Augusta National humbled the world's best golfers on day 1 of The Masters. Here are the numbers behind a ruthless opening round.
- The Augusta Nationa bit back at the world's best golfers on Thursday.
- The combined score of all the players in the field on the opening day was 222-over-par.
- By contrast, after the first day of the 2020 tournament, the field was a combined 54-under-par.
In November 2020, Dustin Johnson tamed Augusta National like no golfer ever had before, winning
While the tournament - delayed by seven months because of the coronavirus pandemic - was held on the same course as it always is, the way Augusta was set up was very different than normal.
The course's notoriously difficult greens were neutered, watered significantly more than usual. This allowed players to be more aggressive than normal in their approach play, and made putting substantially easier.
For the 2021 tournament, it is a different story entirely, and Augusta is back to its brutal best.
Gone are the soft, receptive greens of October last year. In their place are rock-solid, lightning-fast putting surfaces so tricky that one player, Austria's Bernd Wiesberger, saw a relatively solid putt roll all the way into the water on the par 5 15th.
As 2017 winner Sergio Garcia put it after his round: "I feel like I just came out of the ring with Evander Holyfield."
Statistics from Thursday prove just how tricky the course was, particularly in comparison to the relatively easy challenge that Augusta posed at last year's championship.
According to ESPN, during the first round at the 2020 tournament, the field scored a combined 54-under-par.
By comparison, on Thursday in the 2021 tournament, the cumulative score of all those involved was 222-over-par, Insider has calculated.
That's a swing of 276 shots, or around three shots per player.
Just 12 players finished Thursday's round under-par versus last year's 53.
And on Thursday, just three players - leaders Justin Rose, Brian Harman, and Hideki Matsuyama - shot rounds in the 60s. In 2020, 24 players shot under 70 on day one of the tournament.
The day's worst score on the first day of the 2021 tournament was also substantially worse than in 2020, with 1987 winner Larry Mize shooting a 12-over-par 84 on the day. He was one of five players to shoot 80 or higher.
In 2020, no one scored an 80 on the opening day. Argentina's Abel Gallegos and Yuxin Lin were at the bottom of the scoring table after the first round, both shooting seven-over 79s.
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