Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Why wait? Second time's the charm at recent Masters

Hilda Schwartz | 08 April, 2017, 00:04

His approach effort resulted in a shank, and from there he continued to chop his way up on the hole to an eventual quadruple-bogey eight.

Current world number one and pre-tournament favourite Dustin Johnson will head out in the last group of the first day and will be with fellow USA golfers Bubba Watson, the 2012 and 2014 champion, and last year's PGA Championship victor Jimmy Walker.

Hoffman could only add a 75 to his brilliant opening 65, with the last of his five bogeys in six holes allowing Garcia to briefly move into the outright lead.

He said English golf was enjoying something of a golden age at the moment with a record 11 players in the Augusta field. Willett ended his day on a sour note, three-jacking at the hard par-4 18th.

Danny Willett has admitted that he has grown "impatient" since last year's Masters triumph but will head to Augusta in a confident mood.

Could we be the next Danny Willett? "Then we played in the Olympics and we were in the Ryder Cup and we ended up playing about 32 events a year ago".

"He played the ball back in the stance, got a bit steep on it and hit it a fraction fat".

"Augusta is unique in many, many ways in that it's all about finding out where the pin is before we start the hole", he said.

The Masters 2017: 5 best moments in history
And he has no regrets over how last year's tournament played out. "I was proud of the way we fought that day too". And, most of all, have some fun playing on the course that he dreamed of playing on as a Dallas golf kid.

Hatton will tee off at 12.45pm local time alongside current Open Championship victor Henrik Stenson from Sweden, and Argentina's Angel Cabrera who won the Masters in 2009.

How you are meant to play it?

The 29-year-old from Sheffield resisted the temptation to try anything too radical as suggested by his always-humorous brother Peter who had felt some horrid delicacies from the cooking by their Swedish mother might help "poison" his rivals. You've achieved the greatest height in your game. The son of a vicar made steady progress during his developmental years, although his former coaches seemed to initially imply that he was destined more for life as a journeyman pro rather than world beater.

However, I feel strongly that it would be foolish to back Johnson to win this year's Masters. Since the tournament started, only three players won as rookies, including the first champion Horton Smith in 1934.

The windy conditions in Augusta are not expected to get any better as the day goes on.

"Honestly, I think he'll be quite thrilled to get this Masters out of the way and then concentrate on the rest of his career without being the current Masters champion", Montgomerie said.

"I was looking at my books (Monday) night and I think Augusta, the more and more you play, you realize certain areas where you can't go", Willett said.

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