AUGUSTA, Ga. —
Reed might have joined him there, but a bogey-bogey-bogey finish put him at 73.
“I felt they handled it really well,” said McIlroy, who had a 71 of his own. “They both had it under par, Jordan finished under par. Patrick didn’t have a good finish, but I felt like they played well.”
A Masters lacking Tiger Woods had plenty of newcomers, with 24 of the 97 players in the field making their Masters debut. Some handled it well, while others struggled on a course that can make golfers nervous.
Among them was Jordan Niebruge, a sophomore at Oklahoma State who got a spot in the field with his win last year in the U.S. Amateur Public Links. Niebruge shot a 9-over 81 that he said wasn’t as bad as it looked.
That can happen on a course that demands precise placement of the ball on approach shots to the green.
“I hit it well today and I found myself on the wrong side of the hole and got a couple bad breaks,” the 20-year-old said. “But other than that I was pretty close to having a good round.”
Another amateur, Oliver Goss of Australia, was at the Masters as a spectator last year with his college teammates from Tennessee. He took advantage of a practice round with defending champion Adam Scott to familiarize himself with the course before his first round.
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