Amateur golfer Sam Bennett shot a bogey-free first round at the Masters on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know:
Bennett, the defending U.S. Amateur champion, finished the day at 4-under 68.
It was the lowest opening round at an Amateur Masters in 22 years. The Athletic Contributor Justin Ray. James Driscoll shot 68 in the first round in 2001.
Bennett’s score of 32 on the front nine was the lowest ever by an amateur at the Masters. He made birdies on the first and sixth holes and an eagle on the second.
Victor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm shared an 18-hole lead at 7-under after the first round. Tiger Woods shot a 2-over 74.
Instant Analysis of Athletics:
Bennett takes the big stage
Bennett, a Texas A&M athlete, is a former SEC player who won the 2022 US Amateur title in Ridgewood, and he hasn’t been hiding from the podium playing with defensive linemen Scottie Scheffler and Max Homa. He opened his round in dominant fashion with a birdie and an eagle, thanks to a difficult and very long birdie putt on No. 1 and a very nice chip on No. 2. That impressive short game continued with a 23-foot birdie putt. 6.
Starting 4-under through six holes as an amateur is incredible, but it adds a ton of focus and pressure. The most impressive aspect of his round was his ability to finish with 12 straight pars, again with that short game keeping him alive. It will be interesting to see if this comes down to the weekend. – Miller
Who is Sam Bennett?
Bennett, in his fifth year at Texas A&M, is playing in his second major tournament. The Texas native was previously seeded 49th at the 2022 US Open.