2022 Masters rankings breakdown: Sungjae Im leads, Dustin Johnson chases, Tiger Woods impresses in first round
The first round of the 2022 Masters started with treacherous weather and a brief delay, but Thursday, as usual, still managed to deliver the goods. At the end of day one, a packed leaderboard and a 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 18-hole standings is Sungjae Im, who shot a 5-under 67 in the afternoon heat, chasing the bar set by early leaders Joaquín Niemann and Cameron Smith. Im opened his round with a 36 on the front nine – replete with birdies on the first three holes – before a second nine 35 took him to the club with an inbound one-stroke lead on Friday.
In the hunt is a host of big names. Cameron Smith is one shot off the lead, former champions Danny Willett and Dustin Johnson are on the hunt, and Niemann joins a group including Scottie Scheffler, Jason Kokrak, Corey Conners and Patrick Cantlay who make up the rest of the top 10. Among those , Smith was the early benchmark for the field as he made the turn with a 3 under lead and briefly led the tournament to 4 under before being chased late in the day.
Tiger Woods, playing in his first PGA Tour competition in 509 days after sustaining traumatic injuries following a car crash in early 2021, is the headliner of a group that is four strokes off the lead after a 1-under 71 in Round 1. One of more than half a dozen golfers at 1-under 71 entering Friday, Woods had an impressive performance as he successfully navigated his way all the way and consistently made big putts to save a solid round.
However, not all stars shone, as a number of big names in the sport – from Bryson DeChambeau to Justin Thomas and Louis Oosthuizen – stumbled in the first round. This only increases the pressure going into the second round with the weekend cut. Very important.
Below is a breakdown of the standings as they stand in Friday’s second round.
1. Sungjae Im (-5):Im was the only player on the course Thursday to birdie his first three holes, giving him such a hot start that helped sustain what was otherwise a just OK day. His round was filled with ups and downs that included five birdies, two bogeys and an eagle to lift him to No. 1 in the standings. Im is yet to win a major in his career, but his best finish at a major came at Augusta National in 2020 when he placed T2.
2. Cameron Smith (-4): The Aussie native had a huge season and picked up where he left off on Thursday with an opening 68th round. 18 – but in between he played the other 16 holes at 8 under with no score worse than par. He is only the second player on record to record multiple double bogeys in a round at the Masters and shoot 68 or better.
T3. Joaquin Niemann, Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler, Danny Willett (-3): This group is full of star power past and present. DJ and Willett represent former Masters champions, while Niemann and Scheffler represent some of the sport’s rising stardom. All four had huge days with Niemann’s first-wave push and Johnson’s late-wave push among the biggest first-round storylines.
T7. Patrick Cantlay, Corey Conners, Jason Kokrak (-2): After back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Masters, Conners played a neat round of 2-under 70 with only one bogey — at the par-4 seventh. Cantlay entered Thursday on an equally strong recent resume and finished with four birdies in a solid round in which he managed to stay out of trouble and stay 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 well-rounded, prepared and healthy enough to give a good fight for the green jacket this weekend. His saving grace was mostly with his putter, as he constantly got into compromising positions while constantly shoving his way out of said positions with normal saves littered throughout the round. Considering Thursday’s poor start – Woods said he sucked 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 out of competition a week ago and an apparent wrist injury seemed to hamper him during warm-ups, the reigning Masters champion still managed a by respectable. He also seemed to improve as the day went on and after missing the first two holes at Amen Corner he played the last six holes at 2 under.
T31. Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and 10 others (+1): Neither McIlroy nor Morikawa – with six major championships combined between them – had huge days to open their respective Masters weeks. Neither of them played each other either. It was especially important for McIlroy, who fought on a day when he didn’t have it. Morikawa, meanwhile, seemed to find his best material late as he finished in a flurry with a 1-under 35 on the back nine.
T43. Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed and 14 others (+2): A ridiculously loaded cadre of pre-tournament contenders here in this group 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 back nine after a strong start. Reed did the opposite, opening with a 2-under front nine before shooting two bogeys and two birdies on the back nine.
T70. Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas and five others (+4): A rollercoaster ride for one of DeChambeau’s most polarizing golfers, but did you expect anything different? He said earlier in the week that he was only around 80 per cent healthy after dealing with injuries lately, and he’s been playing like that with bogeys at 4, 10, 15 and 18 as well. only 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 didn’t make it in the first round. He had a poor performance which got even worse on the back nine as he came in at 3 on the final stretch after a first of nine. There’s still plenty of time to bounce back and play the weekend, but this group slammed their backs against the wall on Thursday and there’s a tough way to go to make the weekend cut.
Stream the 2022 Masters all week with Masters Live as we follow the world’s best golfers through Augusta National with Featured groupscheck in at the famous Amen Corner and see the leaders around the lap Holes 15 & 16. Watch live for free on desktop and mobile via CBSSports.com and CBS Sports app. Also available on Paramount+.