How SA's 4 hopefuls fared on Day 1 at the Masters: Bezuidenhout leads the way

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Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Getty)
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Getty)

There were mixed returns for South Africa's four golfers after the opening round at the 2021 Masters at Augusta National on Thursday. 

In what was a difficult day for most in the field, Englishman Justin Rose set the course alight to finish with a comfortable four-shot lead at -7. 

In fact, scoring was so tough that only 12 players finished under par for their opening round, and one of those was South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who is in a four-way tie for 4th place on -2

Former champion Charl Schwartzel was the next best placed South African and he will be largely pleased with carding +2 on Thursday to be tied for 30th.

Both Dylan Frittelli and Louis Oosthuizen struggled to finish +4 and in T60th with work to do on Friday of he is to play this weekend. 

With the greens as firm and as fast as they have been for many years – and as they weren’t during the last Masters which was held in unseasonal November last year – Bezuidenhout plotted his way around the storied layout with the sang froid born of confidence in his skills.

“November played soft,” he recalled after his opening round.

“It played long. Like now there’s some places where you can’t even hold a green with a seven-iron in your hand, where November you’re going for flags with a four-iron in your hand.

"It’s a completely different golf course. Different course management. I mean, you have to give those holes respect. When you are in position for the birdies, then you can make birdies. Overall, just balls are not going to sit."

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