Masters Tracker: Day 1 at Augusta National

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 7, 2016, 11:00 am

The 80th Masters Tournament is this week in Augusta, Ga. is tracking the first major of the season through on-site reporting and social media. For additional Masters coverage, click here for full-field scores. All-times for the Masters tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

7:29PM: We'll leave you with this... and say goodnight, friends. Let's do it all again tomorrow.

7:22PM: A final look at the leaderboard through 18 holes of the 80th Masters. In all, 20 of 89 players were under par. Nine players carded rounds in the 80s.

7:19PM: Unable to get up-and-down from the greenside bunker on 18, Rory McIlroy posts a 2-under 70 in Round 1. He's four back of Spieth, your outright leader through 18 holes at the 80th Masters.

7:07PM: Shane Lowry makes par at the 18th to post a 4-under 68. He and Danny Lee are two back of Spieth.

6:59PM: Sergio Garcia closes with two pars for a first-round 69. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy heads to the 18th at 3 under.

6:44PM: McIlroy makes bogey at 16 and is back to 3 under, three shots back of Spieth.

6:43PM: Remember when we showed you this video earlier today? Turns out it was only a six-putt for a 9 on the first hole (not 10 like originally thought).

6:32PM: That's a two-putt birdie at the par-5 15th for Rory McIlroy, who is now 4 under and two back of Jordan Spieth.

6:22PM: Sergio Garcia may not have what it takes to win a major (his own self-analysis), but he just made four consecutive birdies on the back nine and is now 3 under through 16, three shots back of Jordan Spieth.

6:21PM: Jason Day makes par at the 18th for an even-par 72. Not what he was hoping for after getting to 5 under, but Jason's wife Ellie is here to make him (and us) feel better:

6:15PM: Two-time Masters champ Bernhard Langer, 58, posts an even-par 72 to open the 80th edition of the Masters.

6:10PM: From bad to worse... Things keep going south for Jason Day. He makes another bogey at the par-4 17th and is now even par for the tournament. When he stood in the fairway at 14, he was 5 under.

6:02PM: That's a 3-over 75 for Bubba Watson in the opening round of the 80th Masters. And a 3-under 69 for Ian Poulter.

5:53PM: Rory McIlroy wants to play... After an eagle at the par-5 13th, McIlroy is now 3 under, three back of Spieth.

5:51PM: That's a triple bogey 6 for Jason Day at the par-3 16th. He's now 1 under, five back of Jordan Spieth.

5:45PM: Justin Thomas makes a good point. Just yesterday, Rickie Fowler made an ace. Today, he shot 80. People are quick to forget.

5:41PM: Splish splash. Jason Day knocks an 8-iron into the drink at the par-3 16th. A few moments earlier, Bubba Watson did as well.

5:40PM: Present look at the leaderboard, where Jordan Spieth leads by two.

5:33PM: Dropped shot for Jason Day at the par-5 15th. He's now two back (4 under) of Jordan Spieth with three to play.

5:30PM: Bubba makes history. Just not the positive kind. After knocking it in the water off the tee at the par-3 16th, Bubba makes a 5 for his first double bogey at Augusta National in 29 rounds.

5:17PM: Lee-ding edge. Danny Lee makes birdie at the par-3 16th to get to 4 under, two shots back of Jordan Spieth.

5:14PM: Rory has great footwork. This week, anyway. Check out the kicks he's wearing to honor Kobe Bryant.

5:09PM: The only constant is change. Or so they say. Anyway, nothing changed with Jason Day's position on the leaderboard after a par at the 14th to remain 5 under and one back of Jordan Spieth.

4:57PM: Day back to within one with a birdie at the par-5 13th.

4:55PM: In case you are interested ...

4:50PM: After turning in 5-under 31, Jason Day has gone bogey-par-par to start his back nine. But two par 5s await.

4:42PM: What should you never do after shooting 80? Check your Twitter feed.

4:37PM: Rory McIlroy birdies the ninth. He turns in 2 under and is only four back.

4:34PM: Some notable players to post rounds over par: Dustin Johnson (73), Brooks Koepka (73), Jim Herman (75), Jason Dufner (76), Patrick Reed (76) and Justin Thomas (76).

4:30PM: Remember Daniel Berger? Celebrating his 23rd birthday, he turned in 33. He closed in 40 for a 1-over 73. Drinks to celebrate the front or forget the back?

4:27PM: Even Spieth's peers appreciate what he was able to shoot today.

4:21PM: A couple of former major champs are in the house. Justin Rose shot 3-under 69. Adam Scott had a 4-over 76. Rose finished runner-up to Spieth last year.

4:16PM: Well, at least he still has his sense of humor ...

4:08PM: Mickelson on his 72: "It's not a bad start, it's not a great start. It's kind of a decent start that doesn't help or hurt."

4:07PM: Here's a look at how Jordan Spieth completed his 6-under 66 in Round 1.

4:05PM: Keegan Bradley is 1 over par through 13 at the moment, but his shoe game is strong.

3:58PM: Phil Mickelson closes birdie-birdie-bogey to shoot even-par 72.

3:53PM: Check out photos from Round 1 at Augusta National.

3:42PM: Check out Ryan Lavner's read on Rickie Fowler's opening 80.

3:34PM: Day nearly holes approach shot at the par-4 ninth. Tap-in birdie has him at 5 under and one back of Spieth.

3:25PM: World No. 1 Jason Day is 4 under through eight. Fellow Aussie Adam Scott is 3 over through 14.

3:22PM: Meanwhile ... Shane Lowry is 4 under through five holes. He parred his first hole and it's been all birdies since.

3:20PM: Spieth after his round: "I got the most I could possibly get out of my round." He said this round was better, because of the difficult conditions, than his opening 64 last year.

3:12PM: Here's where things stand with Spieth in the clubhouse:

3:08PM: Tiger Woods(2002) is the only player since Nick Faldo (1990) to successfully defend his title at the Masters.

3:06PM: Let's make it a 66. Defending champion Jordan Spieth birdies the last for a 6-under round.

2:54PM: That's a par on 17 for Spieth. He's two up on Paul Casey, who bogeyed 17, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson and Jason Day.

2:49PM: After shooting 80, Rickie Fowler says, "It's golf. That's what it is." It's Fowler's second highest score in a major. He shot 81 in the first round of last year's U.S. Open.

2:46PM: Brandt Snedeker makes the turn in 3 under. He's two back of Spieth's lead. Nineteen players are currently under par.

2:43PM: In case you were wondering ....

2:39PM: Spieth loves his putter. Further proof:

2:34PM: After flaring his tee shot on 16 way right, Spieth with the all-world up-and-in. But Casey nearly dunked his tee shot, made birdie and now sits one back.

2:30PM: Fowler in the house with a nice round 80. Better than exactly one player, Robert Streb.

2:20PM: Haven't checking in on our leader in while. Oh just another ho-hum par on 15 for Spieth. His partner Casey makes birdie to get within two.

2:15PM: Here's video of the nightmare:

2:05PM: The Internet is losing it's mind over Els' 10 on No. 1. Here's how far all 7 of those putts were from.

2:01PM: Jason Day is on the course and it looks like he came to play. That's an eagle on No. 2.

1:57PM: Wonder what Rickie Fowler's up to? Oh just another double-bogey on 16 after finding the water.

1:50PM: Justin Rose with back-to-back birdies on 9 and 10. Now in second behind Spieth. We sure this isn't 2015?

1:45PM: Just heard on the broadcast: Spieth leads a young Daniel Berger. Spieth is 22. Berger is 23.

1:40PM: Spieth now 5 under and pushes the lead to two with a birdie at No. 13. Really having a tough time with the wind today.

1:33PM: And we have our first 10 of the afternoon. The honor goes to Ernie Els on No. 1 with a seven-putt from 2 feet. Only gotta do this 17 more times.

1:28PM: Three-putt bogey for Zach Johnson on 14. Now 1 over after being 2 under through 7. #Augusta

1:25PM: Birthday boy Daniel Berger cuts the lead to one with his third birdie of the day. Bogey-free through eight in his first Masters start. Nice way to turn 23.

1:20PM: Another par save and this time a fist pump from Spieth. Went a little long at 12, bumped his first putt through the fringe, made slippery 5-footer.

1:15PM: Snowman. Rickie Fowler's wild first round continues with a triple-bogey 8 at No. 12. There's no room for pictures on a scorecard. Luckily, we aren't running a scorecard.

Rickie now 4 over on the day ... with three birdies.

1:05PM: Spieth's lead is now two after Casey failed to get up and down from the right bunker at 11.

This is beginning to look eerily reminiscent of last year, when Spieth spent the week pouring in every putt he looked at. He just made par from the right trees on 11 after his approach shot - somehow - stayed on the fringe when it appeared headed for the pond. He left his first putt short, then rolled in a 6-footer. Cold-blooded.

1:01PM: Always a difficult week for Lav:

12:45PM: Spieth has no interest in sharing. Just moments after playing partner Paul Casey tied him for the lead at 3 under, Spieth jumped back in front with a birdie of his own at 10, pouring in an 11-footer after a lovely approach left him under the hole. Casey alone in second at minus-3. Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger and Keegan Bradley at minus-2.

Spieth opened with 64 last year. He's halfway there through 10 holes with two par 5s to go.

12:30PM: Since the start of last year's Masters, Jordan Spieth has played nine straight nines at Augusta National under par.

12:25PM: Jordan Spieth leads by himself at 3 under after a first-nine 33. Through the first 153 holes of his Masters career, Spieth is 26 under par.

12:10PM: Jordan Spieth has taken the outright lead with his third birdie of the day, this one at the par-5 eighth. Daniel Berger joins Casey at minus-2.

12:05PM: 1996. Everyday Is A Winding Road. Sheryl Crow. Nick Faldo.

11:59AM: Rickie Fowler with a casual, uneventful even-par 36 through 9.

11:50AM: Groupthink. Paul Casey joins Spieth at 2 under. The third member of the group, DeChambeau, is one back.

Of the players in this week's field, Casey has the fourth-most major championship starts (47) without a victory, behind Lee Westwood (71), Sergio Garcia (69), and Ian Poulter (52).

11:30AM: It's like 2015 never ended. Jordan Spieth is back on top of the leaderboard at Augusta National. He's 2 under through 7 and now tied with Weisberger and ZJ.

11:21AM: Zach Johnson joins Bernd Weisberger at 2 under. ZJ won in adverse conditions in 2007. Could his game once again be the answer for heavy winds this week?

11:16AM: Mickelson bogeys No. 1 after missing his opening drive in the left trees. Nonetheless, it remains go time:

Mickelson at 45 years old would be the second-oldest Masters champion behind Jack in '86.

11:11AM: Golf superstar Caleb Watson and his dad:

11:05AM: A look at the early leaderboard as we hit the 11 o'clock hour. Austria's Bernd Weirsberger with birdies at Nos. 2 and 7.

10:56AM: So much for that opening double. Rickie Fowler is in red numbers after his third birdie in four holes.

10:43AM: Phil Mickelson is en route to the first tee at Augusta National:

10:35AM: Golf Channel senior writer and amateur meteorologist Rex Hoggard:

10:30AM: Amateur Bryson DeChambeau joins the lead at 1 under. His 8-foot eagle attempt at the par-5 second slid by and he tapped in for birdie-4. Fellow amateur Derek Bard was also tied for the lead at minus-1 early this morning following a birdie of his own at No. 2.

10:25AM: Eventful start for Rickie, who was on the first tee this morning to watch Jack and Gary tee it up.

Rebounds from opening double with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 2 and 3.

10:20AM: The Force Awakens.

Also worth note:

Gotta love a caddie.

10:15AM: Tom Watson is tied for the early lead. He poured in a 35-footer at No. 3 for birdie. Still got it.

10:05AM: Spieth's short game looks sharp early. An up-and-down from right of the green at No. 1 results in an opening par. Pitched to 2 feet. Textbook.

10:00AM: Who had Rickie in the pool?
9:55AM: Jordan Spieth's title defense is underway. The world No. 2's opening drive is down left on No. 1. Spieth's got Paul Casey and U.S. Amateur champ Bryson DeChambeau for the next two days.

9:47AM: Not an ideal start for Robert Streb.

He three-putted the third and needed four shots from the back edge of the fourth green.


9:30AM: Jordan Spieth made a point to stop and give dap to Emiliano Grillo at the Tournament Practice Area. Grillo and Spieth are part of golf's now-famed class of 2011, which you can read about here. Grillo is playing his first Masters thanks to his season-opening victory at the

Not quite sure how Spieth got in the field this week. Anybody?

9:27AM: Jim Herman followed up birdies at Nos. 1 and 2 with bogeys at No. 4 and 5, and he's back to even par. Your new leaders at minus-1: France's Victor Dubuisson and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee.
9:18AM: Tom Watson opens his final Masters with a 256-yard drive down the pipe. He's making his final trips around Augusta National with Charley Hoffman and Lee Westwood.

9:07AM: As the scores start to roll in here are some stats to keep in mind:

8:55AM: Some big names are warming up on the range ... Notables teeing off soon:

9:15: Tom Watson
9:26: Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler
9:37: Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Dufner, Patrick Reed
9:48: Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau
9:59: Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson

8:50AM: Jim Herman starts birdie-birdie and the Cinderella story continues.

8:38AM: Here is the ceremonial tee shots from Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus ...

8:35AM: How cool is this? Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus after their opening tee shots, and the King approves ...

8:32AM: Jim Herman, last week's winner at the Shell Houston Open, and Steven Bowditch are the first players out in the 80th Masters. Herman birdies No. 1 to take the very early lead. Bowditch makes a bogey.

8:10AM: And we're off!

7:51AM: Here are the hole locations for Round 1 ...

7:36AM: ICYMI, the big story that broke late last night ...

7:29AM: Rain fell overnight in Augusta and there is a wind advisory until 8 p.m. Gusts are expected to be between 20-30 mph and may reach as high as 45 mph in the afternoon. Some of the big names playing late include Bubba Watson, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy.

7:20AM: It's finally here! Hello, friends. It's almost time to get the 80th Masters started. Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will hit the ceremonial tee shots at 8:05 a.m.

Getty Images

McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Getty Images

Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.