Palmer opens Masters with a ‘frustrating’ day


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By Lance Lahnert

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Ryan Palmer’s opening round of the 86th Masters Tournament on Thursday produced a perfect golf cliché.

And he’s OK with it.

The saying goes pro golfers can lose a tournament on the first round but never win it. And that pretty much summed up Amarillo native Palmer’s unspectacular opening round 3-over 75.

The Amarillo native playing in his 7th Masters drove the ball well except on No. 18, made several excellent iron and wedge shots leaving putts of less than 10 feet, and put together a string of 10 consecutive pars.

However, he left the Augusta National course Thursday “frustrated” because of one club.

The putter.

“I had a lot of chances,” said Palmer, a 19-year veteran of the PGA Tour and Amarillo High graduate. “It’s the same thing I struggle with year-in and year-out. I have had a hard time taking my putter from the putting green to the golf course. It’s always been my struggle the last several years. Short putting has been good. I struggle to make putts when I have ample opportunities. You can’t do that out here.”

The 45-year-old Palmer hit 9 of 14 fairways and didn’t three putt all day.

However, his 28-putt round included excellent chances for birdies at the par 3’s No. 6 and famed No. 12 – part of Amen Corner – but he was unable to convert the putts under 10 feet.

He did show his impressive game as a couple of his pars were magic . Palmer used a wedge from 30 yards out on the new-look par 4 No. 11, then although hitting in the water at No.13 on his second shot he still came away with a five saving par thanks to a chip with seven feet.

Palmer’s par streak of 10 straight started on No. 3 and stretched thru No. 13 leaving him 1-over walking of No. 13 and looking at shooting even par for the day.

He will look back and no be happy with homestretch as he bogeyed No. 14 and No. 18

“I played good all day,” Palmer said. “I’d probably like the second shot on 13 back and more patience on 14 and let the wind get through there. Nothing tee to green to worry about. It’s the same thing each and every week for me. I struggled to make putts.”

Palmer plays his 21st career round of The Masters on Friday teeing off at 10:51 (CST) with Masters champion Vijay Singh and Kyoug-Hoon Lee.

“It’s hard out there,” Palmer said. “The winds are swirling enough to make things difficult. The course is also soft and playing long. Nobody is going to run away with it today. That’s for sure. It was a tough day. And it’s supposed to be harder tomorrow.”

The wind is scheduled to be up for Friday’s round.

“Today was frustrating because I’ve been struggling with this for a while,” Palmer said of his putting. “Right now I could go to the practice green and make everything I looked at. I know what it is. I just have to take it onto the course.”

Note: Here is Palmer’s previous first round scores: 2005-70; 2010 -72; 2011-71; 2012-75; 2015-69; 2021-74.


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