Willett rights ship after shaky start in title defenceBy Darlene Powers Apr 08, 2017
But it could have been even better for the 22-year-old three-time European Tour victor, from Hallamshire. who had been three under par before a wayward tee shot led to a double-bogey six on the 18th.
Spieth had excelled in the previous first rounds, shooting 71 in 2014, 64 in his winning year of 2015 and 66 last year. He will be among 20 first-timers to tee up at the Augusta Masters on Thursday. He finished with a three-over par 75.
Willett suffered a dreaded shank on the 445-yard par four on his way to a quadruple-bogey eight, having carded a double-bogey six there in his opening 73.
Chris Wood, the reigning BMW PGA champion, has one of the youngest patrons on the course following him this week - his six-week old son.
"This is my 12th Masters so it's a course I feel I could play without a practice round and feel confident", said Rose yesterday.
One of those fans who cheered was Atlanta's David Chapman. He's got three consecutive top-10s at the Masters, and he's played well in limited events since returning from a rib injury, so he's far from a long-shot. "He's already played it competitively". His ball-striking capabilities are the envy of all professionals on tour, yet his putting and mental fragility have resulted in him not fulfilling his potential on the biggest stages. Do not dare suggest to the 43-year-old that this was a missed opportunity after the collapse of Jordan Spieth or, indeed, that fear again set in when he and Danny Willett found themselves as key beneficiaries of the Texan's tale of woe. You can't just peg it up and take on the golf course.
Chapman's friend, David Whitfield, of Palm Springs, Calif., said, "It's just another hole". You've climbed Everest and you've put your flag in. Even if Westwood had saved par at the same hole, he would have been two adrift with only two holes to play. I can remember the golf course well and I think it's pretty cool that the victor gets to wear the green jacket.
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He said the existing licensees invested money under the current requirements and moved forward in "good faith". Brittney Pettersen, D-Lakewood. "It does so without playing games or being cute".
Hoffman acknowledged he was simply trying to make pars in the tricky conditions - gusts approached 40 miles per hour, flung hats off patrons' heads and sent egg-salad sandwich wrappers blowing across greens and fairways - so he wouldn't shoot himself out of the event.
Phil Mickelson gave his large following a thrill and the early Masters leaderboard a jolt with an eagle on the par-5 second hole. "And unfortunately I still thought of it as a birdie hole today, and it really isn't when you lay up".
"I was trying not to have higher expectations but I think that's kind of crept in a little bit", he added. I struck the shot well; I just hit the wrong club.
"This is very much a menu of what I have liked and had growing up, with the British influence in there massively".
When Spieth finished, William McGirt was leading with 69.
Westwood said the run of birdies was perhaps his best stretch ever at the Masters, but pointed to pars from 10-12 as vital as his tournament threatened to slip away.
The Sheffield golfer performed solidly in the first round of his defence of The Masters, recovering from carding sixes on the first two holes to finish +1 on a hard day of play for the whole field.
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