AUGUSTA, Ga. (April 10, 2014) -- The key to Augusta National, according to those that have it, is experience. To know the places to miss, the severity of the speed and slopes of the greens is half the battle.
That much was proven Thursday in Round 1 of the 2014 Masters. Six amateurs teed it up and six amateurs shot above par.
The race for the Silver Cup and the event's low amateur honors is undoubetedly a tight one. And if scores don't improve for all involved, it might be final before the weekend.
U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, British Amateur champion Garrick Porteous and Oliver Goss, the runner-up at the 2013 U.S. Amateur, all shot 4-over 76 in Thursday's first round and share the low amateur lead entering the second round of action on Friday.
Fitzpatrick, who also took low amateur honors at last year's British Open, started with a double-bogey six on the par-4 1st hole but quickly rebounded with a birdie on No. 2. He would hold it together before a late-back nine slip put him at 4-over.
Porteous started slowly, too. He went bogey-bogey-bogey before a birdie on the par-3 4th. A double the par-3 6th, though, cost him.
For Goss, it was a bumpy ride throughout. He countered a pair of birdie with six bogeys, including three in a row on Nos. 5-7.
In the end, though, the six amateurs in the field are aiming for the Silver Cup -- and the race for low amateur isn't over by any means.
Mike McCoy, the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, is four shots back. He shot 78 on Thursday but remains in contention entering the second round.
Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Chang-woo Lee shot 80 while U.S. Public Links winner Jordan Niebrugge of Oklahoma State, struggled with an opening-round 81.
For a full look at the Masters first-round leaderboard, use the link below.