Without Tiger Woods playing in the Masters for the first time in his career, there was concern over whether or not this year’s tournament would have the same drama that many have grown accustomed to over the past few years. If there was one thing to take away from day one, it was this: Augusta National is not going to give up the green jacket without a fight.
Bill Haas is in the clubhouse as the leader at 4-under after day one, though the average score after the first round was 3 over par, proving once again why this is the greatest tournament of the year. With two former Masters champions nipping at his heels, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson, Haas will have his work cut out for him heading into day two. That being said, here are a few bold predictions looking ahead in this tournament.
An Australian will finish day two in the lead, and it won’t be Scott. Marc Leishman finished his first round with a 2-under 72, two strokes back of the lead. Leishman finished the back nine with seven pars and two birdies, putting a strong finish together on a very difficult golf course. This finish should help keep his confidence up heading into day two.
No amateurs will make the cut for the first time in four years. It seems unlikely, but for each of the past four years, an amateur has made the cut at Augusta. Unfortunately, this streak will probably end this year thanks to a very challenging course set-up. After a rough opening round of 4-over 76, Phil Mickelson will turn it around and finish under par in round 2. Taking a look at Mickelson’s score card, if you were to cover up holes seven and 15, it would appear that he was in the hunt for the lead. If Lefty can eliminate those holes where he seems to implode, he can easily turn this one back around.
20-year-old Jordan Spieth will close out day 2 among the top five. After shooting a very good opening round 1-under 71, Spieth finds himself squarely in the thick of things after day one. With only one tour win under his young belt, it will be difficult for Spieth to continue his success, though if he can stay in the right frame of mind, he has a very good chance of making a run toward the lead.