Posted in Golf

Masters 2017: Charley Hoffman provides masterclass on how to take on Augusta in difficult conditions.

The American leads after round one on seven-under-par. 

hoffman.jpg
Hoffman leads the 2017 Masters after the opening round. (Image Credit: MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS Via. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/golf/wind-kicks-up-at-the-masters-and-charley-hoffman-handles-it-best-after-one-round/2017/04/06/9c06abd4-1afc-11e7-bcc2-7d1a0973e7b2_story.html?utm_term-.ba12980f4fbb.

On a day where previous green jacket winners and major champions struggled, Charley Hoffman produced the round of his professional career.

The 40-year old sank nine birdies to score a seven-under-par 65, four shots clear of fellow American William McGirt in second.

They were the only two golfers to finish with a score above 70, but it will be Hoffman that will be on all of the back pages this morning.

Born in San Diego, the Californian has only finished in the top 25 of a major once in his career, back at the 2015 Masters.

After recording a two-under 34 on the front nine, Hoffman hit four consecutive birdies through holes 14, 15, 16 and 17.

His four shot lead is the largest after the opening round at the Masters since 1941.

McGirt is his closet challenger after he made an impressive start to his Masters debut.

The world number 53, who is only one place behind Hoffman in the rankings, is another American that lacks pedigree in the majors.

He missed the cut at both the US Open and The Open last year, before finishing a respectable 10th at the USPGA.

Although two Americans lead, there is a strong field of Englishmen who are only a few shots back and could mount a serious challenge for the green jacket if they continue their fine form into round two.

Lee Westwood hit an eagle on the 13th and sits third on two-under-par, one shot clear of Justin Rose, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan.

Rory McIlroy finished strongly with three birdies to end the day on even par, as he looks to complete his quest to win the grand slam.

But with powerful gusts and strong winds, the conditions at Augusta were the most difficult they have been in recent history.

It seemed to have an effect on most of the players out on the field, with many battling to try and get round on level par to stay in contention.

This wasn’t a day where the Masters could’ve been won, but it most certainly one where it could’ve been lost.

Those who struggled included two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson (+3), 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson (+4) and world number four Hideki Matsuyama (+4).

Jordan Spieth quadruple-bogeyed a hole for the second successive round at the Masters. Following his disaster at the 12th in the final round last year – a hole which ultimately cost him a second consecutive green jacket – the 2015 Masters champion struggled this time on the 15th.

The 23-year old needed nine strokes to complete the par-5 hole, and he ended on three-over-par alongside Watson. He will need to provide some more Masters magic if he is to get back into contention.

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Author:

Aspiring Sports Journalist. Studying @ Southampton Solent University. Sport is what I love to write about. Have a read, leave a comment, enjoy.

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