Friday November 13, 2020 – Serious question: with lockdowns coming back all over the country, what would you do to be at Augusta this weekend? Wrong answers only, please.

Round 1 on Thursday was delayed due to weather. So, the afternoon groups from yesterday are finishing up this morning before turning around for their second round 18. 

The rain has all but neutralized Augusta. Soft greens have led to low scores across the board. Currently, there are 52-players under par. This is a record pace. Previously, the most under-par scores for a Round 1 at the Masters was 38 set back in 1991.

When asked about conditions on day 1, this is what Xander had to say: “A lot of it felt wrong.”

However, just because conditions were soft, doesn’t mean the greens were any easier to read. Take Kevin Na for example. He hit every green in regulation yesterday yet still shot 73 thanks to 39 putts. If there’s one positive to take away from that putting performance, it’s that we didn’t see a putter throw. Lord knows if we were out on the course, the flat stick would have been found in pieces at the bottom of the lake on 16.

Perhaps the biggest story from Thursday was Tiger. He was dialed in. So much so that he did something he had never done before; opened with a bogey-free 68.

“I got off to a fast start today, which is good, but I think everyone is. Everyone is going low out there today. With these conditions, you have to. You have to be aggressive. There’s no reason why you can’t fire at a lot of the flags.”

Tiger Woods during Round 1 at the 2020 Masters Tournament.

A lot of golf left to play, but Tiger has sure positioned himself nicely heading into Round 2. LFG.

What To Watch For on Friday

There’s a slight rule change this year. Only the low 50 players and ties will move on to the weekend. Previously, players within 10-strokes of the leader and the low 50 automatic qualifiers made the cut.

Any players over par heading into Round 2 will have their work cut out for them. Conditions are pristine again this morning and you’ll likely see a lot of red on scorecards during Round 2.

As it stands, the projected cutline sits at -1. However, don’t be surprised to see that get to -2 or -3 as the day progresses.

Rory McIlroy (+3), Bubba Watson (+2), Jordan Spieth (+2), Tyrrell Hatton (+1), and Gary Woodland (E) are going to need to find something today if they want to have a shot at the green jacket over the weekend.

Here’s a look at the current win probabilities of @datagolf predictive model.

  1. Dustin Johnson (T1, -7, 18.5%)
  2. Justin Thomas (T3, -6, 16.6%)
  3. Xander Schauffele (T5, -5, 8.6%)
  4. John Rahm (T18, -3, 6.5%)
  5. Webb Simpson (T5, -5, 5.6%)
  6. Paul Casey (T1, -7, 5.2%)
  7. Hideki Matsuyama (T10, -4, 4.3%)
  8. Sungjae Im (T3, -6, 4.2%)
  9. Patrick Reed (T10, -4, 3.5%)
  10. Dylan Frittelli (T1, -7, 2.9%)

Tiger not being in the Top 10 after a record start is criminal. I’ll take momentum over nerds and their data every day of the week. Shame.

WTF Else Is Goin’ On

  • Who said golf was a young man’s game?
  • Indulge in these “exclusive” areas of Augusta National.
  • The new cut rule for the 2020 Masters.

Enjoy a few cold ones while you’re watching Masters coverage this weekend; I know we sure will. We’ve even taken the liberty to create a little Masters drinking game. Check out our Instagram later this afternoon for details. 

We’ll catch you guys on Monday. If you make it to the course in between Masters coverage, go low, don’t drink and drive, and do your best to work it both ways.