Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau shared a one-shot overnight lead at the start of Friday's play at the 2019 Masters.
The pair each shot a six-under 66 on Thursday to top the leaderboard ahead of three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson at Augusta National, who carded 67.
Ian Poulter and Dustin Johnson sit on four under, while there's a clutch of players a further shot behind them.
Read on for some predictions as to how the remainder of the tournament might pan out, but first, here's the leaderboard:
- T1: Brooks Koepka -6
- T1: Bryson DeChambeau -6
- 3: Phil Mickelson -5
- T4: Ian Poulter -4
- T4: Dustin Johnson -4
- T6: Kevin Kisner -3
- T6: Kiradech Aphibarnrat -3
- T6: Justin Harding -3
- T6: Adam Scott -3
- T6: Jon Rahm -3
The full leaderboard can be found here.
DeChambeau Secures His Best Finish at a Major
DeChambeau may be ranked sixth in the world, but he's yet to have much of an impact when it comes to majors.
After a superb start on Thursday, that could be about to change for the American.
Here's a look a the highlights from DeChambeau's opening round:
Golf analyst Ron Mintz offered some insight into his efforts:
DeChambeau's best finish at a major came in the U.S. Open in 2016, where he finished T15.
On the PGA Tour this season, he has three top-10 finishes from eight events, including a win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
It's no coincidence that they were the three events in which he scored below 70 in the opening round.
With an excellent platform to build on here, he has a good chance of not only achieving a better finish than his previous best, but he could also break into the top 10, too.
Koepka Takes the Green Jacket
Koepka has emerged as one of golf's fastest-rising stars in recent years, and based on his first round, he could be about to make a serious run at the Masters.
Like DeChambeau, he put in a superb showing on Thursday:
It was Koepka's best round at the Masters, and he was the only one in the field not to card a bogey. What separates the two overnight leaders is that Koepka has three major titles under his belt.
Remarkably, having missed the 2018 Masters through injury, he has won all three since he last appeared at Augusta in 2017:
Golf writer Jason Sobel suggested Koepka has his eyes on a green jacket:
Koepka has improved with each of his appearances at the Masters, with his results trending firmly in the right direction at T33, T21 and then T11.
His opening round was a sign that he's set to improve once again at Augusta, but this time he has the experience of winning multiple majors to draw on, which should enhance his prospects further.
There's a lot of golf still to be played at the Masters, but Koepka is in pole position to take the green jacket.