Where does the first round leader at Augusta National tend to finish come late Sunday afternoon? We take a look. By Lewis Blain.
Where Does The First Round Leader Finish At The Masters?
Looking back at over 25 years worth of Masters history – back to 1990 to be specific, only two players have ever won the green jacket having lead after the first round – they are Jordan Spieth, after his wire-to-wire victory in 2015 and South African Trevor Immelman in 2008.
Only four players in Augusta’s all-time history have completed this feat with Seve Ballesteros (1980) and Ben Crenshaw (1984) rounding off the list.
In 2005, Tiger Woods denied Chris DiMarco the chance to join the exclusive club defeating him on the first playoff hole.
Chad Campbell also came close after carding an opening round of 7-under in 2009. He was in the playoff on Sunday but was eliminated after one hole before Angel Cabrera became the first Argentinian winner of the green jacket.
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Finishing runner-up seems to be a popular end for the first round leader as they have appeared 2nd six times since 1990 – these players are Greg Norman (1996) after infamously throwing away a six shot lead, Fred Couples (1998), Davis Love III (1999), Chris DiMarco (2005), Chad Campbell (2009) and Jordan Spieth (2016) after his meltdown on the 12th hole saw him record a quadruple-bogey.
There have been 44 first round leaders since 1990, of which 32 cemented a top-20 finish. 23 of the 44 finished in the top-10, while 16 of them finished in the top-5.
The average finish for The Masters first round leader is 13th.
Justin Rose, the highest ranked Englishman in this year’s tournament, has recorded more first round leads than any other player since 1990 with three – 2004 as a 23-year-old, 2007 and 2008.
The 37-year-old has an impressive record around Augusta with just one finish outside the top-20 since 2009.
He has come close to wining it twice before after finishing as runner-up last year and in 2015.
Four players have led the first round twice, including 2015 champion Jordan Spieth, Chris DiMarco, Larry Mize and Lanny Wadkins.
The worst second round of a first round leader came in 1990.
After posting the lead with an 8-under 64 on Friday, Mike Donald followed it up with a 10-over-par 82.
There have also been a few shock candidates over the years, none more so than Alvaro Quiros in 2011.
Bill Haas led a major for the first time in his career in 2014, while last year Charley Hoffman surprised many with an admirable 7-under to open his week.
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