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    Amateur Sam Bennett shoots bogey-free opening round at Masters: What to know about him

    Amateur golfer Sam Bennett shot a bogey-free first round at the Masters on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know:

    Bennett, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, finished the day at a 4-under 68.

    It was the lowest opening round at the Masters by an amateur in 22 years, per The Athletic contributor Justin Ray. James Driscoll shot a 68 in the first round in 2001.

    Bennett’s score of 32 through the front nine is tied for the lowest ever by an amateur at the Masters. He put up birdies on the first and sixth holes and an eagle on the second.

    Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm shared the 18-hole lead at 7-under after the first round. Tiger Woods shot a 2-over 74.

    The Athletic’s instant analysis:

    Bennett steps up on the big stage

    The Texas A&M athlete Bennett is a former SEC Player of the Year who won the 2022 U.S. Amateur at Ridgewood, and he did not seem to hide from the stage of playing with defending champ Scottie Scheffler and Max Homa. He opened his round in dominant fashion with a birdie and an eagle thanks to a difficult and very long birdie putt on No. 1 and a really nice chip on No. 2. That impressive short game continued with a 23-foot birdie putt on No. 6.

    Starting 4-under through six holes as an amateur is incredible, but that also adds a ton of attention and pressure. Maybe the most impressive element of his round was the ability to end with 12 straight pars, again with that short game keeping him alive. Will be interesting to see if that carries into the weekend. — Miller

    Who is Sam Bennett?

    Bennett, in his fifth year at Texas A&M, is playing in his second major. The Texas native previously tied for 49th at the 2022 U.S. Open.



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