AUGUSTA, Georgia — TaylorMade Tour Staff professional David Lynn raced out of the gates Thursday at Augusta, but it was Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson’s afternoon charge up the leaderboard that left a lasting impression at The Masters following the opening round. Lynn, a first-year PGA Tour player competing in his first career Masters, jumped out to an early lead at Augusta, dominating the morning storylines from inside the grounds of the year’s first major championship. He finished at -4, good for the then-clubhouse lead, but Garcia’s flawless afternoon 66 – highlighted by six birdies – propelled him into a share of the lead and set him up perfectly to control the table in Friday’s second round.
Garcia and Johnson, who’s opening-round 67 set a new personal benchmark at Augusta, traded birdies on the front and segued smoothly into an action-packed inward nine in which Johnson eagled the 13th and Garcia made a few critical par saves to keep his momentum heading back towards the clubhouse. The TaylorMade Staffers were featured prominently in the afternoon coverage, Garcia playing just one group ahead of Johnson, both using TaylorMade’s R1 driver and RBZ Stage 2 fairway woods to navigate their way around Augusta’s demanding layout. Johnson’s length is a special advantage at Augusta, particularly on the par-5s, and he used it perfectly to his advantage at 13, where he recorded the field’s first eagle of the day after easily reaching the green in two with a beautiful approach shot.
Between Lynn’s surprise start – he’s recorded just one top-10 in a major championship, in the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island – and Johnson and Garcia’s subsequent rise into contention, there are storylines abound for the TaylorMade Tour Staff heading into Friday’s second round. With evening storms expected at Augusta, the course promises to play much differently Friday morning, likely a shade softer around the greens and more forgiving off the tee, which will require conscious and meticulous adjustments by the leaders in round two.
Garcia, still chasing his first career major championship, has put himself in a commanding position on the leaderboard and is set to go off at 9:39 a.m. EST. Johnson will follow him not long after, his Friday tee time set for 9:50 a.m. EST, in what could become an early race to double-digit red figures on the softer putting surfaces at Augusta following overnight rain.
Are we set for a weekend shootout at The Masters? Only time will tell, and stay tuned to Tour Diaries as we’ll continue to post updates over the course of the 72 holes ahead as our TaylorMade Tour Staffers continue to try and chase down one of golf’s greatest and most elusive prizes, a Green Jacket.