Hoffman Dominates, Only 11 Players Break Par in Masters 1st Round

Charley Hoffman has the largest first-round lead at Augusta National in 62 years.

Hoffman’s 7-under 65 in windy conditions gives him a four-shot edge over William McGirt heading to Friday’s second round.

That’s the largest since the 1955 Masters, when Jack Burke Jr. opened with 67 and was four shots ahead of Julius Boros and Mike Souchak.

But, in a reminder that the tournament is never won on Thursday, Burke followed with a 76 that turned his big lead into a six-shot deficit against Cary Middlecoff, who went on to capture the green jacket in a romp.

How tough were the conditions in the opening round of the Masters?

Only 11 players broke par Thursday.

Charley Hoffman shot a stunning 7-under 65, but he was in a league of his own with winds gusting close to 40 mph. The only other player in the 60s is William McGirt with a 69.

Lee Westwood shot 70 and eight other players are at 71, a group that includes Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jason Dufner and Sergio Garcia.

That’s it.

Everyone else is at par and above, including three rounds in the 80s. It’s the fewest players to break par in the first round of the Masters since only nine managed to do it in 2007.

Defending champion Danny Willett opened with a 73. The 2015 champion, Jordan Spieth, made a quadruple-bogey for the second year in a row on the way to 75.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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