Lyle delighted with opening round
Sandy Lyle’s affection for The Masters and Augusta National continued on Thursday with his best round in 18 years.
Sandy Lyle’s great affection for The Masters and Augusta National continued on Thursday with a three-under par first round of 69 – his first sub-70 in the event for 18 years.
It left the 52-year-old 1988 champion, who has made the halfway cut the last three years, only two behind pacesetters Tom Watson – now 60 – Lee Westwood, YE Yang and Phil Mickelson.
“I’m very chuffed with that,” said Lyle. “A birdie-birdie finish will always put a smile on your face around here, especially in these conditions because it was very blustery out there at times.
“I just started to hole a couple of putts as I was coming down the stretch, which was good because I hadn’t really holed anything all day.
“You look at that leaderboard and you just see the quality of the guys that compete on the Senior Tour every week, be it Couples, Watson, Langer.
“We can all still play and the standards are very high.
“I would snapped a hand off for a 69 when I was standing on that first tee. And I had a lot of chances to take it lower as well – I had an eagle chance on number two from eight feet that I left hanging over the hole. I had another eight-footer on 15 for eagle that stayed up.
“I hit a seven-iron into the 17th to 20 feet and then a nine-iron into the last to 10 feet. I was almost in my favourite bunker again at the last, but I ended up on the grass between the two bunkers.”
For his victory 22 years ago Lyle hit a seven-iron from the sand and birdied to beat Mark Calcavecchia.
Rory McIlroy taking inspiration from Tiger Woods ahead of Abu Dhabi Championship
The 32-year-old’s form since the Ryder Cup has given him “renewed optimism, excitement and anticipation”.
Collin Morikawa using Bahamas setback as motivation to become world number one
The two-time major winner squandered a five-shot lead on the final day at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas last month.
Bryson DeChambeau: I don’t want to be a super-controversial figure
The big-hitting American was given some useful advice by Hollywood star Chris Pratt.
Webb Simpson eyeing Ryder Cup return after winless 2021
The American tees it up this week at the Sony Open, an event where he has a fine record.
Cameron Smith secures record-breaking wire-to-wire victory in Hawaii
The Australian made history at Kapalua with his winning total.
Viktor Hovland happy to be reunited with lost golf clubs in Hawaii
Viktor Hovland was able to breathe a sigh of relief after being reunited with his golf clubs six days after losing them in transit.
Phil Mickelson confirmed for Tournament of Champions after 21-year absence
Phil Mickelson has confirmed his participation in next month’s Sentry Tournament of Champions on the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods ‘worn out’ after second-placed finish with son at PNC Championship
Team Woods finished two shots behind John Daly and his son John Daly II in Orlando.
Tiger Woods and son Charlie three shots back at PNC Championship in Orlando
The 15-time major winner was back in action after injury
Tiger’s back: All the best social as Tiger Woods returns to the golf course
The 15-time Major Champion played his first round of golf in public since his car accident in February.