Masters Golf 2019 Live : The 2019 Masters is off and rolling with major champions all bunched .All of these world golfers are capable of going low on Friday to make the cut, As the year’s first major approaches, golf fans might care more about the answer to that question than they do about the status of their own golf.The 2019 Masters Tournament is the 83rd edition of the Masters Tournament and the first of golf’s four major championships to be held in 2019.
The 2019 Masters is off and rolling with major champions all bunched up at the top of the leaderboard and four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods very much in the hunt for another green jacket. Woods shot a 2-under 70, matching his first round score from each of his first three Masters victories. It falls in line with the way Woods has traditionally won these big tournaments, shooting in the low 70s on Thursday and then hitting the gas to go low on Friday and/or Saturday before defending a 54-hole lead on Sunday. The only problem is that, in 2019, the competition is much better than it was in 1997, 2001 or 2002. That first-round 70 has him hanging on with 10 other players just outside the top 10.
That top-10 status is important considering each of the last 13 Masters winners has come from the top 10 at the conclusion of the first round. So while Tiger’s score and his history suggest he’s got a chance to win this thing, there’s a lot of work left to be done by the time he gets to the tee on Friday afternoon for his second round.
The story of the afternoon was Brooks Koepka, who answered criticism of his weight loss in dominant fashion as he grabbed a share of the 18-hole lead late Thursday in his first Masters start as a major champion. After a mostly uneventful first nine, Koepka ran off five birdies in six holes to start the second nine and grab the tournament by the throat. But he’s not alone. Bryson DeChambeau was equally as impressive, holding T1 alongside Koepka after firing off four straight birdies to end his opening round with a 6-under 66.
In total, there are 20 players within four strokes of the lead. Thursday didn’t do much to sort out the top, but it did nearly eliminate several players we were watching heading into the week. Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth Paul Casey all played themselves out of contention. Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia all carded 1-over 73s. All of these world golfers are capable of going low on Friday to make the cut, but as they currently sit outside the top 40 on the leaderboard, it’s hard to imagine that any of them have a real shot to win.
So let’s turn our attention to the ones that do as we break down the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the 2019 Masters.
You let eight months pass between major championships, you can expect all sorts of questions to pile up before the world’s best tee off for real at Augusta National. Tiger’s redemption! Rory’s Grand Slam! Koepka’s waistline!
We had plenty before the season’s first major, and at the very least, Thursday provided partial answers.
Yeah, probably not. Unless you think a beefier Koepka could have improved upon Thursday’s sizzling 66, which gave him a tie for the lead after the first round. Koepka’s mysterious body transformation, in which he admits he subscribed to a daily 1,800-calorie diet and lost power as a result, raised all sorts of questions about the golfer’s ability to capture a first green jacket. But for one day he was back to the player who has won two of the last three majors. Actually he was probably even better, considering his best round at Augusta National before Thursday was three shots higher.
The Masters is more art than science, and to hear DeChambeau discuss everything from brain training to skipping a ball on the 16th hole at Augusta National, one might deduce that he can contend at the regular PGA Tour events all he wants, but perhaps he’s not yet ready for the big stage. Then came his opening 66 Thursday, which included six birdies on his final nine holes. It appears he’s onto something at Augusta as well. Although a winner of five tour titles, DeChambeau has only once finished inside the top 20 in a major. But his deft play so far here suggests he’s not going to disappear after one round.
For golf fans there’s nothing quite like the Masters. The first major tournament on the calendar is the only one played on the same course — Augusta National — each year. And it’s fast becoming a streaming tradition unlike any other.
Patrick Reed will try to win his second consecutive green jacket this week, while Tiger Woods is seeking his first since 2005. They’ll be up against the top five golfers in the world: Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas. This year’s field also includes recent Masters champions Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson.
Adam Scott was for a while tied for the lead after completing his first round at the US Masters on a big day for Aussies while Tiger Woods also produced a brilliant back nine to remind everyone of his threat as he aims to capture another major.
Scott’s place atop the leaderboard didn’t last, eventually slipping back to be tied for sixth at three-under, as Ian Poulter and Brooks Koepka made some big plays. Poulter ended on four-under after birdies on 15 and 16 but was soon overtaken by Koepka, who caught fire and sunk five birdies in six holes on the back nine to assume the lead at six-under.
Three consecutive birdies to Bryson DeChambeau saw the American make a stunning run to sit level with Koepka atop the leaderboard before a cruel, close call on the 18th prevented him from taking the outright lead.
His incredible approach shot hit the flag and bounced back out to finish inches from the hole before he tapped in for a fourth straight birdie to end at six-under and cap a remarkable day. It was agony and ecstasy all at once for the World No. 6.
The near-miss came after DeChambeau almost aced the 16th but the 25-year-old will still be thrilled with his astonishing opening round 66 — his lowest ever round at Augusta.