Charley Hoffman

Well, that’s a first. Charley Hoffman’s never led after the opening round of a major and now he’s got a four shot lead after an outstanding 65. No-one’s held a bigger cushion since 1955.

He did it by taking full advantage of some better weather conditions in a blistering back nine. It isn’t over yet, but the Hoff – catchy, right? – has some solid Masters form to draw on. It’s the big time now, though.


Willie McGirt

I know he won the Memorial. I had to look up everything else. He’s played in four majors and missed the cut in three of them. Great start, but now it gets serious.


Lee Westwood

masters power rankings

Whatever happens to Westy when he gets to Augusta, he should bottle and sell it. Five birdies in a row on the back nine and, unbelievably, he’s right in the frame. I know we say it every time but: could this finally be his year?


Jason Dufner

Does anything excite this guy? He could win a green jacket in deadpan. I think I saw a mini fist-pump after his chip on 17. Maybe it was a tremor.

Matt Fitzpatrick

How would the past champions react to another evening of mini cottage pies? A double bogey at the last marred an otherwise excellent start but Augusta’s still a small suburb of Sheffield at the moment.

Justin Rose

masters power rankings

If you can make out the feint sound of someone weeping, they are my tears after realising he’s not in my betting portfolio. God, he’s everything you want in a golfer, isn’t he? Reliable, dependable – keep that putter in gear and it’s yours Justin. Maybe.

Phil Mickelson

Eagles, bogeys, birdies – just another day at the office for Big Phil. On a difficult day, though, his 71 means he’s in cracking shape to try and make it four. How old was Jack again?

Ernie Els

Come on, admit it. You’d written him off. I lost count of how many putts he had on the first last year (I think it was six) and he looked out the door when three over after seven. Then something magical happened on the back nine. Let’s make sure this isn’t the last time we see him at Augusta.


Thomas Pieters

Went all Jordan Spieth for a while after dropping three shots round Amen Corner. A double on the last marred an excellent card but that 72 is well in with a shout.

Rory McIlroy

masters power rankings

A sturdy breeze is Rory’s kryptonite and, once again, his hopes of a green jacket looked like being blown off course on the first day.

Battled hard but seems to have to do this every year. Tried out Sergio Garcia’s driver in practice rounds and probably should have pocketed it. There’ll be a big padlock on the door of the TaylorMade truck.


Jason Day

Could have played the back nine with his shoes and socks off he was in the water that much. Should be planning a weekend off but back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 have given him a tournament lifeline.

Jordan Spieth

To the 12th you can now add the 15th. I’ll bet Jordan would happily fill in all the water at Augusta if you gave him a spade and a ton of sand.

After that calamitous nine at 15 (I still can’t fathom how he did that) he pulled out a birdie at the next hole and then hammered in a difficult par putt at the last. He doesn’t lack for courage.


Martin Kaymer

masters power rankings

Seven over for a six hole stretch on the back nine. You don’t like Augusta, Martin. You know it, we know it. Give the invite to someone else next year.

Tyrrell Hatton

There’s a reason a rookie hasn’t put on the Green Jacket for nearly 40 years. Now Tyrrell knows why. Start the car.


Dustin Johnson

Defeated by a staircase. That is all.