Masters debut leaves Russell Knox “shell-shocked”

Russell Knox said he was “shell-shocked” after marking his Masters debut with a disappointing seven-over-par 79.

Russell Knox said he was “shell-shocked” after marking his Masters debut with a disappointing seven-over-par 79.

The 30-year-old reckoned he’d played well enough in the tricky first-day conditions to have been as many as 10 shots better.

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“No,” replied Knox to being asked if it had been a tough first day at the office for him at Augusta National. “I’m a little shell-shocked because I could easily have been a few under today.

“I hardly missed a shot on the front nine and it was only down to three-putting from nowhere a couple of times that I turned in one-over.

“I was playing lovely and just missed a birdie at 10 before hitting a bad tee shot at 11 - that was my first bad shot of the day - but I took my punishment by chipping out.

“My ball was hit by a horrible gust at the 12th, found a bunker where I misjudged the lie then three-putted from nowhere for a double-bogey.

“I then hit two great shots on to the 13th, a great shot at 14th, a nice drive at the 15th then a nice chip at 16.

“I don’t think I could actually have played much better up until that point but just hadn’t taken my chances.”

A costly final two holes - he bogeyed the 17th then ran up a triple-bogey 7 at the last - meant it definitely wasn’t the debut he’d been looking for.

At the 18th, having been in trouble off the tee and having to chip out, the Inverness man then found a greenside bunker, from where he thinned it into the crowd on the other side of the green.

“I rushed my third shot, which was disappointing,” said Knox. “I was on the downslope in the bunker and had no shot really before playing a nice little chip from the other side of the green only to see the putt lip out.

“I feel I could have shot three or four-under quite easily. I could have played 100 times worse and beaten that score.

“It was tricky out there but I honestly don’t think that score was down to a lack of knowledge.

“After 12 holes, I was amazed I was three-over-par. Indeed, I felt I did pretty good until the last hole.”