Masters, Bryson De Chambeau starts strong

At the Augusta National Golf Club (par 72), DeChambeau recorded his lowest round in the 25 he has played at the green's dream theater

by Andrea Gussoni
Masters, Bryson De Chambeau starts strong
© Lintao Zhang/Getty Images Sport

In the USA, the first round of The Masters was suspended due to darkness with 27 players still needing to complete the opening 18 holes. At Augusta, rain led organizers to delay the start of the tournament by two and a half hours, on a day marked by strong winds.

In Georgia, the standout performer was Bryson DeChambeau. Among the 13 big names from the Arab Super League competing in the first Major of 2024, the American leads the provisional leaderboard with a score of 65 (-7), supported by eight birdies and one bogey, holding a one-shot lead over Scottie Scheffler, who is in 2nd place with 66 (-6), the world number one and winner of the Masters Tournament in 2022.

Tiger Woods had a promising start. Welcomed by many applause from the patrons and an "alleluia", the Californian is currently tied for 17th with "-1" after playing 13 holes. He has two birdies, one bogey, and five more holes to play before starting the second round.

Masters, results

At the Augusta National Golf Club (par 72), DeChambeau recorded his lowest round in the 25 he has played at the green's dream theater. Starting strong, he made three birdies at the beginning, but the masterpiece came on the back nine with another five brilliant shots.

Scheffler had a bogey-free round, with six birdies and his lowest score in 17 rounds at The Masters. Coming off two victories (Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship) and a second-place finish (Houston Open) in his last three PGA Tour events, a win at Augusta would make him the 18th player to win the Masters multiple times, the first since Bubba Watson (2014).

Twenty-nine years after his debut at the event, Woods remains the most celebrated. The 82-time PGA Tour champion, with 15 Major triumphs and five "Green Jackets" to his name, aims to make the cut as his primary objective. No one has achieved this feat for 24 consecutive times.

It's a dream debut at Augusta for Nicolai Hojgaard. The Dane, who was part of the European team at the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, is in 3rd place with "-5" after playing 15 holes. Behind him, in 4th place with 68 (-4), is Danny Willett.

The 2016 Masters Champion from England, who hasn't played a tournament since September last year (BMW PGA Championship), has surprised everyone. Also at "-4", but after 13 holes, is Californian Max Homa. Rory McIlroy had ups and downs.

Second in the world rankings, the Northern Irishman, who dreams of completing the "Grand Slam" and hasn't won a Major in ten years (The Open 2014), is tied for 17th with 71 (-1). The same score goes for the American Neal Shipley, the best amateur so far.

It's a disappointing start for Jon Rahm. The defending champion, one of the highest-paid athletes in the world and a key figure in the LIV Golf, is currently in 42nd place with 73 (+1) after a round with four birdies and five bogeys.

Joaquin Niemann continues to perform well. The Chilean, who leads the money list of the 2024 Arab Super League, is in 9th place with 70 (-2) at Augusta. The 2024 Masters is also a battle between the "rebels" of the LIV dreaming with DeChambeau and the loyalists of the PGA Tour led by Scheffler. At stake is not only the "Green Jacket" but also a total of 18 million dollars.