Prime-ranked Dustin Johnson birdied his method via Amen Nook and clung to a share of the lead with South Korea’s Im Sung-jae in Friday’s second spherical of the 84th Masters. Johnson, the 2016 US Open winner, began on Augusta Nationwide’s again 9 and made the activate 8-under, degree for the lead with Im, a 22-year-old attempting to turn into the primary debut Masters winner since 1979. Third-ranked Justin Thomas, who additionally began on the 10th gap, closed his first 9 with 4 consecutive birdies however fell from a share of the lead with a double-bogey on the first. Johnson’s three birdies on the famed three-hole stretch beginning at 11 included an eight-foot putt on the par-3 12th and a four-footer on the par-5 13th to succeed in 10-under for a four-stroke edge.
However he adopted with a three-putt bogey at 14 and despatched his strategy into the water to bogey the par-5 15th then parred his approach to the flip.
Earlier, Johnson sank a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th to finish an opening-round 65 to share the 18-hole lead after storms pressured a Friday-morning end.
Following his lowest profession Masters spherical and first with out a bogey, Johnson was rapidly again on the course for spherical two.
“To proceed to play is unquestionably a pleasant benefit,” Johnson stated. “I am on an excellent roll.”
Johnson might turn into the primary world primary to win the Masters since Tiger Woods in 2002.
Johnson was a runner-up in three of the previous six majors, together with a best-ever Masters effort final yr.
The lanky 36-year-old American, who grew up solely an hour’s drive from Augusta, missed two deliberate Masters tuneups after testing optimistic for Covid-19 final month however was a runner-up final week in Houston in his tour return.
– McIlroy fightback –
Because the PGA Tour’s Covid-19 break, Johnson gained at Hartford, was second on the PGA Championship, gained the Tour Championship and shared sixth on the US Open.
Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, rolled in birdie putts from 4 to eight ft to briefly be a part of the leaders, however went left off the primary tee, hit a tree and went over the inexperienced on his strategy in a Friday the 13th nightmare.
Thomas completed a morning 68, having by no means shot higher than a 73 in 4 prior Masters opening rounds.
Im birdied 12 and 13 and answered a bogey at 14 with a birdie at 15 to remain degree with Johnson.
Fifth-ranked Rory McIlroy, looking for a inexperienced jacket to finish a profession Grand Slam, birdied 4 of his first eight holes within the second spherical to revive his hope of a Masters victory.
After stumbling to a gap 75 to share 77th, the four-time main winner began off the 10th with a birdie, curled in a 10-footer to birdie the par-3 12th, sank an eight-foot putt to birdie the par-5 15th and made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th to succeed in 1-under, the projected lower.
Rain-softened Augusta Nationwide surrendered the bottom opening-round scoring common in Masters historical past, 71.43 strokes.
There have been a 53 gamers underneath par in spherical one and 24 scores within the 60s, each data for any spherical in Masters historical past. The previous mark for sub-par gamers was 47 in spherical two in 1992.
Defending champion Woods awaited a late tee time after opening on 68, the 15-time main winner and five-time Masters champion matching his best-ever Augusta Nationwide begin.
It was his first bogey-free Masters spherical since 2008 and in any main since 2009.
Germany’s 63-year-old Bernhard Langer, a two-time Masters champion, opened on 68. With 62-year-old 1987 Masters winner Larry Mize opening on 70, it was the primary spherical in main golf historical past the place two gamers over 60 broke par.
The Masters was postponed from its typical April date by the Covid-19 pandemic, which additionally pressured a ban on spectators as a security precaution.
Subjects talked about on this article