Sports

DeChambeau leads after opening spherical at Masters, Canada’s Conners tied for ninth

The third iteration of Bryson DeChambeau is likely to be essentially the most daunting on the Masters.

As soon as the mad scientist, then the unimaginable bulk, DeChambeau has entered what he referred to as merely the “golf section,” and it was sufficient to hold him to a 7-under 65 in a relentless wind Thursday for a one-shot lead over the identical previous Scottie Scheffler.

The primary spherical couldn’t be accomplished due to a 2 1/2-hour delay from in a single day rain that drenched Augusta Nationwide, leaving the greens softer than they’ve been all week. The check got here from a gradual 20 mph wind, with gusts twice that robust.

Amongst these nonetheless on the course was Tiger Woods, who was 1-under par by means of 13 holes when it was too darkish to proceed. He subsequent faces 23 holes Friday, an endurance check for his battered legs, as he tries to set the Masters file by making his twenty fifth consecutive lower.

WATCH | Corey Connors headlines Canadian cohort on the Masters

Conners leads Canadian contingent after opening day on the Masters

Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., shoots 2-under 70 within the first spherical of the Masters which was suspended as a result of darkness. Conners is tied for ninth place and trails chief Bryson DeChambeau of america by 5 strokes. The opposite Canadians competing at this yr’s Masters are Mike Weir (tied for 54th), Adam Hadwin (tied for 69th) and Nick Taylor (tied for 82nd).

Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., was the very best Canadian, tied for ninth with a 2-under 70 after the opening spherical. Mike Bizarre of Brights Grove, Ont., was 2 over, Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., was 3 over and Nick Taylor, additionally of Abbotsford, completed his spherical at 5 over.

Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark, certainly one of 17 newcomers to the Masters, was at 5 beneath with three holes to play. Max Homa was at 4 beneath by means of 13 holes.

DeChambeau had his lowest begin ever in a serious, a scientific efficiency of energy and placing, at all times an excellent recipe at Augusta Nationwide.

“Making an attempt to be the very best golfer I may be,” DeChambeau mentioned. “I am simply in a spot the place I am repeating a movement, making an attempt to do the identical factor over and over.”

He ran off 5 birdies in a six-hole stretch on the again 9, together with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 fifteenth when his dangerous shot beneath a pine tree cleared the water fronting the inexperienced and left him 40 ft away.

“It clipped the tree. I hit 4 pine needles quite than 5, and it labored out completely,” mentioned DeChambeau, not totally rid of his exact calculations.

Scheffler teed off about two hours later when the wind was at full power, and a part of him was stunned to see so many pink numbers beneath par on the massive, white boards.

“I’ve performed this match as soon as earlier than in some fairly excessive winds, and it is a particularly difficult golf course,” Scheffler mentioned, giving credit score to caddie Ted Scott for “guessing the wind appropriately” on quite a lot of photographs.

He had the one bogey-free spherical of the 89 gamers within the area, no small process on a day like this. Three of his six birdies got here on the par 3s, a kind of when he holed a bunker shot from behind the twelfth inexperienced.

DeChambeau feels he bought lucky together with his shot that grazed the tree. There was no doubting the break Scheffler bought together with his second shot on the par-5 thirteenth, when he flinched upon listening to a shot hit from one other fairway. Scheffler’s ball got here up quick, and he assumed it could roll again into the tributary of Rae’s Creek that winds in entrance of the inexperienced.

The turf was mushy sufficient that it stayed up, and he chipped it near make birdie.

“I’ve by no means seen a ball keep up there,” Scheffler mentioned. “I do not know if that may occur once more this week. I am hoping I do not discover out.”

Scheffler started because the 4-1 favourite, in line with FanDuel Sportsbook, the shortest odds since Tiger Woods almost 20 years in the past. After which the No. 1 participant on the earth — who got here into the Masters off two wins and a runner-up end — performed as anticipated.

It was his ninth bogey-free spherical of the yr.

“Any time you will get round this golf course bogey-free, you are going to have a reasonably good day on the market,” Scheffler mentioned.

Men's golfer holds hat in his right hand while walking.
DeChambeau holds a one-shot lead over Scottie Scheffler after the opening day of the Masters. (Andrew Redington/Getty Photographs)

DeChambeau dropped just one shot, an extended three-putt to a again pin on No. 9, and in any other case was flawless. He almost drove the quick par-4 third gap, leaving him a chip-and-putt birdie. He took care of three of the par 5s and bought a bonus on the finish when he holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the seventeenth gap.

DeChambeau feels he has settled in together with his new life on Saudi-funded LIV Golf, together with his gear and his swing. He isn’t chasing swing velocity like he as soon as did, although he nonetheless has it when wanted. He says his swing has been the identical since that 61-58 weekend he had at LIV Golf Greenbrier final summer time.

“He is at all times been probably the greatest putters on the earth. When he drives it like he did in the present day — I imply, he drove it actually good — and he makes putts, he is clearly superb,” mentioned Gary Woodland, who performed alongside him. “It was a clinic. It was spectacular. He did not get out of place hardly in any respect, and he rolled it very, very good.”

Different outcomes

Defending champion Jon Rahm by no means bought any momentum and bogeys on his final two holes despatched him to a 73, leaving him eight photographs behind.

“These are some significantly good rounds in circumstances like in the present day,” Rahm mentioned. “I have never made it straightforward for myself. I’ll have to begin making up floor rapidly.”

Rory McIlroy at the least did not shoot himself out of the match after one spherical. In his tenth bid for the ultimate leg of the profession Grand Slam, he saved par with a chip from behind the 18th inexperienced for a 71, the primary time he has opened the Masters with a spherical beneath par since 2018.

“I held it collectively properly. It was just a little scrappy,” McIlroy mentioned. “Most likely turned a 3 beneath right into a 1 beneath there on the finish. However total, nonetheless not a foul rating. And clearly a whole lot of golf left to play.”

The primary spherical was to renew at 7:50 a.m., and with an excellent forecast for the remainder of the week, the Masters needs to be again on schedule by the weekend.

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