Golf-Marathon ahead as DeChambeau leads, Woods looks for more Augusta magic

By Thomson Reuters Apr 12, 2024 | 7:37 AM

By Steve Keating

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Bryson DeChambeau sits atop the leaderboard while Tiger Woods faces another Masters test on Friday as the year’s first major looks to get back on schedule after a rain-hit opening round.

After storms delayed the start of play by 2-1/2 hours on Thursday, 27 golfers, including Woods, will pull double duty to finish up their first rounds before heading right back out onto a sun bathed Augusta National for the second.

LIV Golf’s DeChambeau used a sizzling burst of late birdies to muscle his way to seven-under 65 and a one-shot clubhouse lead over world number one Scottie Scheffler on Thursday.

The 30-year-old will have a more routine start to Friday, heading out at 11:54 am (1554 GMT) with American compatriot Gary Woodland and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen.

Masters debutant Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark sits two shots behind the leader with three holes to play, with 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, making his first start since shoulder surgery in September, in the clubhouse at three off the pace.

Woods, the winner of five Green Jackets, has produced a long list of magical Masters moments and will need to conjure up one more as the he bids for a record 24th consecutive made cut at Augusta National.

Sitting at one-under through 13 holes, Woods is facing a marathon day that is certain to test the 48-year-old’s will and injury-battered body.

Woods had played just 24 holes this year coming into the opening round and the 15-times major winner will try to play nearly as many in a single day as he eyes the Masters cut record and a sixth Green Jacket that he insists is within his reach.

World number two Rory McIlroy, in a high-profile group with Scheffler and Olympic champion Xander Schauffele, will look to build on his opening one-under 71 as the Northern Irishman makes a 10th attempt at completing a career Grand Slam of four majors.

Spaniard Jon Rahm, looking to become the fourth golfer to win back-to-back Green Jackets, will try to get his title defence on track after a lacklustre opening one-over 73.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Augusta; Editing by Ken Ferris)