The Masters: Paul Casey, Tiger Woods & Justin Thomas all impress on day one


England’s Paul Casey holds the clubhouse lead after a day that experienced a lengthy storm delay at Augusta National.

Casey shot an impressive first round of a seven-under 65, which included five birdies and an eagle.

This represented a remarkable contrast to the 2019 Masters event for the 43-year-old Englishman, where he opened the tournament with a disastrous 9-over 81. This would lead to Casey missing the halfway cut for the first time since 2012.

Speaking following the completion of his opening round, Paul Casey said: “I was vocal earlier in the year about not enjoying golf in a pandemic.

“I didn’t know how the fan-less experience would be. So far, I’ve not enjoyed it and I felt the lack of energy.

“The Masters…though…this week, it still has a buzz to it. There’s an energy and a little bit of a vibe. Yes, it’s clearly a lot less than what we are used to but there’s something about this place. I felt excited to be here.”

Casey is still seeking that maiden Major win and currently holds a two-shot advantage from 2012 US Open winner Webb Simpson, American Xander Schauffele and world number three Justin Thomas, who was five-under after 10 completed holes.

While defending champion Tiger Woods has also made an impressive start to the defence of his title and is a shot further back having produced an opening round of four-under 68. This was only the second time that Woods had broken 70 in the first round of The Masters and it was the first time he went round without scoring a bogey.

Woods' score was matched impressively by England’s Lee Westwood, former Masters winners Patrick Reed and 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen.

Rory McIIrory’s latest bid to complete a career Grand Slam, meanwhile, did not get off to the best of starts as the Northern Irishman bogeyed the first hole, after failing to escape a green-side bunker. McIIroy will resume his round on the 10th hole early on Friday morning.

Unlike McIIroy, the world number two Jon Rahm was able to avoid first round dramas after completing a three-under 69 first round, which was equalled by England’s Matt Wallace.

Action from The Masters, Augusta will resume at Friday midday and will feature the continuation of McIIroy’s opening round and world number one Dustin Johnson.

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