding a 5-under 67 to take a one-shot lead over Louis Oosthuizen with only a handful of groups left on the course.
• • •
Tournament update: 6:20 p.m. EDT
A familiar face to Masters fans is slowly rising up the leaderboard, with Argentinian Angel Cabrera moving to 2 under with a birdie at the par-5 15th.
Meanwhile, Vijay Singh birdied the 18th hole to card a 2-under 70 and sit in a tie for 9th.
• • •
Tournament update: 6:05 p.m. EDT
We have a new leader after Lee Westwood one-putted the 17th for a birdie to move to 5 under, one shot ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and two ahead of six others.
• • •
Tournament update: 5:53 p.m. EDT
Phil Mickelson got a stroke back at the par-5 13th, picking up a birdie to move to 3 over. Mickelson has played the par 5s well today, but has made a mess of everything else.
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy picks up a par at the 14th hole, but doesn't look too happy about being 1 over for the day.
• • •
Tournament update: 5:40 p.m. EDT
Rory McIlroy puts his approach shot into Rae's Creek at the par-5 13th hole and makes a bogey at the easiest par 5 on the course to fall to 1 over.
Meanwhile, Fred Couples has moved to 1 under after back-to-back birdies at Nos. 12 and 13.
• • •
Tournament update: 5:23 p.m. EDT
Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama didn't play like amateurs today, with both carding 1- under 71s to sit three shots back of the current lead. Cantlay picked up a bogey on the 18th to drop back to 71.
• • •
Tournament update: 5:20 p.m. EDT
Wow, the leaderboard is heating up a bit. Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood are still at the top at 4 under, but now Ben Crane, Jason Dufner and Bubba Watson have all moved within a shot.
Patrick Cantlay, the world's No. 1 amateur and defending NCAA champ, is at 2 under heading to the 18th green. Kevin Na and Zach Johnson are both at 2 under as well.
• • •
Tournament update: 5:01 p.m. EDT
And we have a new leader in the clubhouse, folks. Louis Oosthuizen made a lengthy birdie putt at the par-4 18th to lift himself to 4 under, one shot ahead of three others. He is tied with Lee Westwood, who just birdied the par-5 13th.
• • •
Tournament update: 4:57 p.m. EDT
Phil Mickelson gave all of us a bit of deja vu - of Rory McIlroy's performance on No. 10 in last year's final round.
Mickelson lost his tee shot, his provisional landed in the rough, his approach shot landed in a bunker and then he two-putted for a triple-bogey 7 at the par-4 10th. He is now 4 over for the tournament.
• • •
Tournament update: 4:47 p.m. EDT
Louis Oosthuizen showed glimpses that his game might be ready last week in Houston - until a hiccup in the middle of the final round - and he is looking good so far on Thursday. The South African picked up his second birdie in three holes to move into a tie for the lead at 3 under with only the 18th hole to play.
• • •
Tournament update: 4:42 p.m. EDT
There is now a six-way tied for the lead, as Jason Dufner birdied par-5 13th hole to join the fray at the top.
And a familiar name is starting to make a run: Rory McIlroy. After a double-bogey at No. 1, McIlroy has recovered with birdies at Nos. 2, 8 and 9 to get into red numbers at 1 under.
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson made a mess of the 9th hole, hitting his drive into the fairway on the adjacent No. 1. He is 1 over for the tournament and in slight trouble on No. 10.
• • •
Tournament update: 4:20 p.m. EDT
Tiger's round is over, but the round is far from over.
Five players are currently tied for the lead, here's how it happened: Francesco Molinari (with a beautiful up-and-down for par at 18), Paul Lawrie and Miguel Angel Jimenez are all in the clubhouse at 3 under. Lee Westwood picked up a bogey on No. 10 to fall back to 3 under and Bubba Watson birdied No. 8 to move to 3 under.
Zach Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen have both moved to 2 under, as has Ben Crane.
• • •
Tournament update: 3:55 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods will need to make something happen here on the par-4 18th, as he is in danger of falling well behind current leader Lee Westwood, who still has 10 holes to play.
Tiger yanks his drive to the left and takes two shots to get out of the straw. From off the green with his fourth, Tiger plays a nice shot about four feet past the hole and one-putts for bogey.
Tiger will not be happy about his bogey-bogey finish, but finishes his day right on his career first-round average at Augusta, an even-par 72. In three of his wins, he shot 70. In his other victory, he shot 74.
• Elsewhere on the course: Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied the 17th hole to move to 3 under and then gets up-and-down for par to finish at 3 under. Charl Schwartzel bogeys the 18th hole to finish the day with an even-par 72.
• • •
Tournament update: 3:35 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods is 2 over for his career on the par-4 17th hole, mostly settling for par as he nears the end of his round.
Off the tee, Tiger hammers it up the left side and lands in the first cut of rough. Tiger has to play a low hook around a set of trees with his approach and lands in a greenside bunker. His bunker shot settles under the hole and his misses his par putt to fall back to 1 under, three shots off the lead.
• Elsewhere on the course: World No. 3 Lee Westwood has the lead by himself, picking up a birdie at No. 8 to move to 4 under. Meanwhile, Henrik Stenson made a mess of the 18th, hitting his fourth shot from the fairway and he picks up a quadruple-bogey to fall back to 1 under. World No. 4 Hunter Mahan is 3 under thru 5 holes, picking up a birdie at the par-4 5th hole. Francesco Molinari is now also at 3 under with a birdie on No. 16.
• • •
Tournament update: 3:19 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods makes his way to the par-3 16th, a hole that he has had moderate success on (3 under for his career). It is the only par 3 that he is under par on for his Masters career.
Tiger's tee ball nearly lands in the hole, but then bounds past and stays on the back of the green, still within birdie range. Tiger gives it a good run, but it stays left and he settles for par. Tiger is still at 2 under heading to his final two holes.
• Elsewhere on the course: Lee Westwood birdies the par-4 7th hole to move to 3 under and still has three par 5s to play on the day. Thomas Bjorn - fresh off an ace in the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday - is now 2 under after a birdie on No. 6.
• • •
Tournament update: 3:05 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods has the most career eagles on the par-5 15th hole with four, and that's to go with 40 birdies. He's an eye-opening 43 under on the course's final par 5.
Tiger goes left off the tee and has to lay up in front of the water with his second shot. Tiger's third shot safely hits behind the hole and on the green. Tiger's birdie putt doesn't have enough juice and settles for par to stay at 2 under, three shots off the lead.
Tiger finishes 1 under on the four par 5s, a bit disappointing considering he is 133 under par on them in his career, an average of two birdies per round.
• Elsewhere on the course: Leader Henrik Stenson picks up a bogey for the second time in three holes to fall back to 5 under. Hunter Mahan (thru 3), Miguel Angel Jimenez (thru 14) and Lee Westwood (thru 6) have all moved to 2 under.
• • •
Tournament update: 2:45 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods reaches the par-4 14th three shots off the lead and playing a hole that has given him some fits over the years (he is 2 over through 66 rounds).
After his tee ball fades to the right, Tiger hits the green with his approach, but it funnels back and runs along the bottom of the green and well away from the hole. Putting from well over 100 feet, Tiger leaves it about three feet under the hole. He makes that for a nice par to stay at 2 under and is headed for his final par 5 of the day.
• Elsewhere on the course: Leader Henrik Stenson has moved back to 6 under with a birdie at No. 15. Keegan Bradley made a long putt to save par at the par-4 14th hole to remain at 2 under and in a tie for third. In that same tie is Sergio Garcia, who birdied Nos. 2 and 3. Amateur Hideki Matsuyama has also moved to 2 under after a birdie at No. 17, while Jason Dufner is now 3 under after a birdie at No. 7.
• • •
Tournament update: 2:25 p.m. EDT
From a stretch of Tiger Woods' toughest holes to the one he has scored on the best, the par-5 13th is a birdie hole for Woods.
After a nice drive up the right side of the fairway, Tiger hits the green pin-high but runs past the hole and into a greenside bunker. Tiger attacks the pin out of the bunker and it rolls well past. Tiger two-putts for a disappointing par and stays at 2 under.
Leader Henrik Stenson picked up bogey on No. 14 to fall back to 5 under.
• Elsewhere on the course: Major winner Keegan Bradley has moved to 2 under with a birdie at No. 13 ahead of Tiger's group. Steve Stricker, Padraig Harrington and Stewart Cink have all turned in 1-under 71s to sit in a tie for seventh. Rory McIlroy started in less-than-ideal fashion, picking up double-bogey at No. 1, but followed it with a birdie at No. 2.
• • •
Tournament update: 2:04 p.m. EDT
The toughest hole on the course - the par-3 12th - has also given Tiger Woods fits over the years, as the former No. 1 is 10 over thru 66 rounds.
Tiger hits the green with his tee ball - which is Mission No. 1 for all players with water lining the front and bunkers along the back - but misreads his birdie putt, sending it to the left.
He makes the par putt to stay at 2 under. He plays holes 10-12 at 1 under and now heads to the par-5 13th.
• Elsewhere on the course: Two more stars have teed off, with Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson taking the course about 10 minutes ago. Meanwhile, World No. 3 Lee Westwood is 1 under thru three holes. Aaron Baddeley has joined Tiger and Jason Dufner at 2 under. Baddeley is headed to the 18th hole.
• • •
Tournament update: 1:50 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods' arch nemesis - the 11th hole - is playing tough today. Tiger is 11 over on this hole for his career, the worst of any hole on the course.
Tiger pummels another tee ball, well past Sang-Moon Bae and Miguel Angel Jimenez, and hits a nice approach, but two-putts for another par to stay at 2 under.
• Elsewhere on the course: Scott Verplank dropped a shot at the par-4 9th to fall back to 2 under. Martin Kaymer is in the clubhouse after an even-par 72, while Adam Scott carded a 3-over 75.
• • •
Tournament update: 1:32 p.m. EDT
Holes Nos. 10-12 are definitely Tiger Woods' worst holes at Augusta National, playing them cumulatively at 31 over. Playing the par-4 9th now, Tiger has only nine career birdies on the hole.
Make that 10 birdies.
Tiger hits a beautiful drive, past both of his playing competitors, and hits his approach shot just to the right of the hole. He drains the short birdie putt to move to 2 under, four back of Henrik Stenson.
• Elsewhere on the course: Ross Fisher is in the clubhouse at 1 under after a bogey on No. 18. Meanwhile, Jason Dufner has opened his round birdie-birdie to go to 2 under, while Scott Verplank birdied his third straight hole to move to 3 under. Amateur Patrick Cantlay has also started strong, sitting at 2 under through five holes.
• • •
Tournament update: 1:07 p.m. EDT
The par-4 9th has been kind to Tiger Woods over his 66 previous rounds, going 5 under for his career. Tiger is currently in a group of 14 players at 1 under.
Tiger closes out his front nine with a par, making the turn in 1-under 35 and is five shots back of Henrik Stenson.
• Elsewhere on the course: Henrik Stenson is celebrating his 36th birthday in grand style, picking up a birdie at No. 10 to move to 6 under, three shots clear of the field. Stenson's best previous finish at the Masters is T-17. Scott Verplank has moved into a tie for third at 2 under after a birdie at No. 7. Meanwhile, defending champ Charl Schwartzel moved to 1 under with a birdie at No. 9.
• • •
Tournament update: 12:58 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods has played the par-5 8th hole surprisingly even for his career, picking up 27 birdies and 27 pars. The birdies are his fewest on the four par 5s.
Tiger comes out ahead on this par 5, getting back into red figures with a nice birdie that moves him to 1 under as he heads to the par-4 9th hole.
• Elsewhere on the course: Ross Fisher has moved to 2 under with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15. He is three shots off Henrik Stenson's lead. Paul Lawrie has moved to the clubhouse after a bogey at the 18 to finish at 3-under 69.
• • •
Tournament update: 12:30 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods, 1 under on his round thru six holes, heads to a hole that he basically has a par average on for his career, the par-4 7th.
The hole bites Tiger on Thursday, picking up his first bogey of the day to fall back to even par and in a tie for 14th place.
He now heads to the par-5 8th hole.
• Elsewhere on the course: Paul Lawrie and Henrik Stenson are eating up the par 5s, with both picking up two eagles. Lawrie picked up his on Nos. 13 and 15, while Stenson's came on Nos. 2 and 8. Stenson has regained the lead at 5 under, one shot ahead of Lawrie, who just birdied the par-4 17th hole.
• • •
Tournament update: 12:20 p.m. EDT
Playing his second par 3 in three holes, Tiger Woods has had mixed success at the 6th hole, with 12 career birdies and 11 bogeys.
Tiger misses the green with his tee ball, but pitches from behind the green to about three feet and makes his par. It is his third up-and-own of the day after scrambles at Nos. 1 and 2.
• Elsewhere on the course: Paul Lawrie has vaulted into a tie for the lead at 3 under with an eagle at the par-5 15th hole. Bill Haas has birdied three of his last four holes to move to 1 under at the turn. He was at 2 over through five holes. Martin Kaymer found the bunker at the par-3 12th hole and failed to get up-and-down and moves back to 1 under.
• • •
Tournament update: 12:03 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods moves to the par-4 5th hole, a hole that he only has five career birdies on - tied for his lowest on the course.
After hitting the fairway off the tee, Tiger hits another green in regulation with a shot to the right of the green. Tiger has a lengthy birdie try and comes up about two feet short, but walks away with par.
A very steady round for Tiger so far, not making big mistakes.
• Elsewhere on the course: Former British Open champ Stewart Cink is now one off the lead, picking up birdie at the par-4 10th hole to move to 2 under. U.S. Mid-Am champ Randal Lewis is having a rough-go of it on Thursday, sitting 8 over thru 14 holes. British amateur champ Bryden Macpherson is also struggling at 5 over thru 11 holes.
• • •
Tournament update: 11:48 a.m. EDT
Playing the par-3 4th hole, Tiger Woods hits a great tee ball to the middle of the green, but two-putts to pick up his third par of the day. The crowd thought the birdie putt was headed in by the roars you could hear across the course, but it fell short.
• Elsewhere on the course: The red numbers are starting to roll in, with Paul Lawrie, Scott Verplank and Sean O'Hair all moving to 1 under. Lawrie is the furthest into his round, picking up a birdie at the par-4 14th hole. Charl Schwartzel fell back to even par with a bogey at No. 4.
• • •
Tournament update: 11:40 a.m. EDT
Tiger Woods picks up his first birdie of the tournament, making a nice putt at the par-4 3rd hole to move into a tie for third at 1 under, now two shots back of Henrik Stenson. It was his 18th birdie in 67 tries at the third hole.
• • •
Tournament update: 11:35 a.m. EDT
A couple of big names are struggling in their opening rounds.
Adam Scott, fresh off a T-2 finish in 2011, is 3 over through 10 holes. He has bogeyed three of his last five holes.
Meanwhile, Steve Stricker is 2 over thru eight holes, picking up an unlikely bogey at the par-5 8th hole.
• • •
Tournament update: 11:32 a.m. EDT
Charl Schwartzel is playing a steady round thus far, taking advantage of the holes that he should and walking away with pars on the others. Schwartzel remains at 1 under after a par on No. 3.
Francesco Molinari joins four other players at 1 under after a birdie at No. 2.
• • •
Tournament update: 11:25 a.m. EDT
Martin Kaymer is the first player to make the turn in red numbers, heading to the par-4 10th hole at 2 under. In eight previous rounds at Augusta, Kaymer was 10 over on the front nine.
• • •
Tournament update: 11:20 a.m. EDT
Tiger Woods doesn't take advantage of the course's first par 5, picking up a par at the 2nd hole. Miguel Angel Jimenez does birdie, while Sang-Moon Bae matches Tiger's par.
In 67 career rounds at Augusta National, Tiger has zero eagles at the par-5 2nd hole, which is unusual for one of the game's longest hitters. He has 29 career birdies and now 36 career pars.
• • •
Tournament update: 11:15 a.m. EDT
Charl Schwartzel picked up his first birdie of the tournament, an easy one at the par-5 2nd hole. There are still only four players in red figures, with Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson at 2 under and Schwartzel and Stewart Cink at 1 under.
• • •
Tournament update: 11:10 a.m. EDT
One of Tiger's best friends, Mark O'Meara, has withdrawn from the tournament due to injury. O'Meara played two practice rounds with Tiger Woods, and also played the Par 3 Contest with hockey legend Paul Henderson on the bag.
• • •
Tournament update: 11 a.m. EDT
Tiger Woods avoided any disaster at the first hole, picking up a par - as do his playing competitors Sang-Moon Bae and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
The group now approaches the par-5 2nd, which has featured two eagles and seven birdies thus far on Thursday.
• • •
Tournament update: 10:55 a.m. EDT
Charl Schwartzel picked up an opening par, while Henrik Stenson has vaulted to 2 under with an eagle at No. 2. Stenson is one of four players in red numbers, with Martin Kaymer, Padraig Harrington and Stewart Cink all at 1 under.
Stenson has played Augusta six times and missed the cut in three of them, including the past two years.
Larry Mize, Ross Fisher and Harrison Frazar have all made the turn at even par.
• • •
Tournament update: 10:43 a.m. EDT
There has been a Tiger sighting at Augusta National. Tiger Woods has taken to the first tee, looking to improve on his T-4 finish in 2011.
Tiger's dominance at the Masters is eye-opening, having finished no worse than T-6 in his last six appearances. His four victories are second only to Jack Nicklaus.
Tiger has never started fast at Augusta, averaging just over a 72 in the opening round. His best first round came in 2010 with a 4-under 68.
• • •
Tournament update: 10:27 a.m. EDT
Defending champion Charl Schwartzel teed off moments ago to a nice applause and decent following. He's playing with Keegan Bradley and U.S. Amateur champ Kelly Kraft.
In his two appearances, Schwartzel has shot 69 in the first round.
His biggest obstacle today? The Tiger Woods crowds that will be right behind him, as Tiger is scheduled to go off next. Fans move ahead to see Tiger's next shot, many times making noise for the group in front of them.
• • •
Tournament update: 10:20 a.m. EDT
Rickie Fowler has joined the six players in red figures, picking up a birdie at the par-5 2nd hole. All six players are at 1 under after Padraig Harrington picked up bogey on No. 4.
The first players have made the turn, with Brendan Steele and Tim Clark both firing an even-par 36 on the front. Steele is playing in his first Masters, while Clark finished second at the 2006 Masters.
• • •
Tournament update: 10 a.m. EDT
Martin Kaymer has two birdies on his card, overcoming an opening bogey to move to 1 under through four holes. Kaymer has never made the cut at Augusta National, but says that his short game is much-improved and got into Augusta earlier to make sure he was rested before today's first round.
The red numbers are starting to show up all over the course, with Stewart Cink and Aaron Baddeley both picking up birdie on No. 2, while Japanese amateur Hideki Matsuyama was the first person to birdie No. 1 (there are 33 players on the course currently).
• • •
Tournament update: 9:47 a.m. EDT
This is not a name you'd expect to see near the top of the leaderboard, but Ben Crenshaw has joined Padraig Harrington in red numbers after a birdie at the par-3 4th hole.
Crenshaw won his only green jacket in 1995 and has missed the last four cuts at Augusta National. Could he make a run like Tom Watson did at the British Open? Yes, we know it's early . . .
• • •
Tournament update: 9:35 p.m. EDT
Padraig Harrington now has two demons to overcome: a faulty putter and the curse of winning the Par 3 Contest.
No one has ever won the Masters after taking the Par 3 title, but Harrington is trying to disprove that after picking up an eagle at No. 2 on Thursday, vaulting to 2 under and is the only player in red numbers about two hours into the first round at Augusta National.
• • •
Tournament update: 9:17 a.m. EDT
Not many red numbers on the course thus far, with only seven birdies through the first 90 minutes of play.
Robert Garrigus wasn't the only one with a problem on No. 1, as Ryan Palmer picked up a double-bogey on the hole about 20 minutes later. No. 1 isn't known for being tremendously difficult, but seems to be presenting some early problems.
On the 25th anniversary of his chip-in victory, Larry Mize has two birdies on his card early, one coming on the par-5 2nd and the other on the par-3 4th.
• • •
Tournament update: 8:25 a.m. EDT
Despite the playable conditions, Robert Garrigus didn't start the day he wanted to, picking up a triple-bogey on No. 1. There are only nine players on the course, with the day's first "featured" pairing - Adam Scott, Bo Van Pelt and Martin Kaymer - not taking to the tee until 8:45 a.m. Scott finished T-2 last year, while Kaymer has never made the cut at Augusta National.