Justin Thomas chasing down flawless Paul Casey as Masters resumes

Justin Thomas had leader Paul Casey in his sights as the first round of the 84th Masters resumed on Friday.

Thomas had reached five under par after 10 holes before play was suspended due to darkness on Thursday evening following a lengthy delay due to bad weather earlier in the day.

That was just two behind pacesetter Casey after the 43-year-old Englishman had completed a flawless 65 to equal his lowest round at Augusta National.

Thomas began the day with a daunting approach from the rough on the par-four 11th, but safely found the green from 210 yards and two-putted for par.

Rory McIlroy had also left himself a testing opening from a greenside bunker on the 10th and was unable to get up and down for par, the four-time major winner dropping back to one over par.

Casey had carded an opening 81 in last year’s Masters but finished joint second in the US PGA Championship in August, despite struggling to deal with the lack of spectators at Harding Park.

“The Masters, though, this week it still has a buzz to it,” Casey said after his first round. “There’s an energy and a little bit of a vibe.

Paul Casey
Paul Casey gives a thumbs up on the ninth hole during the first round of the Masters (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“Yes, it’s clearly a lot less than what we are used to, but there’s something about this place that I still felt excited to be here.

“As soon as I stepped foot on property on Monday, I’ve never been so happy to pass a Covid-19 test in my life. Was genuinely nervous about that. I don’t know why I was nervous because my protocols haven’t changed.

“The kids were denied from going out on play dates last week. Can’t go on play dates. Dad’s got to go to the Masters next week.”