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Kevin Kisner shot a 69 on Thursday

Kevin Kisner leads former Georgia golfers after first round of 2019 Masters

Of the three Georgia golfers playing in the 2019 Masters, Kevin Kisner had been playing the best in the run-up to the tournament. And he continued his strong form by firing an opening round 69, to put him at 3-under after the first round.

Kisner did most of his work on the back-9, as he had four birdies to just one bogey over the final nine holes. Kisner birded 13, 14 and 15. He is tied with a number of elite golfers like Jon Rahm and Adam Scott in a tie for sixth place.

The leaders after the first round are Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. The two golfers both shot 6-under 66’s on Thursday. Koepka did not play in last year’s Masters, but he won the 2018 US Open and PGA Championship.

Kisner won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event two weekends ago. He also had top 15 finishes in both the 2018 British Open and the 2018 PGA Championship. This is Kisner’s fourth Masters. He has made the cut in all three times he’s played the tournament.

Related: Kevin Kisner gives pep talk to Georgia football team. 

The next former Bulldog on the leaderboard is Keith Mitchell, who is playing in his first-ever Masters this year.

Mitchell fired an even-par 72 in his opening round. He got off to a tough start with a bogey on 6 and a double bogey on 14. But he came back with an eagle on the par-5 15th hole and then a birdie on 16. He is tied for 29th with the likes of Mike Weir, Webb Simpson and Mark Leishman.

Bubba Watson, who has won the event twice, also shot a 72 on Thursday and is tied for 29th. Watson had two bogeys on the day, but he birdied the hole immediately following each of his bogeys.

Watson has won the event twice and finished tied for fifth at last year’s tournament.

Mitchell’s Friday tee time is set for 11:26 a.m. Kisner goes off at 9:47 a.m. while Watson finishes things for the former Bulldogs at 10:31 a.m.

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