The 2017 Masters got started on Thursday morning, and players were challenged all day long with the weather, specifically, the wind. Although storms suspended play on Monday and Wednesday of the practice rounds, it was the swirling wind that gave players difficulties throughout the day, blowing northwest 10 to 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 35 miles per hour. Just to give you a taste of how bad it is, this clip from Zach Johnson from Thursday is pretty telling.
One of the more challenging holes has been No. 1, which is a Par 4. On Thursday, there were 36 bogeys and five double bogeys, with an average score of 4.5484.
Another hole that’s been quite a challenge is the 15th hole, a Par 5. On Thursday there were 11 bogeys, three doubles, and four that went over double bogey. Jordan Spieth, although his slip-ups weren’t caused directly by the windy conditions, had a quadruple bogey on the 15th hole.
The final hole of the course, No. 18, has also given golfers some headaches, as well as some losing their leads. Matthew Fitzpatrick was the leader at three under heading into the 18th hole, but a double bogey allowed William McGirt to take the lead at three under. Thomas Pieters got his round off to a hot start with five birdies on holes 2, 4, 5, 8, and 10. But he struggled significantly during the back nine, with doubles on holes 12, as well as 18. There has been a total of 20 bogeys, and five doubles on the day.
Here’s McGirt, who was leading the tournament after his round finished, discussing the conditions with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt on Thursday evening, mentioning he felt gusts up to 40 miles per hour.
McGirt has the lone score inside the 60s so far on the day, finishing with a 69 overall. The course’s average Thursday is currently at 75.2362. The highest scoring average for four rounds is 77.181, recorded in the year 1956.
The forecast on Friday, unfortunately, calls for more high winds. According to The Weather Channel, Augusta will see winds coming again from the northwest at 22 miles per hour, with gusts up to 35 mph. We’ll see if it poses the same problems on holes like it did on Thursday.