AUGUSTA, Ga. — We have an incredible leaderboard after Day 1 of the Masters, as the year’s first major gave us a little bit of everything on Thursday. Tiger Woods shared the lead for about an hour as he surged on his back nine, only to have a hiccup at the 17th hole to finish his round at 2-under, one back at the time. Scoring was stagnant for much of the day Thursday at the Masters, until Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and others in the afternoon wave opened things up. Sitting one back starting the day? Phil Mickelson, three-time Masters champ, who has the chance to become the oldest major champion in history with a win, which would best Julius Boros (and Jack Nicklaus in 1986, of course). But there’s a lot of golf to be played.
The afternoon wave occupies the top five spots on the leaderboard and they’ll have a chance to perhaps open things up a bit more, as Friday’s forecast for Augusta calls for winds to pick up late, making scoring potentially tougher in the afternoon. We’ll see how big a difference the draw ends up being for these players.
Here are the pin positions for Day 2:
10:23 a.m.: It’s now a birdie-birdie start for Billy Horschel, who birdied the par-5 second to go along with his birdie at No. 1. Horschel is now 2-under for the tournament, just four back of the lead.
10:18 a.m.: Ian Poulter didn’t start his round the way he would’ve hoped. It’s an opening bogey for the Englishman after his approach came up short and left of the green, in a precarious spot behind the greenside bunker.
The bogey brings Poulter to 3-under, now three back of the leaders.
10:10 a.m: Some other early birdies have players moving up the leaderboard: Thorbjorn Olesen made a 13-footer for birdie at the third hole and its hard front right pin position today. Thunderbear is now 2-under for the tournament and T-11.
And Billy Horschel birdied the first hole, sticking his approach to 3 feet, right where Bernhard Langer was this morning, to get to red numbers for the tournament.
9:55 a.m.: Kevin Kisner and Kiradech Aphibarnrat are off on their first round with pars. They start the day 3-under, just three back of the lead. Though Aphibarnrat has yet to contend in a major, Kisner certainly has—holding the 54-hole lead at Quail Hollow at the 2017 PGA, and contending last year at Carnoustie. It wouldn’t be a surprise to continue to see Kisner near the lead at Augusta, and we’ll see if Aphibarnrat is ready for this big stage. The Thai player does have two 15th-place finishes in majors—here in 2016 and the 2018 U.S. Open.
We’re close to some of the biggest players from yesterday’s afternoon wave teeing off this morning, like Phil Mickelson, who goes off at 10:53 a.m. with Justin Rose, Justin Thomas:
9:28 a.m.: Just like death and taxes, you can always figure on Bernhard Langer holding his own at the Masters. Of course, he’s done more than hold his own in recent years, threatening the lead a few years ago on the weekend. The two-time Masters champ vaulted up the leaderboard early on Day 2 with an 18-footer for birdie on the first hole to get to 2-under, which is just four back of the leaders. He birdied the par-5 second yesterday, too, so we’ll see if he can get even closer.
9:10 a.m.: A somewhat light rain begins to fall here at Augusta National, nothing to stop play, but perhaps make the greens even more receptive to this morning group. There’s no wind to speak of yet—so the advantage in the draw continues to appear like it’s in the afternoon/morning wave.
Patton Kizzire negates his opening bogey with an easy birdie at the par-5 second. The big-hitter from Birmingham had a 24-footer for eagle that just missed, leading to a tap-in birdie. He gets back to 2-under for the tournament, four back of Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.
Martin Kaymer picked up an early shot at the first hole, as he stuck his approach to 3 feet. That might end up being the closest anyone gets all day—the two-time major champion is now 6 back of the lead.
8:45 a.m.: The first group on the course this morning is Patton Kizzire, who held a share of the lead toward the end of the morning wave, Michael Kim and Sandy Lyle.
There was a little carnage early at the first hole. Kizzire chipped his ball over the green from the right side into a greenside bunker left. He would get up and down to save the bogey, but that brings him back to 1-under on the tournament. Kim and Lyle made pars.