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Bryson DeChambeau shoots first-round 65 for early Masters lead

Bryson DeChambeau acknowledges applause as he walks onto hole No. 18 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Bryson DeChambeau acknowledges applause as he walks onto hole No. 18 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

April 11 (UPI) -- Bryson DeChambeau sank eight birdies, including five on his final six holes, en route to a 7-under 65 to become the first-round leader of the 2024 Masters Tournament on Thursday in Augusta, Ga.

The first round was was delayed by two-and-a-half hours because of expected morning rain at Augusta National Golf Club. The delay resulted in 27 of the 89 players in the field not completing the round, which will resume Friday morning.

"It's always great getting off to a hot start," DeChambeau told reporters. "I knew it was going to be a tough day today with the wind, and even tomorrow.

"A lot of patience is required around this golf course."

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler sits in second place. He fired a 6-under 66 and is one shot behind DeChambeau. No. 38 Nicolai Hojgaard was in third place at 5-under, but had to stop play after making a birdie on No. 15.

Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot on hole No. 4 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot on hole No. 4 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

No. 260 Danny Willett and No. 11 Max Homa are tied for fourth, at 4-under. Willett finished his round, while Homa completed 13 holes.

DeChambeau, ranked No. 210, birdied each of his first three holes in Thursday's opening round. He then made par on his next five and a bogey on No. 9 for a score of 2-under on the front nine. He made par on Nos. 10 and 11 before hitting his hot streak.

Scottie Scheffler lines up a putt on the green on No. 4 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Scottie Scheffler lines up a putt on the green on No. 4 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

DeChambeau hit his first shot onto the green on the 155-yard 12th hole. He then sank a 17-foot putt for his fourth birdie of the day. DeChambeau hit his second shot on No. 13 just 18 yards from the pin. He went on to hole another birdie two strokes later on the 545-yard, par 5.

He made his final three birdies on Nos. 15, 16 and 17, and finished the round with a par on No. 18 to become clubhouse leader.

Scottie Scheffler hits his tee shot on hole No. 4 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Scottie Scheffler hits his tee shot on hole No. 4 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Scheffler, the tournament favorite, teed off about two hours after DeChambeau. He expertly navigated the golf course and nearly became co-leader, making six birdies as part of a bogey-free round.

"I enjoy coming and competing in this golf tournament," Scheffler said. "The first day is over and I got off to a good start.

Denmark's Nicolai Hojgaard reacts after sinking a putt on hole No. 2 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI
Denmark's Nicolai Hojgaard reacts after sinking a putt on hole No. 2 during the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI

"Going into tonight, I'll just focus on going home, getting some rest, go hit a few balls, get some recovery in, some dinner, and try to get some sleep."

No. 2 Rory McIlroy, No. 6 Viktor Hovland, and No. 959 Tiger Woods are among 15 players tied for 17th, at 1-under. McIlroy and Hovland completed the first round, while Woods finished 13 holes.

Defending champion No. 3 Jon Rahm, No. 4 Wyndham Clark, No. 20 Collin Morikawa, and No. 166 Phil Mickelson are among a dozen players tied for 42nd.

First-round play was stopped at about 8 p.m. EDT Thursday because of darkness. Play will resume at 7:45 a.m. Friday and will air on ESPN.

Players also are scheduled to start the second round at 8 a.m. Friday.

Second round TV coverage will air at 3 p.m. on ESPN. Streaming coverage of the Masters will be available on Masters.com, CBS Sports Network, Paramount+, CBSSports.com, and the CBS Sports app.