Rory McIlroy embraces tough conditions in quest for Masters revival

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Augusta tee times brought forward to counter bad weather forecast.
Posted on
April 7, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Rory McIlroy embraced the possibility of challenging conditions as he looked to play himself back into contention in the 87th Masters.

McIlroy, who needs to claim a coveted green jacket at Augusta National to complete a career grand slam, could only card an opening 72 on Thursday to lie seven shots off the lead shared by Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Brooks Koepka.

With bad weather forecast, Friday’s tee times have been brought forward by 30 minutes with McIlroy among the early starters hoping to get all 18 holes in without disruption.

“I think when you’re chasing it’s probably the harder the better,” McIlroy said. “The more difficult the course is, I think that’s probably favourable conditions for chasing a little bit or trying to catch up.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen on Friday. Hopefully we don’t get affected by it too much and we can get out there and play 18 holes uninterrupted and I can shoot something in the mid-60s and get myself back in it.”

The challenge faced by McIlroy was compounded by the strength in depth on the leaderboard, with Cameron Young and Jason Day two off the lead and seven players a shot further back on four under.

That group included defending champion Scottie Scheffler, former Open champion Shane Lowry and 2013 winner Adam Scott, as well as US Amateur champion Sam Bennett.

Tiger Woods faced an uphill battle to avoid missing the cut for the first time as a professional after an opening 74.

Quote of the day

Joint leader Jon Rahm took inspiration from fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros after his nightmare start.

Shot of the day

Defending champion Scottie Scheffler carded an opening 68, aided by an eagle three on the par-five second.

Round of the day

They say many good rounds start with a bogey, but not many 65s start with a four-putt double-bogey at Augusta National.

Statistic of the day

Co-leader Viktor Hovland ignored the distractions which usually come with playing alongside Woods to card a bogey-free 65.

Easiest hole

The par-five 15th played to an average of 4.593, yielding four eagles and 38 birdies to the 86-man field.

Hardest hole

The par-four 11th played to an average of 4.360 after giving up just four birdies. Seven players made a double bogey.

Weather forecast

A few morning showers will become more numerous in the afternoon with a scattered thunderstorm threat between 2-5pm. Breezy north-easterly winds behind the front will usher in colder conditions after 3pm. With this in mind, tee times were brought forward by 30 minutes with the first group starting at 7.30am.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1
T1Viktor Hovland-765
T1Jon Rahm-765
T1Brooks Koepka-765
T4Cameron Young-567
T4Jason Day-567
T6Shane Lowry-468
T6Xander Schauffele-468
T6Adam Scott-468
T6Gary Woodland-468
T6Sam Bennett(a)-468
T6Scottie Scheffler-468
T6Sam Burns-468
T13Justin Rose-369
T13Collin Morikawa-369
T13Tony Finau-369
T13Jordan Spieth-369
T17Scott Stallings-270
T17Keegan Bradley-270
T17Chris Kirk-270
T17Justin Thomas-270
T17Cameron Smith-270
T17Sepp Straka-270
T17Ryan Fox-270
T17Matthew Fitzpatrick-270
T17Tom Kim-270
T26Fred Couples-171
T26Patrick Reed-171
T26Patrick Cantlay-171
T26Sungjae Im-171
T26Hideki Matsuyama-171
T26Phil Mickelson-171
T26Harris English-171
T26Tyrrell Hatton-171
T26Joaquin Niemann-171
T26Dustin Johnson-171
T26Max Homa-171
T37Mike WeirPar72
T37Talor GoochPar72
T37Kevin KisnerPar72
T37Abraham AncerPar72
T37Francesco MolinariPar72
T37Harold Varner IIIPar72
T37Rory McIlroyPar72
T37Tommy FleetwoodPar72
T45Jason Kokrak+173
T45Russell Henley+173
T45Adrian Meronk+173
T45Sahith Theegala+173
T45Seamus Power+173
T45Taylor Moore+173
T45Si Woo Kim+173
T45Billy Horschel+173
T45Corey Conners+173
T54Sergio Garcia+274
T54Thomas Pieters+274
T54Tiger Woods+274
T54Charl Schwartzel+274
T54Bryson DeChambeau+274
T54J.T. Poston+274
T54Mito Pereira+274
T54K.H. Lee+274
T54Tom Hoge+274
T63Vijay Singh+375
T63Harrison Crowe(a)+375
T63Min Woo Lee+375
T63Keith Mitchell+375
T63Adam Svensson+375
T63Kurt Kitayama+375
T63Ben Carr(a)+375
T63Bernhard Langer+375
T63Danny Willett+375
T63Zach Johnson+375
T73Louis Oosthuizen+476
T73Kazuki Higa+476
T73Mackenzie Hughes+476
T73Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira(a)+476
T73Cameron Champ+476
T78Matthew McClean(a)+577
T78Bubba Watson+577
T78Jose Maria Olazabal+577
T78Aldrich Potgieter(a)+577
T78Gordon Sargent(a)+577
T78Brian Harman+577
84Alex Noren+678
85Larry Mize+779
86Sandy Lyle+981
W/DKevin Na--
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