Good Thursday/Bad Thursday: Three golfers with something to prove in the second round of the Masters

Augusta National played fast and firm in round one of the 2021 Masters, prompting a dramatic day of golf which ended with one great score carded, but many bad ones too.

Justin Rose might have suggested otherwise, but the conditions were difficult at Augusta National in round one of the Masters.

Only three golfers went sub-70 (Rose 65, Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman 69) while Patrick Cantlay, among the pre-tournament favourites, could only limp home in 79 blows - and he was far from alone in struggling.

Following the mauling that the course took in November, when the conditions were soft and slow and Dustin Johnson won with a record-breaking 20-under total, the committee turned back the clock for 2021.

The course played fast and firm. It called for smart golf to big targets, let the slopes do the work. It required experience, bold approaches, and a surgeon-like short game.

Some Rose to the challenge, others wilted and might find themselves dead-headed by the end of Friday.

Here are three golfers to watch out for in round two.

Bryson DeChambeau - 76 (T60th)

Not only the US Open champion of 2020, but also the winner of Golf's Greatest Pratfall in the same year.

He rocked up to Augusta last November boasting that the course was a par-67 for him and every round there since he's looked like Bambi on ice.

It's hard to believe that he can continue to be quite so confused by the test and yet his body language is far from great.

If Augusta were a sudoku puzzle and DeChambeau had a pen in his hand, he looks as if he's put 4, 6 and 9 in the wrong boxes and is about to hurl the paper in the bin.

And it gets worse: he found only nine greens in regulation in round one and his round two history? 72-74-75-74.

Three-ball prices with Paddy Power: DeChambeau 6/5, Adam Scott (74) 2/1, Max Homa (74) 23/10

Scott has equalled or bettered par in nine of his last ten round two performances.

Tyrrell Hatton - 71 (T8th)

The Englishman did not sound over-confident after his opening round of 71.

"This place has not been kind to me," he said. "It's not a course I feel comfortable on. Putting is a strength of mine, but I've not putted well here.

"If there is one major I'm least likely to do well in, based on my record and how I feel on the course, it would be this one.

"The green are pretty scary. They were the fastest I've putted on."

Tyrrell Hatton proud of Augusta fightback

The stats back up his fears.

To be fair to him, that 71 was a big improvement on previous Thursday effort of 80-74-73-73. But now he'll try to better his round two history of 78-75-73-74.

Three-ball prices with Paddy Power: Hatton 5/4 Billy Horschel (76) 21/10 Ryan Palmer (74) 21/10

Horschel has had his own problems in the second round at Augusta (72-78-77-79-75-70), Palmer has managed 74-77-72-77-74.

Good luck working that one out. Maybe Hatton's a good favourite after all.

Patrick Reed - 70 (T4th)

In his first four visits to Augusta Reed averaged 74.25 shots per round, but has averaged 69.85 in his last four appearances, aided by his Thursday 70.

It's a transformation that has also played out in the second round.

Those first four efforts read: 79-72-73-77. The last three? 66-70-68.

It's a mighty difference.

Reed is seeking a second Green Jacket.
Reed is seeking a second Green Jacket.

Three-ball prices with Paddy Power: Reed 7/5, Paul Casey (73) 15/8, Daniel Berger (75) 21/10.

Casey's last five Augusta Friday have been painful (77-75-75-73-74) and Berger's three previous efforts were 71-73-74.

READ MORE: The leader speaks: Masters pace-setter Justin Rose discusses expectations, panic buttons and friends

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