Golf

Casey holds two-shot lead at Masters

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Paul Casey of England shot 7-under-par 65 for a two-shot lead during the rain-interrupted first round of the Masters on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

Casey, who had a morning tee time, produced his lowest opening round in a major.

Defending champion Tiger Woods also had a strong start, posting a 4-under 68.

Webb Simpson, who began on the back nine, and Xander Schauffele ended up sharing the second spot with 67s among golfers completing their rounds. Simpson had a chip-in from the fringe on No. 1 when he began his second nine of the day.

More than 40 other golfers must finish their first rounds Friday prior to the second round. It was the first time a Masters round didn’t conclude in the day that it began since 2006.

Justin Thomas is 5 under through 10 holes. He had birdies on the first three holes.

In the early going, Simpson had joined England’s Lee Westwood at 5 under after 11 holes — with a birdie on No. 1 and an eagle 3 on No. 2. Simpson made it around without a bogey.

Westwood posted a 68 along with 2018 champion Patrick Reed, South African Louis Oosthuizen and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama. Reed notched birdies on his last three holes.

Woods, who began on the 10th tee, held a score of 3 under through seven holes by early in the afternoon. He recorded pars on his final eight holes to end without a bogey for the first time in his last 106 rounds in majors.

Woods had his first birdie on No. 13, then had two birdies across the next three holes.

Adam Scott, who got in 10 holes, Matthew Wolff, who was through 11 holes, and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli, who finished nine holes, also are at 4 under.

Play was suspended shortly after the first few groups teed off Thursday morning. Heavy rains fell on the course with storms in the area, causing golfers to be called off the course.

Eighteen golfers began rounds before a delay of 2 hours, 45 minutes. Woods was warming up in preparation for the round when play was suspended.

U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who like Woods began on the 10th tee, took a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 13th hole. It was his first double-bogey in a major since 2016. He recovered to pull to even par through nine holes and 2 under for the round.

Because of the change to November dates, tee times were set for the first and 10th tees. It’s the first time the tournament has been contested in November, shifting from April when the event was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s a shorter period of daylight, so with the delay it wasn’t surprising that there were incomplete rounds.

Patrons aren’t permitted on the course, leaving many golfers commenting about the quiet atmosphere for one of the world’s most renowned sports competitions.

–Field Level Media

Categories: Golf, PGA Tour, Sports

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