FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 6th, 2023
NOTES AND QUOTES – GOLF CENTRAL LIVE FROM THE MASTERS ON GOLF CHANNEL AND PEACOCK (FIRST ROUND)
“If you went out there today and shot -2, you might think you’re in a pretty good spot…I’d argue you lost the golf tournament today. That’s how gettable it was and that’s how impressive the players are at the top of this leaderboard.” – Brandel Chamblee
“He played poorly…looked edgy. He never got into his stride…when he starts hitting it left, I always worry about Rory…He was all over the place.” – Paul McGinley on Rory McIlroy
“He’s better in ways you can’t put your finger on. It was an awesome performance today.” – Chamblee on Jon Rahm
“The real test for him is when he misses it in the short area…sooner or later, the chickens are going to come home to roost. You can’t just ball strike your way to winning around here.” – Chamblee on Viktor Hovland
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 6, 2023 – GOLF Central Live From The Masters continued its comprehensive coverage surrounding the 2023 Masters with post-round reaction and analysis on GOLF Channel and Peacock immediately following the first round of play.
Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka share a three-way tie for the lead at -7 after each shooting a first-round 65.
Friday’s Live From The Masters coverage on GOLF Channel and Peacock begins at 9 a.m. ET, and post-round coverage will air on GOLF Channel and Peacock immediately following the conclusion of play.
The Masters – First Round Leaderboard
On First Round
Brandel Chamblee: “You hear it every year. ‘The Masters doesn’t begin until the back nine on Sunday.’ I love that statement, certainly the back nine at Augusta is the most exciting nine holes in golf. I would argue that history says The Masters is lost on Thursday by a great many players. You go back 15 years and the average position of the winner (after the first round) is better than fifth place…if you went out there today and shot -2, you might think you’re in a pretty good spot…I’d argue you lost the golf tournament today. That’s how gettable it was and that’s how impressive the players are at the top of this leaderboard.”
On Viktor Hovland (-7, T-1st)
McGinley: “He played really well at Sawgrass, played well at Bay Hill…he is trending toward a big performance in one of these big events. We all know his weaknesses but his chipping was pretty good today…the challenges for him will be when the weather conditions come in…when players are hitting 10 or 11 greens a round, are the scramblers going to come forefront? That’s obviously not one of his strengths and it’s going to become a big statistic.”
Chamblee: “The real test for him as he’s going to go on through the week is when he misses it in the short area, that is still a touchy spot for him…sooner or later, the chickens are going to come home to roost. You can’t just ball strike your way to winning around here.”
On Jon Rahm (-7, T-1st)
Chamblee: “He’s better in ways you can’t put your finger on…experience will make a player better, but in this age of biomechanics where they really do know and they’re not guessing, it’s made Jon Rahm a better player…it was an awesome performance today.”
McGinley: “The difficulty is going to be, can he hold his nerve when these gnarly, windy conditions come in and mistakes are rampant left, right and center. The ability to keep your poise, that’s what we questioned last night. These conditions today didn’t challenge that, but the next three days will.”
On Brooks Koepka (-7, T-1st)
McGinley: “His iron play was fantastic…The all-important category around here, as we know, is the ability to hit it into the right quarters and sections of the greens and his iron play today was supreme.”
McGinley on caddie Ricky Elliott appearing to give advice to playing competitor Gary Woodland’s caddie, Brennan Little: “It’s very obvious…it’s staggering that they’ve denied it because the evidence is there. This is common practice on tour. Whether you like it or not, it happens in every professional tournament around the world…this is not considered a serious breach among the players…as long as I’ve been on tour, this is what it is.”
On Rory McIlroy (Even, T-37th)
McGinley: “He played poorly…looked edgy. He never got into his stride…when he starts hitting it left, I always worry about Rory…He was all over the place. We need a far better Rory McIlroy over the next three days and a more focused Rory McIlroy if he’s going to be the Masters champion.”