Charlie Hoffman's lead is the largest 1st round lead since 1955 (Jackie Burke led by 4, shot 76 in 2nd round and did not feature). Charlie birdied 7 of his last 11 holes, including 4 twos.
2 years ago Hoffman played in the final group with Jordan Spieth in the 3rd round before going going to finish 9th. He got a front row seat to Spieth's emergence as a major champion so certainly has a feel for the situation.
He's a four time winner on the PGA Tour and has a great deal of substance to his game. His ball striking is his strength as was the case in very blustery and cool conditions making birdie two's at all four of the par 3 holes. Hope he put his name in the 2's! He was quoted after the round as saying "sleeping on the lead is not easy but I look forward to that challenge over the next 4 days". He also frequently wears green - a green jacket would match nicely.
Not surprising to see Lee Westwood back in contention yet again. After finishing runner up to Danny Willett last year at Augusta he's back in the hunt for his maiden major championship where his record is phenomenal. He's finished inside the top 3 at Augusta three times in the last seven years and has 9 finishes on the podium in all of the grand slam events. Again a very accurate hitter of the ball so when the breeze abated slightly he cashed in at the close of his opening round. He birdied 5 of last 6, and will be back at it again early on Friday morning. A record 11 Englishmen are in the field so back to back victories by the Poms is certainly on the cards. Young Matthew Fitzpatrick is under par as is Justin Rose and defending champ Danny Willett hung in there for 73 after starting with a double bogey!
Round 1 marked Phil Mickelson's had 50th round under par at The Masters, and he started with fireworks starting with an eagle at the par 5 second and the lengthy par 3 4th. He would sign for 71 and be well positioned. Should he go on to win he would become the oldest Masters Champion, eclipsing the great Jack Nicklaus when he rolled back the years in 1986.
Keep an eye out for other veterans, Sergio is on form (-1), Ernie Els (+1) has his last exempt year, Fred Couples (+1) is always a contender at Augusta. Also Tournament favorites, Rory (even) , Rickie (+1), Jason Day and Adam Scott (both +2) and Jordan Spieth after a 9 on 15 yesterday is at +5.
See scores here at The Augusta National