(Augusta, GA) — Farmington resident Sammy Schmitz played a respectable front nine at the 2016 Masters yesterday, but struggled on the back nine. The 35-year-old amateur ended with a nine-over-par-81. He played the first nine holes even par, but played holes ten through 16 at nine-over. Schmitz had qualified for the Masters by winning last summer’s U-S Mid-Amateur. Schmitz will tee off this morning at 7:20 A-M. Spring Lake Park graduate Troy Merritt opened the tourney with a two-over-par-74. The former Winona State golfer played each side one-over par. Merritt will tee off this morning at 7:31 A-M. Defending champion Jordan Spieth (SPEETH) is the leader after the first day of The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia. He shot an opening round, six-under 66 to lead Danny Lee and Shane Lowry by two shots. Paul Casey, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia are among a group of golfers one shot further back at minus-three. Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, and Zach Johnson were among a group of golfers who opened with an even-par 72. Four-time Masters champ Tiger Woods is not playing this year as he continues to rehab his bad back.
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