Winners and Losers From Day 1 at the Masters

The first day of the Masters is in the books, and while three days are still ahead, some have already won (and lost) this week. Here’s the breakdown.
Apr 11, 2024; Augusta, Georgia, USA; Tiger Woods plays his shot from the ninth tee during the first
Apr 11, 2024; Augusta, Georgia, USA; Tiger Woods plays his shot from the ninth tee during the first / Michael Madrid, Michael Madrid / USA

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Day 1 of the 2024 Masters is in the books, and even though the field still has 54 (or more) holes still to play, there were already some clear winners and losers. We call ‘em like we see ‘em around here. They are:


Mother Nature: The weather demonstrated once again who’s the real boss this week, as an overnight storm delayed Thursday’s start by two-and-a-half hours. Fortunately the forecast for the rest of the week looks idyllic. 

Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Gary Player: The three legends kicked off the event in style with their opening tee shots and afterward enjoyed themselves throughout a lengthy press conference. Nicklaus, who did not play in Wednesday’s Par-3 Contest, told a few fun stories, including the time he hit a cold shank right over the heads of Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. We should cherish these moments.

Bryson DeChambeau: His 65 was the best round of his career here. Watch out: big, bad Bryson may be back.

Scottie Scheffler: A steady, sturdy, bogey-free 66 to tuck in one shot behind DeChambeau. He was the betting favorite entering the week and his odds now are less than 2-to-1.

Tiger Woods: Nice little start for the five-time Masters champ who’s out here competing for the first time in two months. Now comes the hard part: a 7:50 a.m. restart Friday morning.


Sergio Garcia’s outfit: It was hard to miss Garcia’s choice of colors.. The Spaniard was wearing bright yellow pants, a light green shirt and white shoes with Masters logos. Is he a Green Bay Packers fan? A North Dakota State Bison fan? With 13 LIV players in the field, Garcia made sure to stand out regardless of his score.

Jason’s Day’s pants: While Garcia made a statement with his bright and colorful outfit, Day decided to turn back the clock with his choice of nostalgic baggy pants. Famously prominent within the 1990’s hip-hop scene in America, baggy jeans and pants gradually moved into mainstream fashion becoming an everyday item for most. (At least until skinny jeans arrived and firmly took the spotlight in the late 2000s.) One can only imagine the fashion choices Garcia and Day have in store for Friday.

Hideki Matsuyama: The 2021 Masters champ was a popular pick in the non-Scheffler division but opened with a 4-over 76 and is now a longshot to make the weekend. 

Yellow golf balls: Fred Couples and Peter Malnati play the yellows; Couples likes their increased visibility while Malnati said they remind him of his children. But they shot 80 and 82, the two worst pro scores in Round 1. 

Published |Modified
Jeff Ritter


Jeff Ritter is the Managing Director of SI Golf. He spent more than a decade at Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine, and in 2020 joined Morning Read to help spark its growth and eventual acquisition by Sports Illustrated in 2022. He's a member of the Golf Writers' Association of America (GWAA) and has covered more than 25 major championships. He helped launch SI Golf Plus Digital, Golf Magazine’s first original, weekly e-magazine, and served as its top editor. He also launched Golf's “Films” division, the magazine’s first long-form video storytelling franchise, and his debut documentary received an Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting. His writing has earned first-place awards from the Society of American Travel Writers, the MIN Magazine Awards, and the Golf Writers Association of America, among others. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. A native Michigander, he remains a diehard Wolverine fan and will defend Jim Harbaugh until the bitter end.