The first round scores of the last 10 Masters champions have all been under par with eight of those 10 being in the 60s. That trend will be tested in 2018 after a Thursday opening round that saw just 20 players finish under par and 10 logging rounds in the 60s.
Tiger Woods played what that has him seven strokes back of the lead, held by Jordan Spieth at 6-under. Woods had back-to-back bogeys at 4 and 5 and 11 and 12, failed to card a birdie on any of the three par 5s but yet remains very much in the mix heading into Friday.
Want to watch the Masters this week? Stream Featured Groups, Amen Corner, Holes 15 & 16 and On the Range live on CBSSports and the CBS Sports App.
Check out a full breakdown of the leaderboard below, and catch up on any highlights you might have missed in the live blog below:
1. Jordan Spieth (-6): It shouldn’t even be that big of a surprise anymore. Spieth has led at the end of nine of his last 15 rounds at The Masters, so why would Thursday be any different? The 2015 Masters champion was confident, and even a little bit lucky, during a five-birdie run on the back nine to push the lead well into red numbers with his 66.
We should have known that Spieth was in the midst of a special round when he dropped in a 274-yard shot to just 14 feet, and then converted the eagle opportunity on the par-5 8th.
T2. Tony Finau (-4): Finau has become as big a story as Tiger Woods himself after, popping it back into place and then dropping a 68 on Thursday. And all of this in his very first Masters appearance. We’ve been waiting for a breakthrough moment for Finau and if he can replicate this level of play on the weekend, he might have it here in Augusta.
T2. Matt Kuchar (-4): After two bogeys in his first seven holes, Kuchar turned things around after the turn with birdies on 10, 13, 15 and 16. Kuchar has logged top-10 finishes in four of the last six years, so being near the top of the leaderboard is familiar territory. He doesn’t have to hit it as far as some of the other players in the field, especially when he’s walking in birdies on the 18th.
T4. Rory McIlroy (-3): The Masters is the last piece needed for McIlroy to be just the sixth golfer all-time to complete the career grand slam. Thursday’s round was exactly what you would hope for from McIlroy, picking birdies on three of the four par 5s and keeping steady with pars most everywhere else. If he’s even an average putter compared to the field on the weekend, McIlroy could make history at Augusta.
T4. Hoatong Li (-3): Li shares something in common with each of the last two Masters champions — he won on the European Tour at Dubai earlier this year. The difference is that Li set a new tournament record in his win. The 22-year-old Chinese golfer finished third at The Open Championship last year and should be considered a threat to contend if he wasn’t already.
T4. Henrik Stenson (-3): The Masters hasn’t really been Stenson’s strongest major, but he came real close to setting the low score for the day. After four birdies and no bogeys through 13 holes, Stenson bogeyed No. 14 and No. 18 to finish the day with a 69.
T4. Patrick Reed (-3): Hitting good shots off the tee helped Reed avoid too much trouble and a three-hole heater on the back nine (Nos. 13, 14, and 15) kept him in contention.
T4. Charley Hoffman (-3): We’re used to seeing Hoffman tear it up during the first round, so now the story for him moving into Friday and weekend will be whether or not he can convert this 69 into contention or even his first major win.
T4. Adam Hadwin (-3): Shortly after recording his first PGA Tour victory in March, Hadwin finds himself among the leaders after picking up four of his five opening-round birdies on the back nine.
T4. Rafa Cabrera Bello (-3): What a ride for Rafa, battling back from a bogey on No. 1 and a double-bogey on No. 5. A six-birdie run across the final 12 holes was powered by great approaches into the green and some clutch putts as his group (which included Dustin Johnson) squeezed the last bit of daylight out of Thursday’s action.
T11. Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Bernd Wiesberger, Marc Leishman (-2): Keep an eye on Fowler and Mickelson here as they were one of the last groups on the course Thursday and thus will get an early crack at it on Friday. If either can pair a round in the 60s with Thursday’s two-under 70, they could be in a great spot to chase down Spieth on the weekend.