Charley Hoffman off to a great start at the Masters

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Charley Hoffman

Due to a lingering back injury sustained from a fall on a staircase Wednesday at his Augusta rental home, World No. 1 Dustin Johnson withdrew from the Masters Tournament.

 

The only other player to not compete in a Masters Tournament while ranked World No. 1 was Tiger Woods in 2014.

 

First-Round Leaderboard

Charley Hoffman           65 (-7)

William McGirt              69 (-3)

Lee Westwood              70 (-2)

 

First-Round Lead Notes

The first-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win the Masters Tournament 16 times in the previous 80 events. Trevor Immelman (2008) and Jordan Spieth (2015) are the only players since 1985 to carry the first-round lead/co-lead on to victory.

 

Eight of the last nine winners of the Masters have opened with a round in the 60s. Last year, Danny Willett opened with a 2-under 70. Since 2000, the only eventual winner of the Masters to shoot an over-par opening round is Tiger Woods (74/2005).

 

The last 11 Masters winners have been in the top 10 after round one. Last year, Danny Willett was T9 after opening with a 2-under 70. The worst first-round position by an eventual champion was Tiger Woods (T33/2005 – won via playoff).

 

In 2016, Jordan Spieth’s opening-round, 6-under 66 was good for a two-shot lead over Danny Lee and Shane Lowry.

 

Charley Hoffman

With nine birdies (4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17), Charley Hoffman opened with a 7-under 65. His only two bogeys came at the third and fifth holes, both par fours.

 

Hoffman’s four-stroke lead is the largest at the Masters after 18 holes since 1955, when Jack Burke led by the same margin over Julius Boros.

 

This marks Hoffman’s sixth 18-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR. His best finish of the previous five was T7 at the 2013 Travelers Championship. Most recently, he held the outright lead after 18 holes at last year’s Shell Houston Open, before finishing T33.

 

Hoffman hit just seven of Augusta National’s 14 fairways in regulation, but missed only four of 18 greens. His 25 putts tied the fewest for the day.

 

Hoffman, who is making his fourth start in the Masters Tournament, opened with a 5-under 67 in 2015 to claim a share of second place after round one. He followed it with a 68 to head into the weekend in second place alone, five strokes behind Jordan Spieth. Hoffman would finish T9 after weekend scores of 71-74. He finished T27 in 2014 and T29 last year.

 

Hoffman is making his 23rd major championship start, with his T9 at Augusta in 2015 his best showing.

 

Hoffman is the winner of four PGA TOUR events, with his most recent title coming at last year’s Valero Texas Open.

 

Hoffman is making his 13th start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season this week, having already collected two top-5 finishes; T4/Genesis Open and T2/Arnold Palmer Invitational. He is coming off a T23 showing at last week’s Shell Houston Open.

 

William McGirt

One of 19 players making his first start in this year’s Masters Tournament, South Carolina’s William McGirt opened with a 3-under 69. He made four birdies against a single bogey at the par-4 third hole.

 

McGirt hit 11 of 14 fairways in regulation, 11 of 18 greens and needed 27 putts to complete his round.

 

McGirt, age 37, earned a berth into this year’s Masters by virtue of his maiden PGA TOUR win at last year’s Memorial Tournament.

 

This week’s Masters marks McGirt’s fifth start in a major Championship. After missing the cut in his first three starts (2012 PGA Championship, 2016 U.S. Open and 2016 Open Championship), he finished T10 at last year’s PGA Championship.

 

Number attempts before a first victory at the Masters:
1, Horton Smith, 1934
1, Gene Sarazen, 1935
1, Fuzzy Zoeller, 1979
2, Jimmy Demaret, 1940
2, Herman Keiser, 1946
2, Charl Schwartzel, 2011
2, Jordan Spieth, 2015

 

Lee Westwood

Making his 18th start at the Masters Tournament and 76th major championship start, England’s Lee Westwood birdied five straight holes coming in, Nos. 13-17, to post a 2-under 70.

 

In 17 previous Masters starts, Westwood has claimed six top-10 finishes, two of which were runner-up showings (2010, 2016).

 

In 75 previous major championship starts, he has collected 18 top-10 finishes, but has been unable to claim a victory.

 

Westwood hit 10 of 14 fairways in regulation, 12 of 18 greens and needed 30 putts to complete his round.

 

Westwood is the winner of the 1988 Zurich Classic of New Orleans and 2010 FedEx St. Jude Classic on the PGA TOUR. He has amassed 39 international victories.

 

Russell Henley

The last man in the field, via his win at last week’s Shell Houston Open, Russell Henley opened with four birdies against three bogeys to post a 1-under 71.

 

In 11 rounds at the Masters Tournament now, today’s 71 marks just his fourth sub-par score. His best is a 4-under 68 in round one of 2015.

 

Henley won last week in Houston by three strokes over Sung Kang.

 

Henley is making his fourth start in the Masters Tournament and has improved each year; 2013/MC, 2014/T31, 2015/21st.

 

This week’s marks Henley’s 17th start in a major championship. His best finish is T12 at the 2015 PGA Championship.

Henley, winner of the 2013 Sony Open in Hawaii and 2014 Honda Classic before last week’s Shell Houston Open win, is making his 12th start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season. In addition to his third career TOUR victory last week, he finished inside the top 10 at The RSM Classic (T10) and Valspar Championship (T9).

 

Since 1934, just five players have won the week before winning the Masters Tournament.

2006           Phil Mickelson        won BellSouth Classic followed by Masters

1988           Sandy Lyle             won Greater Greensboro Open followed by the Masters

1959           Art Wall                  won the Azalea Open followed by the Masters

1949           *Sam Snead           won the Greater Greensboro Open followed by the Masters

1939           Ralph Guldahl         won the Greater Greensboro Open followed by the Masters

 

*No event scheduled the week after first win. Major was next event contested

 

Kevin Chappell

Making his second start in the Masters Tournament and 12th in a major championship, Kevin Chappell made four birdies and three bogeys in round one, good for a 1-under 71.

 

Chappell posted rounds of 71-76-71-76—294 (+6) in T44 in 2012. His best major championship finish is T3 at the 2011 U.S. Open.

 

Chappell earned a berth into this year’s Masters Tournament by virtue of his 2016 start at the TOUR Championship, where he lost in a playoff to Rory McIlroy.

 

Chappell, who remains in search of his first career PGA TOUR win, is making his 12th start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season this week. His best showing is a T35 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.

 

Chappell has finished alone in second place four times on the PGA TOUR, including the 2016 PLAYERS Championship. He finished T2 at the 2011 Valero Texas Open and 2016 TOUR Championship.

 

Dating to 1970, the only players to make the Masters Tournament their first career victory on the PGA TOUR are Danny Willett (2016), Charl Schwartzel (2011) and Bernhard Langer (1985).

 

Phil Mickelson

Making his 25th start in the Masters Tournament, three-time champion Phil Mickelson opened with a 1-under 71 and is six strokes back at T4.

 

This marks the 10th occasion on which Mickelson has been inside the top 10 after 18 holes at the Masters. In his first start as an amateur in 1991, he was T9 after round one. His most recent stint inside the top 10 after 18 holes before this week was 2010 (T2).

 

Today’s round of 71 marks Mickelson’s 13th time to open a Masters with a sub-par score. Of his three Masters titles (2004, 2006, 2010), 2004 was the only year in which he didn’t open with a sub-par score (72).

 

Additional Player Notes

For the second straight round at the Masters Tournament, Jordan Spieth made a quadruple bogey. Following the 4-over score at the 12th hole in last year’s final round, the 2015 Masters champion took a nine at the 15th hole in round one today. He dropped from 1-under par to 3-over. Spieth followed the problematic hole with a birdie at the par-3 16th hole en route to a 3-over 75, his highest score in 13 rounds at Augusta. It also marks his fourth consecutive over-par score at Augusta (+7 cumulative).

 

On only one occasion has Spieth missed the cut in back-to-back starts on the PGA TOUR (2015 THE NORTHERN TRUST and Dell Technologies Championship). He is coming off a missed cut at last week’s Shell Houston Open.

 

2016 FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy opened with an even-par 72 in his ninth start in the Masters Tournament. His lone missed cut came in 2010 after opening with scores of 74-77—151 (+7). McIlroy’s two top-10 finishes at Augusta came in his last two starts of 2015 (4th) and 2016 (T10).

 

Defending Masters champion Danny Willett opened with a 1-over 73. Only three players have successfully defended a Masters title: Tiger Woods (2001-02), Nick Faldo (1989-90) and Jack Nicklaus (1965-66).

 

Fellow Englishmen to Willett Matthew Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan opened with 1-under 71s and are six strokes back.

 

Fitzpatrick overcame second- and third-round scores of 76-74 with a 5-under 67 Sunday to claim a share of seventh place. Sullivan, who missed the cut in his only other start at the Masters last year, was born one month after Jack Nicklaus claimed his sixth green jacket in 1986.

 

Miscellaneous Masters Notes

  • Dating to 1991, with the exception of Zach Johnson in 2007 (T4), Bubba Watson in 2012 (T3), Adam Scott in 2013 (3rd) and Danny Willett in 2016 (T5), each Masters champion has been T2 or better after 54 holes.
  • The only Masters champion not inside the top 10 on after 54 holes was Art Wall Jr. in 1959 (T13).
  • The third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win the Masters Tournament 43 (out of 80) times, most recently Jordan Spieth (2015), Bubba Watson (2014) and Angel Cabrera (2009).
  • The eventual Masters champion has come out of the final Sunday pairing 21 out of the last 26 years, with Zach Johnson (2007), Charl Schwartzel (2011), Bubba Watson (2012), Adam Scott (2013) and Danny Willett (2016) the exceptions.
  • The youngest winner of the Masters is Tiger Woods (1997, 21 years, 3 months, 14 days).
  • The oldest winner of the Masters is Jack Nicklaus (1986, 46 years, 2 months, 23 days).
  • Gary Player owns the most starts in Masters history (52).
  • The largest comeback victory at the Masters is eight strokes (Jack Burke, 1956). Burke was eight behind Ken Venturi through three rounds but edged Venturi by one with a closing round of 71 (compared to Burke’s 80).
  • Americans have won 10 of the last 17 Masters to 2000.
  • Six of the last 11 Masters champions played the week before their win, most recently Jordan Spieth (2015).

 

First timers at the Masters (19): Brad Dalke (A) (78), Tommy Fleetwood (78), Toto Gana (A) (81), Scott Gregory (A) (82), Adam Hadwin (75), Stewart Hagestad (A) (74), Tyrell Hatton (80), Mackenzie Hughes (79), Billy Hurley III (75), Si Woo Kim (75), Curtis Luck (A) (78), William McGirt (69), Alex Noren (74), Thomas Pieters (72), John Rahm (73), Brian Stuard (77), Daniel Summerhays (74), Hudson Swafford (77) and Hideto Tanihara (76).

Players won the Masters in their first appearance: Horton Smith (1934), Gene Sarazen (1935), Fuzzy Zoeller (1979).

 

Amateurs at the Masters (5): Brad Dalke (78), Toto Gana (81), Scott Gregory (82), Stewaret Hagestad (74) and Curtis Luck (78),

Best finishes by an amateur at the Masters: 2–Ken Venturi (1956); T2–Frank Stranahan (1947), Charles Roe (1961).

 

Fewest attempts before a first victory at the Masters:

1, Horton Smith, 1934

1, Gene Sarazen, 1935

1, Fuzzy Zoeller, 1979

2, Jimmy Demaret, 1940

2, Herman Keiser, 1946

2, Charl Schwartzel, 2011

2, Jordan Spieth, 2015

2, Danny Willett, 2016

 

Since 1934, most major starts without a victory:

Jay Haas                                  87

Lee Westwood                          75

Sergio Garcia                           73

Colin Montgomerie                    72

Miguel Angel Jimenez               71

Scott Hoch                               70

Brad Faxon                               68

Steve Stricker                           67

Robert Allenby                          65

Scott Verplank                          65

John Cook                                62

 

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