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Patrick Reed near top of Masters leaderboard after first round

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Patrick Reed buckled his knees as his par putt slid below the 18th hole.

For the Augusta University product, it was a rare miscue in an otherwise steady start to the 85th Masters Tournament. Reed opened with two birdies on his first nine and finished with a 2-under-par 70.

“I would have loved to make the last putt to get to 3,” Reed said. “Still, I felt like I made a lot of quality golf swings, felt like I was hitting a lot of good putts. That’s the thing about this place — when this place plays this firm and fast, you’re going to hit some good golf shots and end up in some bad spots.”

For many players, the conditions led to an uncomfortable stroll Thursday, but that wasn’t the case for Reed. The 2018 Masters champion made it clear that he relishes a difficult terrain.

Masters: Leaderboard | Photos

“I love this type of golf, especially around here because you have to be creative. You can’t just play golf swing after golf swing,” he said. “You have to start using slopes. You have to play out of different windows into greens. There’s a lot of thinking and thought process and creativity that goes through this golf course, and I feel like that’s usually when I play my best.”

After a birdie at the par-5 2nd hole, Reed played the final three par 5s in 1 over. He attempted to reach each of the par 5s in two, but following his round, he contemplated the idea of laying up moving forward.

“Look at what Zach (Johnson) did when he won,” Reed said. “He laid up on every single one and absolutely obliterated the par 5s. I guess I should have done that a little bit more because I went for every single one of them and played them with even par.”

Larry Mize hopes for better Friday at Masters tournament

After an opening bogey, Larry Mize birdied his second hole to return to even par for the tournament. Unfortunately for the Augusta native, that was the lone bright spot.

Mize played his final 16 holes in 12-over par for an opening 84.

“The putter was off. My swing was off. Short game was off,” Mize said. “I just struggled the whole day. I kept thinking I would get it turned around, but just never could stop the bleeding.”

When asked if there were any positives to take away from Thursday, Mize said, “No. I don’t think you can take anything away from today.”

Mize, who hasn’t made the cut since 2017, will tee off Friday at 8:12 a.m. with Jimmy Walker and Brian Gay.

“I look forward to bouncing back tomorrow,” Mize said. “Even though it was bad today, I know I can get some more good stuff tomorrow. At least that’s what I think.”

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/04/08/patrick-reed-top-masters-leaderboard-first-round/

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