A.hen golf veteran Bernhard Langer had long since finished his opening round at the 85th Masters in Augusta, his 74th round was given a completely different value than initially thought. Because the 63-year-old two-time champion finished the first day despite two strokes over par in shared 30th place – in front of greats like Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChamebeau as well as Brooks Koepka and world number one and last year’s winner Dustin Johnson, who all struggled with the conditions in their own way. Only twelve players remained below the standard of the course, with the Briton Justin Rose in the lead with seven under par and four strokes ahead of second.
“It’s been a little difficult the last couple of days. I’ve had a bit of back problems and slight knee pain. But it went relatively well today, “said Langer the TV broadcaster Sky. “The preparation wasn’t ideal for me. I’ve played very little golf in the past five weeks and haven’t had much training. But I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now. “
Langer suffered losses on four lanes and only managed two birdies, but was in good company. “The conditions were very tough,” said Johnson. “The green is always challenging here, but the wind was also difficult today.” Gary Woodland and Sergio Garcia felt like they were after a boxing match. “I feel like I’m coming out of the ring with Mike Tyson. It was brutal out there, ”said Woodland. “I feel like I’m out of a ring with Evander Holyfield,” said Garcia.
Langer could break the record
Even Rose didn’t have a good day at all and after seven holes he was still two over par. In the end he played a 65 and thus the best Masters round of his career. “It’s a good reminder that you never know what can happen here,” said the 40-year-old Englishman. First pursuers are Brian Harman, who was the last player to qualify for the 88-person field, and Hideki Matsuyama from Japan, each four strokes behind.
If Langer holds his position after the second day, the 1985 and 1993 Masters winner breaks his record from last year when he qualified as the oldest professional golfer in history on Magnolia Lane for the weekend.
Langer is teeing off at the Augusta National Golf Club for the 38th time. Thanks to his two Masters successes, he has a lifelong entry right to the $ 11.5 million major tournament in the American state of Georgia. In 2020, when the Masters was postponed to November due to Corona, Langer finished the Masters 17 strokes behind winner Johnson on a respectable 29th place. Half a year ago there were 53 players under par on the first day.
Besides Langer, there are no other German golfers in Augusta. The two-time major winner Martin Kaymer from Mettmann did not qualify for the Masters this year either. Superstar and crowd favorite Tiger Woods is also missing. The five-time Masters champion from the United States is currently recovering from his violent car accident in late February.
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