2014 Masters Tournament logo2014 Masters Tournament

Masters 2014: Complete Analysis of Day 1 Leaderboard

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10:  Bubba Watson of the United States watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2014

Adam Scott and Bubba Watson are looking for a second. Phil Mickelson doesn't seem likely to add a fourth. Could Bill Haas earn his first?

You may not be able to win a green jacket on Thursday, but we certainly learned a lot on the first day of the Masters nonetheless.

Here's the scoreboard after Round 1:

The story of the day was Haas, who shot to the top of the field with a four-under 68. Justin Ray of ESPN put his impressive round into perspective:

Whether Haas can stay there is the real question, especially with former winners in Watson and Scott just a stroke behind him. Watson's performance in particular was especially impressive, as Jason Sobel of GolfChannel.com humorously noted:

Watson and Scott aren't the only big-name players chasing Haas, however. Brandt Snedeker is just two strokes behind, while Rory McIlroy, Fred Couples, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Miguel Angel Jimenez are all three strokes back. 

Other contenders will have more work to do, however. Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood are all one-over, while Hunter Mahan and Sergio Garcia are two over par and Jason Day shot a 75.

The big disappointments were Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Mickelson shot a shocking 76, while Johnson—a trendy pick to win this year's tournament—was even worse at 77. Mickelson, to his credit, had no misconceptions about his quality of play on Thursday, as he told Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel:

Phil Mickelson has failed to make the cut at a Masters just once in his career, in 1997. He also shot a 76 on the first day that year.

Meanwhile, if Jason Dufner fails to make the cut, he'll leave Scott in rarefied air, as Ray tweeted:

It's not looking too good for Dufner.

After the first day of action, it appears the theme could easily be "No Tiger, no problem." While Tiger Woods always adds an air of intrigue to any event, there are plenty of intriguing storylines to follow this year. Haas, surprisingly atop the leaderboard. Former winners like Scott and Watson starting strong. Mickelson fighting for his life.

And a slew of players hoping to earn their first green jacket. 

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10:  Bill Haas of the United States hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Friday will be a huge day, and not just for those looking to survive the cut. Haas has to prove he has the fight to stay atop the pack, as a tough course ensured nobody raced away from the field on Thursday. Can McIlroy and company make things interesting heading into the weekend?

We'll have to wait and see. With the weather likely to be beautiful again and plenty of contenders in the running, this year's Masters looks like another classic.

 

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
get the App on the App Storeget the App on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices