PGA Tour

The 2021 Masters Tournament: Top moments from Day 1

2 days ago

After five short months, the Masters Tournament is back.

Dustin Johnson donned the green jacket for the first time in his career in November after 2020's edition of the tournament was delayed due to the pandemic.

Now, the golf world is back to its regularly scheduled programming, with Augusta National serving as the epicenter of the sport as the course's flora is in spring bloom.

Here are the top moments from the opening day of golf's crown jewel:

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Uh oh, daddio

It wasn't the first thing to happen on Thursday, but it certainly was the oddest. It was also, in a way, an iconic moment in father-son history.

Rory McIlroy's day didn't get much better after the 7th, finishing 4 over with six bogeys and two birdies.

A special start

Early in the day, the tournament got off to a lovely start. A trio of golf legends formally opened the event with Lee Elder, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus continuing the Honorary Starter Tradition held at the Masters since 1963.

A trail-blazing icon of the sport, Elder was the first Black man to compete at the tournament. This was Elder's first time being honored with the ceremony, and while he didn't hit an opening drive, his presence and the ovation the 86-year-old received made for magical moments.

Following that, Player, 85 years old and winner of three Masters jackets, and Nicklaus, winner of a record six Masters, took to the tee box.

The 81-year-old Nicklaus even cracked a joke, admitting that crouching to put the ball on the tee "was the hardest part."

Then, of course, the Golden Bear stroked the ball cleanly and the 2021 Masters officially began.

Required reading

If you're looking for a bit of background to set the stage for the day, check out Everything You Need To Know: Masters 2021 for the tournament's history, schedule, names to watch and a whole lot more.

Meanwhile, Martin Rogers broke down Jordan Spieth's long road back to prominence in the sport.

And if having a little action on the event is more your speed, Sam Panayotovich got the inside look at how oddsmakers set and shift lines ahead of one of golf's biggest global events.

Struggling Speith

This is relatable. 

All rosy

Justin Rose is having himself a day. He's scored an eagle and six birdies over his last nine, leading the field by three strokes.

Rose tied Jack Nicklaus for most Round 1 leads or co-leads at the Masters in tournament history (4).

Fan-favorite: hole-in-one

Tommy Fleetwood made a hole-in-one at the par-3 16th.

It gets better, as this marks his second consecutive tournament with an ace.

Green goodness

Defending champion Dustin Johnson made an unreal chip for birdie – we'd expect nothing less.

Need for speed

Bubba Watson's shot was unconventional but worked out swimmingly.

Poulter placement

Ian Poulter started off his day strong with this beautiful approach shot at No. 5. 

He closed the hole with a three, after knocking in the short putt. 

More magic at No. 5

The fifth hole was not only Ian Poulter's friend, but Corey Conners' as well. 

Can you still tap a putt in from distance? Mr. Conners says yes.

Almost eagle

Does it get any closer than this? 

Hudson Swafford had to settle for the birdie on No. 15.

Viktor's victory

After opening with a triple bogey, Viktor Hovland got back to even, scoring the first birdie to open the tournament. 

Early lead

Hideki Matsuyama eagled the par-5 eighth to take the outright lead at 3 under par.

"Piece of cake"

It was an easy finish for Poulter with the chip shot.

Caught the cup

Hovland's deep birdie putt on the green at the par-5 15th is a thing of beauty.

Reeding the green

Green jacket holder Patrick Reed makes his way up the leaderboard with a perfectly executed ball.

Oh, so close

Jason Kokrak just barely missed, holing out for eagle.


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