December 3, 2023

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Masters 2023: Viktor Hovland units early tempo as Tiger Woods toils at preliminary section in Augusta

3 min read

Norway’s Viktor Hovland set the early tempo on the 87th Masters on Thursday, reaching the flip at five-under par whereas five-time champion Tiger Woods toiled with three early bogeys.

Hovland obtained off to a flying begin at Augusta Nationwide with an eagle on the par-5 second gap, the place he adopted up an excellent iron shot with a 25-foot putt, after which the 25-year-old went three strokes away from the sector when he birdied the ninth.

Woods, enjoying in the identical group as Hovland, made three bogeys in his opening seven holes however he recovered barely with a birdie on the par-5 eighth, the place he nearly chipped in for an eagle.

Spain’s Jon Rahm did eagle that gap together with his excellent method shot leaving him with a five-foot eagle putt to take him to three-under by means of eight holes, two strokes behind Hovland.

The motion obtained below manner after former winners Jack Nicklaus, Gary Participant and Tom Watson supplied the standard ceremonial launch to the 12 months’s first main match.

Temperatures have been rising all through the morning in direction of the anticipated excessive of 87 levels F and the skies have been overcast. Situations have been dry though rain is forecast for later within the week and will impression the schedule.

American Kevin Na withdrew attributable to sickness after enjoying the primary 9 holes at 4-over par 40 at Augusta Nationwide.

The 39-year-old South Korean-born American was is of 18 gamers from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League who certified for the Masters.

LIV Golf is locked in bitter authorized battles with the established PGA Tour.

This Masters is the primary time that the top-ranked gamers from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf are in the identical area at Augusta.

The PGA Tour has banned LIV gamers, with their US courtroom battle set to start early subsequent 12 months.

Simply hours earlier than the beginning, a tribunal in London dominated towards LIV gamers of their dispute with the DP World Tour, previously the European Tour.

The arbitration panel dominated that the DP World Tour was entitled to sanction the gamers for showing in LIV occasions with out authorization.

The total impression of that call will unfold within the coming weeks however gamers have insisted their focus this week is on the battle for the inexperienced jacket.

World primary Scottie Scheffler performs within the afternoon groupings as he seems to change into simply the fourth participant to win back-to-back Masters.

The American world primary is the bookmaker’s favourite to slide into the well-known inexperienced jacket when the 4 rounds are full on Sunday night.

Scheffler has been a mannequin of consistency over the previous 14 months, which has seen him win six PGA Tour titles, most lately on the Gamers Championship in March.

Solely Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Woods have achieved successive victories on the Masters.

Final 12 months’s runner-up, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, is hoping to lastly full his profession Grand Slam with a long-awaited Masters triumph.

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