​Bard shoots 4-over 76 in first round of Masters

Junior golfer struggles down stretch after solid start

Virginia golfer Derek Bard is tied for No. 59 after shooting a 4-over 76 in the first round of the Masters Thursday. Bard — a junior Foreign Affairs major — qualified for the tournament after finishing second at the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship, and is the first Virginia golfer to take part in the event since Steve Marino did so in 2011.

Bard was part of the second group to tee off Thursday morning, and played alongside South African Trevor Immelman (5-over 77) and American Robert Streb (9-over 81). Bard’s score puts him 10 strokes off leader and defending champion Jordan Spieth, who posted an opening round 6-under 66.

Bard started off the round well, recording a quick birdie on the second hole. However, the course seemed to wear on him for the remainder of the round. Although even-par through 8, Bard consecutively bogeyed holes 9, 10 and 11 before stopping the bleeding with a birdie on hole 12. Making the turn at 1-over, he couldn’t capitalize on either of the two par-5s on the back nine, and ultimately bogeyed both 16 and 18 to enter the clubhouse at 4-over. He finished the round with two birdies, ten pars and six bogies.

Bard lagged behind the field in almost every statistical category after the first round, with the strong wind during the round seemingly having an effect on his performance. He hit just 50 percent of the fairways and Greens in Regulation. He was also neutralized on the greens — the strong suit of his game — averaging 1.67 putts per hole compared to the field average of 1.68.

Bard performed well compared to other amateurs on the field Thursday. US Amateur Champion Bryson DeChambeau — a junior at Southern Methodist — is tied for No. 22 at even-par 72. British Amateur Champion Romain Langasque finished at 2-over 74, Asian-Pacific Amateur Champion Cheng Jin finished with a 7-over 79, U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion Sammy Schmitz finished at 9-over 81 and Latin America Amateur Champion Paul Chaplet finished at 11-over 83.

A good round Friday could position Bard well for making the cut. The cut at the Masters usually hovers around even-par, depending on the scores after two days of action. However, given the the fact only 20 members of the field finished under par after the first round, there is a better chance Bard will continue into the weekend.

Bard will tee off alongside Immelman and Streb again Friday at 11:27 a.m.

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