The pearls of the first day of the Augusta Masters: the efforts of Tiger Woods, the most exclusive dinner and the rival that the weather offers

The summary of Tiger Woods’ performance

Thursday to Augusta the first major championship of the year was launched. The 50 millimeters that fell between Wednesday afternoon and early Thursday made it last half an hour, but nothing prevented another tradition of the Masters from materializing.

In 1981 a golf legend like him byron nelson, a two-time Master’s winner, was named by the club as honorary holder. He joined Gene Sarazenwinner in 1935, e Sam Snead, who has won the tournament 3 times. Earlier on Thursday the three met on the 1st tee, hit a tee shot and the tournament was inaugurated. The death of these three legends left a blank for several years, until the club offered itself in 2007 Arnold Palmer deliver the opening blow. Three years later he joined Jack Nicklausmaximum winner of the Master with 6 titles, and in 2012 the trio was completed with the South African Gary player, first international player to win the tournament. Palmer’s death left a post that was only completed this year at the invitation of the club Tom Watsontwice winner, to occupy it.

Thursday morning it was drizzling in Augusta, but the three legends were present at one as on so many other occasions. The Chariman of the club made the introductions and Player (86) was the first to strike, behind him was Nicklaus (82) and when it was the turn, Watson (72), asked for permission to say a few words . He thanked the club for the distinction and said he felt very honored to be able to share that moment with two golf legends.

The 86th edition of the Masters was inaugurated and everyone was waiting for 11:04 to see Tiger Woods return to competitive golf. The 5-time Masters winner did not disappoint anyone and ended up signing a 71, 1 under par, with a few hits that resembled a young tiger. At the end they asked him to describe the ride and he said: “Very difficult”, and added, “to get to tomorrow I have to go into a tub of ice water”. You could see him walking with some difficulty and at the end you could see the effort he had made to complete the tour on his face.. We’ll see what happens, but the fans left Augusta happy just to see him back on the pitch after the terrible accident.

Last year the triumph corresponded to the Japanese Hideki Matsuyama and everyone was waiting for the menu he would choose for the traditional dinner of champions. It started in 1952 at the suggestion of Ben Hogan, who asked for permission to organize a dinner with former Masters winners. What is called was formed the master’s circle, a place you can only belong to after winning the Master. The dinner is held on Tuesday evening and only the champions and the club president attend. For years Byron Nelson was the host and his replacement over 20 years ago was Ben Crenshaw, who said a few words and welcomed Matsuyama into the club. Gary Player got up and asked for permission to say a few words, but he made it clear that he would do it in Japanese. The speech lasted a minute and Matsuyama really appreciated the South African’s effort to have it done in his language. The menu was sushi / sashimi to start, with a wagyu steak accompanied with mushrooms. Matsuyama is recovering from a back injury and has signed the par 72.

The morning was perhaps the best part of the day to play because the wind only picked up at noon and those who played in the afternoon had to fight a lot to be in the lead. The field was in perfect condition despite the pouring rain of the last few days, thanks to a facility that Augusta has and which is unique in the world. Many years ago someone from the club had the idea of ​​putting a radiant floor system under the greens in order to manage the temperature of the ground. This was first installed on holes 12 and 16, both of which had plenty of shade for most of the day, and then extended to the rest of the holes. This was only on the greens, but then someone thought it was also good for the whole course, but with one difference: a system had to be invented that could remove the moisture from the fairways to be sheltered from the rain. Thus was born the Sub-Air System, which today makes the pitch look as if it had never rained. I don’t know exactly how it works, but you walk into some parts of the venue and hear turbines under the ground and see how steam comes out of some sewers. Thus they manage to dry the fairways of Augusta.

The forecast for the next few days is very good (REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst)
The forecast for the next few days is very good (REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst)

In the end, the Korean Sunjae Im He was leading with a 67-hit card, with many of the candidates close to the top. the Australian Cameron Smithwho will finish second in 2020 and who has just won the Players Championship, leaves with 68, while a shot further back the new number 1 in the world peeps out, Scottie ScheflerEnglish Danny Willetchampion in 2016, Dustin Johnsonchampion of 2020 and the Chilean Joachim Niemannwho shared the exit with Tiger.

For the rest of the week the forecast is very good, but with a lot of wind, especially on Friday, and very cold on Saturday. When I say cold, I mean a minimum of 1 degree and a maximum of 14 for Saturday, with wind. Don’t expect low scores and don’t be surprised if the winning score is in single digits below par. This is just the beginning and the best is yet to come.

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