AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta National doesn’t cut players any slack. Even if you’re the defending Masters champion.
Danny Willett felt that Thursday when he opened his first round double bogey-bogey. But he rebounded to post an excellent 1-over 73.
The 2016 champion was right in it heading into Day Two at the Masters, but that’s when the first hole bit him again. And it was even worse this time.
Willett hit his tee shot just right of the right fairway bunker, leaving him an awkward stance from there.
His approach effort resulted in a shank, and from there he continued to chop his way up on the hole to an eventual quadruple-bogey eight.
We’ll let the video show you how that all transpired:
The bright side … it’s better than a nine (as Ernie Els would attest). Remarkably, Willett can still make the cut. He’s 5 over through eight on his round and 6 over for the tournament. The cut currently sits at 4 over.
Plenty of work needs to be done, but if Willett does indeed make the weekend, it’ll be the most hard fought effort from a defending Masters champion in some time.