Jordan Spieth has begun his bid for redemption at the Masters, while Dustin Johnson's fitness remains in doubt and J.B. Holmes and Scott Piercy moved into the early lead at Augusta.
The inclement weather that caused the cancelation of the traditional Par-3Contest on Wednesday had subsided in Georgia, but strong winds made life difficult for the early starters with 20 players shooting bogey or worse on the opening hole.
Spieth is looking to regain the title 12 months after his Sundayimplosion at the 12th, where he carded a 4-over-par 7that allowed Danny Willett to pounce and win his first green jacket.
The American is part of a strong group that includes two-time major champion Martin Kaymer and Matthew Fitzpatrick, who made his debut for Europe at the Ryder Cup last year.
World No. 1Johnson slipped on some stairs Wednesday and sustained a back injury andthe latest reports are conflicting over if hewill be fit enough to tee off later in the day with the likes of Jason Day and Rory McIlroy also yet to begin their rounds.
Of the early starters, Holmes made a great start with birdies at the second and third left him 2 under through four holes.
Piercy was with him atop the leaderboard. He recovered from a bogey at the first with three birdies in the next six.
A cluster of four players were one shot adrift, including Kevin Chappell, who was 2 under before dropping a shot, veteran Sandy Lyle and Thomas Pieters.
The strong winds caused problems for several players. Louis Oosthuizen was four under through five, while Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson were three under and two under respectively.
Here’s a look at the live 2017 Masters leaderboard from Round 1 at Augusta National Golf Club.