The opening round featured an emotional opening tee tribute to the late Arnold Palmer, the windiest conditions in Masters history with gusts reaching as high as 45 miles per hour, the will-he or will-he-not drama surrounding the playing status of World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, and finally the scintillating performance on the course by Charley Hoffman.
The biggest story of the day was, most definitely, the injured back of Johnson. He's the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world and, before he took a tumble down a small flight of stairs in his Augusta rental home, he was the odds-on favorite to win the event at 11/2. Once the report of his injury was released Wednesday evening Johnson's odds to win were dropped to third favorite at 8/1 (behind Jordan Spieth at 13/2 and Rory McIlroy at 7/1).
Johnson, who had won his three previous tournaments, showed up to Augusta National on Thursday with the intention of playing. He hit some shots at the driving range and on the practice green and thought he could give it a go. However, Johnson had to walk off the first tee just before he was scheduled to start his round, citing he couldn't make a full swing.
Johnson was also No. 1 in ticket count and No. 1 in money wagered according to Jeff Sherman of the Westgate LV Superbook. All Johnson bets are being refunded by the Superbook.
Dustin Johnson becomes only the second World No. 1 golfer to miss The Masters (Tiger Woods missed the 2014 event).
With all of the off-course drama out of the way it was time to focus on the players who were actually playing in the event. PGA Tour veteran Charley Hoffman, who opened at 150/1, put on an absolute clinic of playing golf in windy conditions by firing an opening round 65 to sit four stokes out in front of William McGirt (-3); five strokes in front of Lee Westwood (-2); and six shots in front of a group of eight golfers that includes crowd favorites Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jason Dufner, and Sergio Garcia.
Television analyst, three-time Masters champion, and World Golf Hall-Of-Fame member Nick Faldo called Thursday's round by Hoffman the single greatest Masters opening round he has ever seen.
The Westgate LV Superbook released their updated odds to win the event Thursday evening with Rory McIlroy (E) at the top of the odds board at 11/2, Hoffman (-7) at 13/2, and Rose (-1) at 9/1.
Here is the complete list of odds from the Superbook heading in to Round 2 at Augusta National: