Bryson DeChambeau Masters Day One

DeChambeau leads, steady Scheffler and Willett’s return! Day One at the Masters

The biggest day of the golfing year so far, but how did things play out on the opening day of the Masters? NCG’s Matt Coles can fill you in on Thursday’s events at Augusta…


The World No 1, a returning champion and a LIV Golf star are among those at the top at the end of day one at the Masters!

The first round of the 2024 Masters Tournament was a memorable. There are some big names at the top of the leaderboard, and some that struggled in the testing conditions.

But what went down on a dramatic first day?

So what happened?

The start of the tournament was delayed by two and a half hours after rain had lashed the course through the night and early morning. It was not until 10:30am EST that play got underway at Augusta National, with Erik van Rooyen and Jake Knapp the first pairing.

This meant that the opening round could not be completed before darkness fell over Georgia, and those playing later in the day had to deal with strong, gusting winds, some of which were hitting 40mph at times.

The final group – featuring Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa and Tommy Fleetwood – could only get through ten holes before play was suspended at 7:51pm ET on Thursday evening. In total, nine groups will have to get up bright and early to finish off their first rounds.

Ryder Cup stars Nicolai Hojgaard, Max Homa, Tyrrell Hatton and Ludvig Aberg join Fleetwood inside the top ten, and among those that need to come back on Friday morning to complete their first rounds.

New Zealander Ryan Fox was the man in charge halfway through the day after going out in 31. A wayward tee shot on the par 5 13th was followed by a chunked approach into Rae’s Creek. He would make bogey, before then three-putting the 16th to drop another. He finished the day at 3-under, still good enough to be inside the top five.

Both Bryson DeChambeau and Byeong-Hun An started quickly, with the pair birdieing each of the opening three holes. The former would not make another birdie until the 12th, but he went on to grab four more to finish the day as the overnight leader at 7-under-par.

Unsurprisingly, World No 1 Scottie Scheffler is in contention. However, what might be surprising is that today saw the American shoot his first ever bogey-free round at Augusta National. He sits one back from DeChambeau at 6-under.

Masters Day One leaderboard

What they had to say?

Bryson DeChambeau

“First off, again, you know, winning at Winged Foot helped me understand how to win big tournaments. But a lot of patience, especially out here on this golf course where you feel like it’s gettable, you see it’s right in front of you, but it’s just tricky out here. It can be super tricky.

“Making sure that you play aggressively but in a safe manner to where it’s not going to get you into too much trouble. So for me, as my game has progressed, I’ve learned to be a — I’ve tried to be a little bit smarter out there on the golf course and not try to go for broke and go for every flag, but place it in the right position.

“For me, I have a level of respect for this golf course that’s a little bit different than a couple years ago, and clearly today was a great test of golf, and I was able to conquer a very difficult golf course today.

“Regarding the 67 comment, you know, you mess up. I’m not a perfect person. Everybody messes up. You learn from your mistake, and that was definitely one.”

Scottie Scheffler

“When I was walking up to the first tee, I was fairly surprised with how many people were under par already.

“Going into today with the forecast the way it was supposed to be, and I’ve played this tournament once before in some pretty high winds, and it’s an extremely challenging golf course.

“And, yeah, I felt like today I just did a really good job of — Teddy, I would say, did a really good job of kind of guessing the wind correctly, if that makes sense. You know, we stole a few shots on the par 3s, I felt like, and then I played the par 5s well.”

Danny Willett

“I feel all right. I think I might take the next six months off. No, it’s completely unexpected. Sometimes that happens, whatever. You make a couple of birdies and your mind starts thinking, all right, I can do it. It was nice to keep chilled out.

“Again, because it was playing tough, probably really made us concentrate that little bit more. Nice finish there and them last four holes to come back, and instead of posting an all right score of level-ish, which would, again, for me have been an amazing achievement, but to shoot 68, yeah, really happy.”

Wyndham Clark

“Yeah, we’ve got 54 holes. In LIV Golf they only play 54, so I like my chances. We’ve got a lot of golf left. As you can see, someone shot 7-under. I could do that tomorrow.”

Shot of the day

As you would expect, the opening day of the 2024 Masters Tournament saw some incredible golf shots.

On his way to holding the lead of the competition, Bryson DeChambeau pulled off an incredible approach to the par 5 15th hole from more than 220 yards. Add the fact that he was in the lead of the tournament and deep among the trees, and you get one of the shots of the day!

Elsewhere, Tony Finau found the 1st green from the 9th fairway, while Austin Eckroat ended a poor start with a chip-in eagle at the par 5 8th.

However, it was Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard who provided the fans with a couple of moments of magic. He chipped in from the left side of the 7th green, before then doing exactly the same at 12 for another birdie en route to finishing the day in 3rd place.

The feel good moments…

Englishman Danny Willett was playing a competitive round of golf for the first time in more than six months, after having undergone shoulder surgery.

With a lifetime invite to Augusta in his back pocket following his 2016 victory, Willett came back ahead of schedule to play at the Masters once more. He held a share of the lead early on thanks to four birdies on his front nine, the first of those being the opening birdie of the competition.

Willett would go on to card a first round 68 and finish the day at 4-under-par – just three shots behind overnight leader Bryson DeChambeau.

Danny Willett Masters day one

Stat of the day

There were plenty of great nuggets that came out of the opening day of the 2024 Masters. Matt Fitzpatrick birdied 11, 12 and 13 (all three holes of Amen Corner), doing it for the first time in his career.

Scottie Scheffler became only the third current World No 1 to shoot a round of 67 or less to kick off the Masters, while Patrick Cantlay‘s eagle on 17 was the first in the competition since 1998.

An opening 65 from Bryson DeChambeau saw him hold the overnight lead. It was also his joint-lowest round in a major championship, tying his 65 in the final round at Royal St George’s in 2021.

Justin Ray is the fountain of knowledge of where all these stats came from, and he also provided the world with an incredible stat about the great Tiger Woods.

Despite winning four times at Augusta since the turn of the century, Tiger had not birdied the opening hole to being Masters week.. Until today!

Brutal moments of the day…

For once, there was not really any brutal moments like we are used to seeing at Augusta National.

However, the gusting winds of up to 40mph, and the impending darkness in the last hour, brought Augusta to life. Players were backing off shots and putts, choosing clubs they wouldn’t dream of hitting on a normal day, and struggling to keep their ball on the planet at times…

And then there was Peter Malnati. He was in the group that just finished 18 following the horn, and it was obvious that he wanted to get out of Augusta National, and possibly even the state of Georgia, in a hurry.

The Masters debutant carded a 10-over-par round of 82 to sit stone dead last after the opening day…

Worst clobber on show?

We’ve seen some outrageous gear being worn at the majors in the last few years, with some of the J.Lindeberg apparel that Viktor Hovland has worn coming to mind.

However, on the opening day at Augusta, Spaniard Sergio Garcia blew anything that the Norwegian has worn completely out of the water.

There are not many who would mix a green shirt, white thermal layer and yellow trousers together in any situation, let alone the first day of the Masters. As you can tell, our man Matt Chivers was not impressed with Sergio…

However, that might not have been the worst of it. Jason Day’s trousers received some ‘love’ on social media on Thursday evening.

The Australian’s pants were reminiscent of sails on a boat thanks to their bagginess, with plenty of people making comments about them, including the commentators on Sky Sports.

Malbon Golf, the company that provides Day with his apparel, could not be bothered with any of it on socials though!

What did you make of day one of the Masters Tournament? Will it be Bryson or Scottie that goes on to win the tournament? Tell NCG on X!

NOW READ: Everything you need to know about the 2024 Masters Tournament

Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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