A fascinating first day at the 83rd Masters and when the final putt was holed we were left with joint leaders with ‘Mr Major’ Brooks Koepka and ‘The Mad Scientist’ Bryson Dechambeau, who both shot 66.
Friday’ looks to be just as exciting and there are some juicy looking three-balls to get stuck into.
It is often dangerous siding with Round One leaders the next day, however we know that Brooks Koepka is not a man to fold under a Major Championship spotlight.
I don’t expect anything as spectacular from him today as yesterday, it is hard to make a case for either of his playing partners Jordan Spieth or Paul Casey to outscore him when they tee off at 4.04pm UK time.
Spieth continued to cut a frustrated figure on his way to a 75 yesterday, while Casey simply had a shocker shooting 81.
The 13/10 on offer for Brooks to come out on top again seems more than fair to me.
Justin Rose has history over the years though of starting slowly in Majors – before clawing his way back into contention. The World No 1 is not the sort of character to get too disheartened by one disappointing round and looks a play in his group’s 3.53pm tee off.
Of his playing partners, Phil Mickelson shot 67 while Justin Thomas, shot a 73.
Both are more than capable of putting up a decent number today, however Phil has shown this season when going 79-65 in Mexico and 68-74 the following week at the API, that what happens one day with him doesn’t really have much baring on the next.
I am happy to take the 6/4 here on Rose to turn the tables to complete our acca.
Another Englishman Tommy Fleetwood also catches my eye when he tees off later in the day at 6.38pm in the company of Xander Schauffele and Gary Woodland again.
All three played solidly on day one, with Woodland marginally getting the better of his playing partners with a round of 70, compared to Fleetwood’s 71 and Schauffele’s 73.
Schauffele’s approach play was not as strong as the other two and he closed with a six on 18, so you would have to think that this, coupled with his lesser of experience of Augusta, would make him the weak link here.
What really attracts me to Tommy Fleetwood though, is that he is ‘Mr Friday’ on the PGA Tour. He tops the PGA Tour Round 2 scoring averages this season and the Englishman has a clear pattern Stateside of starting solidly on Thursday before catching fire on Friday.
Take the 6/4 for him to outscore his playing partners and continue this pattern today.
Tiger Woods made a strong start to his Masters campaign with a round of 70. However, his playing partner, and our headline tip for the week, Jon Rahm went one better with a 69.
I fancy the Spaniard to get the better of Tiger and Haotong Li, again today.
Unlike some players, Jon Rahm seems inspired when Tiger is around. He memorably took him down in the Ryder Cup singles in Paris in the Autumn, before then going on to win Tiger’s Hero World Challenge event at the back end of the year in fine style.
I am expecting Rahm to push on today and to get himself right in the hunt for the weekend. While Tiger, nor Li, are over-looked lightly, I am happy to side with Rahm at 6/5 in this 6.49pm tee time today.
For those looking for something more speculative lets take a chance on World amateur No 1 Victor Hovland at 11/4 to outscore Webb Simpson and defending champ Patrick Reed when they get underway at 6.16pm.
Hovland is an amateur destined for the very top and matched his more illustrious partners yesterday with a 72. With defending champion Reed struggling and Simpson never having produced his best at Augusta, the Norwegian can get the better of his playing partners today.