Rose Leads Play Called on Day 1

By Sports NetworkApril 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Justin Rose fired a 5-under-par 67 on Thursday to take the early lead of the 68th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
 
Chris DiMarco, who played in the same group as Rose, aced the par-3 sixth and posted a round of 3-under-par 69. Jay Haas, who turned 50 this year but elected to stay on the PGA Tour rather than play the Champions Tour, also carded a 3-under 69.
 
There was a weather delay of nearly two hours Thursday as rain pelted the course at various points throughout the round. At 4:07 p.m. ET, play was suspended until the golfers returned to the course at 6:15.
 
Some players did not finish and need to complete their first rounds, so competitors will return to Augusta National at 8:00 a.m. The second-round tee times will not be affected.
 
Tiger Woods, a three-time champion of this event, seemed to struggle coming into this week's Masters and Thursday's opening round did nothing to change that.
 
He played in the penultimate group in the opening round and is 4 over par through 14 holes. Woods made the turn in 40, only the second time he played nine holes in that number at Augusta. The other time was 1997 when he went on to shatter most tournament records at the Masters.
 
Woods is in good company at that score as defending champion Mike Weir is plus-4 and will begin his day on Friday at the par-3 16th tee.
 
'I never felt comfortable,' said Weir. 'Tomorrow morning I have to try to hit it and find something.'
 
Scoring was not good on Thursday as the course played fast before the storms. Augusta did not change that much after the delay as only 13 players are under par.
 
Padraig Harrington, with two top-4 finishes in the last two starts on the PGA Tour, shot a 74. Vijay Singh, the 2000 winner of the green jacket, posted a 75 and John Daly lumbered to 78 on Thursday.
 
Phil Mickelson, widely considered a pre-tournament favorite to finally win a major title, double bogeyed the par-3 16th en route to an even-par 72.
 
For the second consecutive year, there was no honorary starter and the opening round of the 2004 season's first major was bittersweet.
 
Bruce Edwards, the longtime caddie of former Masters champion Tom Watson, died early Thursday morning at his home in Florida after a yearlong battle with ALS. He was 49 years old.
 
Watson received the news Thursday morning before his 8:44 a.m. tee time. He shot a 4-over-par 76 in the first round.
 
'He's not with us in body anymore but I can tell you he's with us in spirit,' said Watson, referring to his friend Edwards. 'He could make you laugh at the worst times. If you ever ran across him, you knew what a genuine person he was.'
 
Also on people's minds on Thursday was Arnold Palmer. The four-time champion is playing in his 50th Masters and announced that this will be the last time he tees it up in the tournament.
 
He finished with a 12-over-par 84.
 
'It was tough and I didn't play very well,' said Palmer, who may take over as an honorary starter next year. 'I understand it's time. It's time to sit back, watch and enjoy.'
 
With one Masters career winding down, another was just getting started.
 
Rose flew out of the gate quickly in the first round with a pair of birdies at his first two holes, including a 30-footer at the first. He birdied the ninth to make the turn at 3-under-par 33.
 
Rose found his first bit of trouble at the 11th, the lone hole that was changed this year thanks to 36 pine trees. He three-putted from 20 feet for bogey at the hole but rebounded at 13 when he blasted out of a bunker to four feet to set up birdie at the par-5 hole.
 
At the challenging closing holes at Augusta, Rose played more like a seasoned veteran, not a 23-year-old playing in his second Masters. At 17, Rose sank a four-footer for birdie, then holed an eight-footer at the last to polish off his 67.
 
'Obviously I had the dream start, going birdie-birdie gets you into the tournament right from the start,' said Rose. 'I crushed my drive on the first hole and felt really comfortable after that.'
 
Rose burst onto the golf scene in 1998 when he tied for fourth place at the British Open as an amateur. He turned professional the next day but struggled to make cuts, missing his first 17 in a row.
 
He broke into the winner's circle at the 2002 dunhill championship and added a second victory at the British Masters. Rose thinks all of the struggles assist him on the course.
 
'I was putting a lot of pressure on myself,' admitted Rose, who hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation on Thursday. 'I really felt like what I've been through has made it much easier and made me able to get through the finish line in a couple of tournaments.'
 
DiMarco made it through the first five holes with pars. At the sixth, DiMarco hit a 5-iron just short of the hole, then watched as the ball trickled in for the first ace at six since 1972 when Charles Coody recorded a hole-in-one.
 
'It was just a very perfect shot,' said DiMarco, who withdrew after a first-round 82 last year. 'It was one of my best hole-in-ones I've ever made. I can promise you that.'
 
He also birdied No. 15 to polish off his 69.
 
Haas, like Rose, broke out early Thursday with an 8-foot birdie putt at the first and a tap-in birdie at the par-5 second. He hit his approach 45 feet from the hole at the fifth and three-putted, missing an 8-footer for par.
 
The 50-year-old knocked a 9-iron to a foot to set up an easy birdie at No. 7. Haas hit his second into a bank right of the bunker at 13 and after his ball settled, he putted six feet short of the hole. Haas drained the birdie putt at the par-5 hole to join DiMarco at minus-3.
 
'I played extremely well, drove the ball well, hit a lot of good iron shots, made some nice putts,' said Haas. 'I think somebody 50 can (win). I just happen to be there.'
 
Darren Clarke, the first-round leader in 2003, and Chris Riley are tied at 2-under-par 70. Ernie Els bogeyed the 17th, the last hole he played on Thursday, to fall to 2 under. Alex Cejka is also 2 under with the 18th left to play.
 
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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."