The Latest: Reigning Masters Champ Danny Willett Opens 2nd Round with an 8
The Latest on the second round of the Masters on Friday (all times local):
On a chilly morning at the Masters, defending champion Danny Willett began the second round with a snowman.
Willett took an 8 on the opening hole.
The misfortune began when his tee shot did not go in the bunker right of the fairway. Willett tried to balance his feet on the edge, and he didn't quite pull it off. He shanked the shot deep into the woods. From there, he pitched out of the pines and well over the green. His first pitch wasn't hard enough and rolled back down. His second pitch was hard enough. In fact, it rolled off the green back into the fairway.
He chipped up to 6 feet and missed the putt, walking off with a quadruple bogey.
Willett was one short of the record for highest score on No. 1. A year ago, Ernie Els took six putts from 2 feet in making a 9.
William McGirt had a bogey on the opening hole of the second round of the Masters after just one to start the tournament. But then the 37-year-old journeyman golfer had two birdies in his next three holes Friday to move to 4 under.
McGirt began the round in second place, four shots behind Charley Hoffman's 65. Hoffman and McGirt were the only players to shoot in the 60s and among just 11 to finish under par on Thursday in strong, gusty winds.
Hoffman tees off at 10:01 a.m.
Conditions were expected to improve for the second round. McGirt teed off under sunny skies with the winds blowing around 20 mph, roughly half the force of the gusts on Thursday.
Charley Hoffman and William McGirt were the first to take advantage of Dustin Johnson's absence at the Masters.
The odds are they won't be the last.
Hoffman had a 7-under 65 to dominate a wind-swept opening round. His four-shot lead over McGirt is the largest at Augusta National after the opening round in 62 years.
But with conditions expected to improve through the weekend, there's a host of capable challengers looking to fill the void left by the withdrawal of Johnson, the world's No. 1 player and a heavy favorite at the season's first major.
Hoffman acknowledged he was simply trying to make pars in the tricky conditions — gusts approached 40 mph, flung hats off patrons' heads and sent egg-salad sandwich wrappers blowing across greens and fairways — so he wouldn't shoot himself out of the event.
Lee Westwood, perhaps the best player without a major, was next at 2-under. The group at 1-under including three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose and former PGA champion Jason Dufner.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.