2022 Masters leaderboard breakdown: Sungjae Im leads, Dustin Johnson chases, Tiger Woods impresses in Round 1

Round 1 at the 2022 Masters began with treacherous weather and a brief delay, but Thursday as usual still managed to deliver the goods. By the time the first day ended, a loaded leaderboard and round filled with memorable moments filled Augusta National with vigor and hope for what should be an incredible final three days of the tournament.

Alone atop the leaderboard through 18 holes stands Sungjae Im, who fired a 5-under 67 in the afternoon wave, chasing down the bar set by early leaders JoaquĆ­n Niemann and Cameron Smith. Im opened his round with a 36 on the first nine – replete with birdies in the first three holes – before a second-nine 35 brought him into the clubhouse with a single-stroke lead entering Friday.

In the hunt is a host of big names. Cameron Smith is one stroke off the lead, former champions Danny Willett and Dustin Johnson are in the hunt, and Niemann joins a group including Scottie Scheffler, Jason Kokrak, Corey Conners and Patrick Cantlay that make up the remainder of the top 10. Of those , Smith was the early benchmark for the field as he made the turn with a lead at 3 under and led the tournament at 4 under briefly before being chased down late in the day.

Tiger Woods, playing in his first PGA Tour competition in 509 days after suffering traumatic injuries from a car crash in early 2021, is the headliner of a group that’s four strokes off the lead after a steady 1-under 71 in Round 1. One of more than a half-dozen golfers at 1-under 71 entering Friday, Woods had an impressive showing as he scrambled his way with success all over the course and consistently made big putts to salvage a solid round.

Not all stars shined bright, though, as a number of the sport’s top names – from Bryson DeChambeau to Justin Thomas and Louis Oosthuizen – stumbled out of the gate in Round 1. It only heightens the pressure entering Round 2 with the weekend cut very much looming large.

Below is a breakdown of the leaderboard as it stands entering Friday’s second round.

1. Sungjae Im (-5): Im was the only player in the field Thursday to birdie his first three holes, giving him a start so hot that helped buoy what was otherwise a just-OK day. His round di lui was filled with highs and lows that included five birdies, two bogeys and one eagle to carry him to No. 1 on the leaderboard. Im has not yet won a major in his career, but his best finish in a major came at Augusta National in 2020 when he placed T2.

2. Cameron Smith (-4): The Australian native has had a huge season and picked up where he left off Thursday with an opening-round 68. Sure, he had blow-up spots to open and close his day – he double-bogeyed No. 1 and No. 18 – but in between he played the other 16 holes at 8 under with no scores worse than par. He’s just the second player on record to record multiple double bogeys in a round at the Masters and still shoot 68 or better.

T3. Joaquin Niemann, Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler, Danny Willett (-3): This group is flush with star power past and present. DJ and Willett represent former Masters champions, while Niemann and Scheffler represent part of the sport’s rising stardom. All four had huge days with Niemann’s early-wave push and Johnson’s late-wave push among the bigger storylines in Round 1.

T7. Patrick Cantlay, Corey Conners, Jason Kokrak (-2): Coming off consecutive top-10 Masters finishes, Conners played a neat 2-under 70 round with only one bogey – at the par-4 seventh. Cantlay entered Thursday on a similarly solid recent Masters resume and finished with four birdies as part of a sound round in which he managed to stay out of trouble and remained in the mix.

T10. Tiger Woods and eight others (-1): There was plenty of adventure in Woods’ 1-under 71 Round 1, but playing in a competitive environment for the first time in 509 days, he looked plenty poised, prepared and healthy enough to give a good fight for the green jacket this weekend. His saving grace of him was primarily with his putter of him, as he consistently put himself in compromising positions yet consistently wiggled his way out of said positions with par saves littered throughout the round. Considering the ugly start to Thursday – Woods said he stunk in warm-ups – it was an impressive return to action for golf’s biggest star. Follow Tiger Woods throughout the Masters.

T19. Hideki Matsuyama and 11 others (E): After a neck injury forced him to withdraw from competition a week ago and an apparent wrist injury seemed to bother him in warm-ups, the reigning Masters champion still managed a respectable par. He seemed to get better as the day wore on, too, and after bogeying the first two holes on Amen Corner, he played the final six holes at 2 under.

T31. Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and 10 others (+1): Neither McIlroy nor Morikawa – with six combined major championships between them – had huge days to open up their respective Masters weeks. Neither played themselves out of contention, either. That was especially important for McIlroy, who battled through a day where he didn’t have it. Morikawa, meanwhile, seemed to find his best stuff late as he finished in a flurry with a 1-under 35 on the second nine.

T43. Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed and 14 others (+2): A laughably loaded cadre of pre-tourney contenders here in this bunch that includes former champions Reed and Spieth. Oh, and former world No. 1 (and pre-Thursday favorite) Rahm. Spieth had tons of lip-outs on the greens that could easily have had him in the red. Rahm stumbled on the second nine after a solid start. Reed did the opposite, opening with a 2-under first nine before turning in two bogeys and two birdies on the second nine.

T70. Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas and five others (+4): Rollercoaster round for one of golf’s most polarizing players in DeChambeau, but did you expect anything different? He said earlier in the week he’s only about 80% healthy after dealing with injuries of late, and he played like it with bogeys at 4, 10, 15 and 18 as well as a double at 14. As for Thomas, the stars seemed to be aligning for him after strong showings at the Valspar Championship, Genesis Invitational and Phoenix Open. But they just … did not in Round 1. He had an ugly showing that got even worse on the second nine as he got in at 3 over down the stretch after a 1-over first nine. Still plenty of time to bounce back and play into the weekend, but this group slammed its backs against the wall Thursday and there’s a tough road ahead to making the weekend cut.

Watch the 2022 Masters streaming all week with Masters Live as we follow the best golfers in the world throughout Augusta National with Featured Groupscheck in at the famed Amen Corner and see leaders round the turn on Holes 15 & 16. Watch live for free on desktop and mobile via CBSSports.com and CBS Sports App. Also available on Paramount +.

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