Jordan Spieth grabbed the first round lead at the Masters for the third time in four years, matching Tiger Woods for the most rounds led at Augusta (9). And he did it in just 17 starts.
Spieth made seven birdies, an eagle and three bogeys on his way to an opening round of 66, and will head in to Friday's round with a two shot lead over nearest competitors Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.
At the end of the first day, 20 players were under par - and if you go by the stats you'll know that the last 12 players who have put on the Green Jacket were under par after their first round. The winner before that was Tiger Woods, who shot an opening round of 74 in 2005 before defeating Chris DiMarco in a play-off. Yesterday, he opened with a one-over-par 73.
➤ 2018 Masters: Leaderboard
➤ Jordan Spieth leads after Round 1
➤ Round 2: Tee Times
➤ Round 2: How To Watch The Masters
➤ WATCH: Sergio Garcia hits 5 balls in the water & matches highest ever score
➤ WATCH: The best shots from Round 1
How does this translate into Spieth's chances of winning a second Green Jacket? We'd say pretty good if you go by the stats. In addition to the above, in the past 20 years 16 winners have been inside the top 10 after round 1. And further to that, 24 of the last 32 champions (75%) have been ranked inside the World's top 20 when they won, and 18 of those winners inside the World's top 10.
If you took both those instances to be true for the 2018 Champion, you're currently looking at Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar. Oh and speaking of stats, what happened the last time four times Rory McIlroy was inside the top 5 in a major after round 1? Win-Win-Win-Win. But then again it's Augusta, and anything can happen on the back nine on Sunday.
The rest of the stats from Day 1 at The Masters
Ian Woosnam was the only player without a birdie on the opening day of The Masters as Jordan Spieth led the way with 7, but not a single player in the field managed a bogey free round. In 2017, Sergio Garcia was the only player to do this - and he went on to win.
Four players had eagles in the opening round, with US Amateur runner-up Doug Ghim carding two during his debut at Augusta National with a putt on the 13th and a walk-off iron shot on 18. Jordan Spieth, Sandy Lyle and Tyrrell Hatton were the others.
As expected, the four par 5s on the course proved the easiest during round 1, with both 13 and 15 ranking as the easiest hole with an average of 4.644. The 13th offered up 2 eagles, 42 birdies, 32 pars, 7 bogeys and 4 doubles, while the 15th had 1 eagle, 45 birdies, 35 pars, 3 bogeys, 1 double and 2 ‘others’. The others included Sergio Garcia’s horror 13 that saw him put 5 golf balls in the water, and match the highest ever score on an individual hole in Masters history.
13 players had a driving distance of over 300 yards, and it was England’s Tommy Fleetwood who led the way, averaging over 11 yards further than anyone else in the field with 317.9. His closest competitors were Kyle Stanley and amateur Joaquin Niemann, while leader Jordan Spieth did hit drives over 311 but averaged 291.1 yards (rank #49).
Leading the way in Driving Accuracy was Hideki Matsuyama and Bernhard Langer, who both hit 13 out of 14 fairways, one better than Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed and a handful of others. Spieth hit 11/14, while British Amateur champion Harry Ellis brought up the rear - hitting just 3 fairways in his first appearance at The Masters.
Adam Hadwin, who currently sits in a tie for 4th place after shooting a 3-under 69, hit the most Greens in Regulation of anyone in the field (16/18), one more than Wiesberger, Oosthuizen, Stanley and Bubba Watson. Spieth hit 11, showing just how impressive his short game was during the first round. Meanwhile, former champions Sandy Lyle and Larry Mize hit the least amount of GIRs on the first day (just 6 out of 18), alongside amateur Harry Ellis.
The putting stats proved crucial to those at the top of the leaderboard on Day 1, with Tony Finau leading the way on 23 (1.28 average) - particularly impressive given he was an injury doubt until Thursday morning after dislocating his ankle during the Masters Par 3 contest. Spieth was one behind Finau on 24, tied with Sandy Lyle - who made a monster putt for eagle at the 15th. It was again an amateur that struggled to tame Augusta's greens on day 1, as Lin Yuxin was 12 shots worse on the greens than Finau with 35.